Daniel Gilliland says holding a variety of positions since completing his master’s degree at Beeson Divinity School has given him a greater appreciation of the value of work.
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‘Season of waiting’ nurtures appreciation

Daniel Gilliland’s career path hasn’t gone as he initially planned, but he continues to rest in the hope he has through Christ.

Gilliland shared his story in a recent episode of the TAB Media podcast, Amplify: Conversations About Life and Faith with Maggie Evans.

Since graduating with a master of divinity degree from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in 2019, Gilliland has worked in a coffee shop, part-time positions at his church and currently at a drugstore to help pay the bills.

Meanwhile, he continues to pursue his desire to find a position with a church as teaching pastor.

His calling to ministry was sparked as a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he became heavily involved in campus ministry.

Expectations

Gilliland said when he graduated from seminary, he expected to immediately transition into a successful ministry position at a church — but that didn’t happen.

Today, he admits he has struggled with doubts.

“I definitely thought, ‘OK, surely I’ll figure everything out by the time three years comes up, and I’ll have a sweet [ministry position],’ but that was not the case,” Gilliland said.

For now, he describes being in a “season of waiting,” which hasn’t been easy.

“[It] kind of feels like you’re waiting in a holding pattern [like] an airplane,” said Gilliland, who described feeling drained by the “what’s next?”

Appreciation

Through this journey, he has developed an appreciation for work even if it’s not the work he originally thought he’d be doing.

“Work is good, … and it’s good for the kingdom of God and what that means on this earth,” Gilliland said. “There certainly are days when meaning is hard to come by and that’s not because the work is undignified; it’s not because the work is too low for someone who got a degree. It’s just this strange sensation when you feel like you’re waiting on something else.”

For now, Gilliland enjoys the days when “you leave work and feel like we did some good today,” and he rests in knowing that God is there regardless of the highs and lows.

Hear Gilliland’s story at tabonline.org/amplify-waiting.

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