A Jacksonville Journey to Success

On July 6, we received a message through our general inbox from a wonderful lady named Pam. Her testimony was a cry for help that was deeply personal but also representative of so many who so often stay silent. Though she was going through a tough time, Pam showed a bravery in her willingness to speak out and seek help.

Here is just a part of Pam’s original message:

“I am desperately in need of a job, in order to obtain affordable housing…Without a job, I CANNOT pay just the basic bills to sustain myself, buy the needed prescribed medications that I must take, let-alone pay for shelter. A friend of mine (who was recently helped by your program), gave me your website with hopes that I may be helped as well! PLEASE HELP!!!!”

Pam’s note really touched me, and I reached out to invite her to our upcoming job fair at Church of Eleven22’s Arlington campus. Pam was on the ball and had already signed up, but with the job fair almost two weeks away she felt discouraged. She had tried everything, and the day to day struggle of remaining optimistic was becoming harder and harder.

To fill the time, we continued to email, discussing everything from resumes and a few of the employers attending the fair to my own tactics for staying hopeful – prayer, walks to look at beautiful trees, and taking things one day at a time. I encouraged her lovely things were ahead and that God loved her tremendously. By this point, I had become very attached to Pam, prayed actively for her, and awaited the moment when I would get to meet her at the job fair.

Not long after the job fair started, Pam arrived and made her way to me. We hugged and chattered for a while before I introduced her to a few people who I thought could help open doors for her. Before I knew it, she was off to the races in search of her ideal job. She had confidence and joy to seize the opportunity.

About a half hour passed, and a fury of rings from our opportunity bell were going off in the background. Many people were receiving on the spot job offers, and each one was celebrated with gusto. The bell rang for each one, and each one received applause. I was happy for each of them, but was hoping deep down to see Pam up there.

And then the bell rang again…

When I turned around to cheer, it was finally her turn! I saw her standing there, grinning from ear to ear, ringing the bell, and celebrating God’s faithfulness. She had received an on the spot job offer for a full-time managerial job with benefits. Her prayers were answered, and the whole course of her circumstances changed, when she got the “yes” she had been waiting for.

It was in that moment, after the clapping and cheering stopped, after Pam had gone back to her hiring manager to finish some paperwork, that I realized this is my “why.” This is why I do what I do. This is why FlourishNow is here.

It’s a privilege and an honor to meet people like Pam, and to have the God-ordained opportunity to encourage and then watch as He provides, just in time, exactly what is needed.

It’s even more of an honor to share these stories and to shout from the rooftops, in Pam’s own words, “what God can do.” She is excited for others to hear her story so she can be an encouragement to “somebody else going through the same storm.” In fact, she so wants to encourage others that, after her training is finished and she is assigned a permanent position, she intends to become a regular FlourishNow volunteer.

Pam’s storm may be my “why” for doing what I do every day, but I also hope it’s your why – or the why of someone you know – to come out to a job fair, hosted by a local church, to find your own long-awaited opportunity. As I encouraged Pam, many lovely things are ahead.

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Don’t wait! Register for one of our upcoming job fairs.