In my life, lots of ridiculous things have happened to me. Like the time I got out of my car at a crowded restaurant and the seat adjustment lever had caught my skirt and pulled it right off as I stood up.
Thank goodness my mother brought me up right and I was wearing a slip.
Or then there was the time when I was on a date and we were having coffee. The coffee was so hot that when I sipped it, it burned my throat and I began hiccuping that lasted for almost an hour.
I could barely hold a conversation.
And one evening I was having a glass of wine with my friends and I actually swallowed a fly that was buzzing around me. (Don’t ask.)
Often times, I chalk these moments of mortification up to the incredible potency of the prayer The Litany of Humility, which my spiritual director had suggested I pray every day. Be careful what you ask for… it really does work.
An unforgettable job
I think the one episode that took the cake was my career as a telemarketer at a dating service in Los Angeles after my divorce. I was starving to death trying to keep the lights on and the bills paid and figured I had to eat someday, so I frantically searched for a job in the evening that didn’t involve waitressing (not that there’s anything wrong with that – I had done that before, too).
So I answered an ad for a telemarketing position that ended up being right around the corner from my home and only four hours a night but promised big bucks. Turns out, the job was cold-calling the greater Los Angeles area at night with the goal of setting appointments for people to come in to this dating service and find the love of their lives. But here’s the catch: The only info I had on these people I was calling was their name, address and phone number, and the type of credit card they had. I didn’t know anything else – not even if they were married or free to date!
The big bucks promise was there, I just had to perform well to receive it. And so I accepted the challenge.
One night as I sat there getting hung up on for the bazillionth time, I had a reality check: I looked at my reflection in the window in front of my desk and made this mental note: I’m divorced, angry, and depressed, and I am the one trying to give people hope and convince them that they will fall in love and be happy forever? Really?
What the heck is up with that?
A divine purpose
But what was so amazing about that period of my life was something I couldn’t identify at that point. Time needed to pass between me and the failure of my marriage so I could one day look back and see that God had me doing what I was doing for a distinct purpose (as He always does). In the four years I worked for that company, I had learned some very important communication and marketing skills and eventually moved up into management where I gained extremely helpful experience – all this to take with me as I went forth to found my own company, become a public speaker, and write books and other materials to help Catholics suffering through a divorce find hope and healing.
I certainly didn’t understand it at the time, but God knew exactly what He was doing. I think sometimes He likes it that way.
I know that being single can be really tough, especially during the holidays and especially if you’re divorced. But I pray that you will remain like a little child before Him, trusting your Father that He is guiding you and giving you exactly what you need for this moment in time. And as always, count on my prayers for you!