For Haley Joe Febrey, graduation from college was all about landing a dream job and figuring out the perfect five-year plan.
But since earning her degree from Samford University in Birmingham in 2020, she has seen God’s grace while also discovering that finding true fulfillment isn’t as formulaic as she once thought.
Febrey recently shared her story on the TAB Media podcast, “Amplify: Conversations About Life and Faith with Maggie Evans.”
Febrey, who majored in journalism and mass communication, was one of many college seniors whose 2020 spring semester was turned upside down during the global pandemic. It was a time she describes as “probably the most inconvenient time in world history” to graduate from college.
Last March, Febrey recalled, she was in the thick of finishing up her senior year and getting ready for spring break when one of her professors told the class to take all their textbooks and anything else they needed home to finish online.
While at first shocked, Febrey remembered being “annoyingly optimistic” about the announcement.
“I was convinced it was going to be three weeks and I’m going to be back at school,” she remembered. “I’m going to finish out my senior year, graduate and get a job. But suddenly it was just taken from me.”
To make things worse, as the pandemic lingered, she found out the fellowship program she was pursuing with Southern Living magazine was canceled. Suddenly her hopes of launching a media career seemed in doubt.
The situation left Febrey “sad and heartbroken” with “a lot to process.”
“But I remember thinking, ‘You have no choice but to see the positive in this,’” she said, “because if you don’t, it’s going to make things even more difficult.”
And ultimately, Febrey believes her disappointments have strengthened her faith and helped relationships with her family while living at home for an extended time.
“It was a really cool time spiritually just to take a step back from everything that I had been claiming as my identity and to really just rest in that identity in Christ,” she said.
Since then, she has landed a college recruiter position at Birmingham-Southern College. While it’s not what she initially expected, she remains thankful for the opportunity.
Work with students
Febrey also has discovered a strong passion for discipling middle-school and high school girls as a Young Life leader.
“I think a lot of that is just because I want to be the friend that I needed in that time,” Febrey said. “I’ve gotten to know 20 of the most precious girls.”
Ultimately, she said that while enjoying work is important, she’s also learning God can use “our passions” to serve Him beyond the workplace.
And she remains open to how the Lord may use her. “Even if it’s not how we think it will look, He is so faithful. It’s been really cool to see how that plays out.”
Hear more of Febrey’s story at tabonline.org/amplify-graduation.
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