In the past two weeks the phrase “Who IS Sarah Anderson?” has become a symbol for the amazing provision of God that happens in a mysterious, awesome, wonder-filled way. It may be a clunky as a mantra, but when I say it, I return to those feelings and am stopped short yet again by God’s work in my life. As you might expect, this phrase has a story attached to it…
Many of you know I’ve been looking for a job since our move to Kenosha. We love Kenosha, but it is more depressed economically than the average town, and Wisconsin itself is adding the least jobs each month of any state in the country. The traditional approach to looking for work has been discouraging–sending out resume upon resume, getting absolutely no responses.
Then one day as I was sitting with God in my quiet time this realization was birthed: God has been speaking to me about relationships and how he desired to do his work in my life in and through my relationships. So maybe I need to look for a job through my relationships. As I continued to reflect on this it resonated like a gong within my soul. This was a place where the Lord had called me to step out in other parts of my life; why not job hunting?
I sat down that afternoon and wrote an email to a number of friends in business–mostly in Illinois–not really hoping for an on-going job, but letting them know that I was looking for work but that I’d be willing to do odd one-off jobs, including acting as a virtual assistant. And I left it at that.
The following week–Two weeks ago today–I received a phone call; “Hi Lisa, this is Sheryl. I got your name from Sarah Anderson, she said you might be interested in an virtual assistant’s position. Would you give me a call?”
I was thrilled, astonished and also confused. Who was this Sarah Anderson? I know many Sarahs; had one gotten married that I hadn’t known about? More likely, Sarah Anderson was a friend of someone that I had emailed the week before. But who?
The following day, I spoke with Sheryl about the job at length, and she again mentioned Sarah Anderson’s reference. I didn’t say anything. I thought, “I have got to find out who this Sarah Anderson is!” I went on Facebook–I had 5 Sarah Andersons I was one friend away from. Obviously that wasn’t the way to find out which Sarah Anderson had done this great service for me! I called Michelle Anderson, from our church. Did she have a relative named Sarah? No, it was no one from this Anderson clan.
As I dug and researched, I wondered more and more. Who was this mysterious Sarah Anderson? Even though I was determined to find out, the awe and the wonder I felt led me continually back to God. “Lord, this is amazing! Which Sarah Anderson did this?” How did could thank her? Was it unprofessional to not know who it was who referred you for a job? Had I met her and forgotten her? Even in my paranoia, I was still thanking God for this chain of events he had clearly orchestrated.
I didn’t have to wait too much longer to find out who Sarah Anderson is. The same day I spoke with Sheryl at length about her job, I saw my own spiritual director. After we had our session, I told her about how this opportunity had appeared out of nowhere. “Sarah Anderson?” my director said. “She’s a spiritual director. You know her daughter. She was in the last Immanuel class.” The chain was complete! Meghan was one of the people I had emailed. Her mom, Sarah, had mentioned to Meghan how her college roommate Sheryl had some bad luck with her last virtual assistant and she was looking for another. Meghan passed along my information along with a glowing reference.
So thank you Lord, for orchestrating this opportunity. Thank you for prompting me to act, to reach out to people who know me and love me for help. Thank you for Megan for passing my name along to your mom. Thank you, Sheryl for expressing your need to Sarah. And thank you, Sarah Anderson for completing the chain.
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