For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you. – Isaiah 41:13 ESV
I started working at JCPenney in November 2015. It has taken me literally 19 months to figure something out. Before you start thinking I’m a terrible employee, I’m not. I’m good at my job, most days. Not to brag but they kind of want to clone me. That would probably be a mistake. But whatever. No, the thing I figured out has to do with the JCP Playlist, the 17 songs played on repeat throughout the day. Mixed among a myriad of Pop/Rock (including my lip syncing go-to “Hello” by Adele) is “Hold Me” by Christian artist Jamie Grace.
I get why it was included. It could easily be sung about a boyfriend or husband, someone who holds you, is by your side. Someone you can’t stop thinking about. Someone who makes each day special. But if you read about the song, Jamie Grace herself says that the song is about relying on God:
“Love is all about trusting in God to hold you no matter what you are going through. I’ve had a lot of experiences in my life of needing to trust in God to hold me. He’s the only one who is going to be there. That’s what the song is about, knowing that God is there to hold you and the joy that comes with that knowledge and understanding.” (BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS)
Anyway, it’s one of the songs I hear at least 4 times a week at work, probably more. And it is a message that I need reminded of every day that I’m there. And every day that I’m not there, if I’m being honest. When I first started working there, I had been let go from a full time job with benefits that payed decently well for our area. I had paid time off. Insurance. Anyway, I lost that job unexpectedly and started at the JCP shortly thereafter. I stressed about getting enough hours to pay my bills. I stressed about being a failure. In January 2016 I took a second job at a local school as an AmeriCorps member. I have a small classroom and I do homework help with small groups. I stayed at JCP to supplement that stipend. I stressed about my bills, but I have paid them all on time. i stressed about having to work constantly but I have consistently had one day off a week and sometimes a couple at a time. Through all of the uncertainty, it’s been hard work but He has held me.
In a few months, my AmeriCorps contract is up and I will be back to one job. I could stress about hours. I could panic. While I am at a loss as to what I’m going to do with my life, I know that He holds me. I know there is a plan. We were talking about God’s provision at small group the other night and how I can face the upcoming change in employment status with greater confidence by looking back at where I’ve been and remembering that I’ve been ok and often more than ok. Although, if anyone has career path suggestions, I’m open to them. I don’t know what I want to spend the next 40 years of my life doing and some insight would be great! 🙂
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this song ended up playing at my workplace. And every time it plays, now that I’ve figured it out, I’ll take it as a reminder that I don’t have to worry. I am being held.
Here’s the song, in case you’re unfamiliar.