Woes of a Summer Intern

“Hey, could you transfer me to Shannon?”

“Is Lily available to talk with me for a minute?”

“I think I have an appointment with Wendy—could you check?”

The questions and requests were constant in the human resources office at the hospital where I worked this past summer. During my summer internship, I can’t even remember the number of calls, meetings, and appointments that my coworkers had with others. Everyone who called or came into the office always seemed to need someone—except me.

I quickly realized a trend in my office. Employees often asked to speak with the other people in my office, but they never asked to speak with me. And sometimes I just wanted someone to want me

Not What I Expected

I thought I might get to do important things during my internship this summer. I thought I would learn about the interesting aspects of human resources. I thought I would gain valuable experience and on-the-job training for a future career in human resources.

Instead, I felt like I was in the way. I felt embarrassed by the number of questions I asked and ashamed when I made mistakes. I felt underutilized when I spent my hours sitting in a desk chair and drawing on sticky notes to pass the time. I felt ignored when all my coworkers rushed off to a meeting and left me alone in the office.

Even though my coworkers were nice to me, I still felt small.

If You Feel Small Like Me

If you can relate to my internship “woes,” I know how uncomfortable you must be. I know how underutilized and lonely you must feel. We often feel small when someone (or a group of people) ignores our potential and our value.

-Do you feel small when your boss overlooks or even criticizes your hard work?

-Do you feel small when your teacher mocks your assignment in front of the class?

-Do you feel small when your spouse fails to remember your anniversary or another important date?

-Do you feel small when your friend makes a snide comment about you to your other friend?

-Do you feel small when your sibling fails to congratulate you on something you’ve recently accomplished?

Even imagining these scenarios makes me feel small, but they require a counter argument.

We simply cannot trust our feelings to tell us who we are. Feeling small doesn’t mean that you are small. It doesn’t mean you’re worthless or insignificant or useless.

God’s Plan is Still at Work

Joseph’s life illustrates this point well. He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, unfairly put into prison…but then he became a ruler in Egypt.

…“And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:4-5 NASB)

God gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams, and Joseph used that gift. God allowed him to use that gift to get out of prison and save the land from famine. Though he undoubtedly felt small earlier in his life, he was never truly small. His value was the same as a young shepherd, a prisoner, and a leader. God orchestrated his life from beginning to end and used Joseph to do amazing things.  

And you will do amazing things, too. Sure, you might feel small now. Maybe you feel insignificant compared to your coworkers and friends, or maybe you feel like your talents are being ignored. But you can’t see the whole picture.

So whether you’re a bored intern or a neglected wife or a discouraged friend, remember that you are not small. God’s perfectly orchestrated plan for your life is much bigger than any of those feelings.

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