February 14, 2011

Wanted: Broken Hearts - Pamela Mytroen

by Pam Mytroen

Having resigned from my position as director of a children’s ministry in our church, I had the most uncomfortable task of opening my resume and taking a hard look at it.

Re-entering the work-force is about as comfortable as re-entering the atmosphere after being in another world for so long. I’m out of touch with reality, according to my credentials, and I just might burn and fizzle up to nothing as I realize the gravity of the situation.

I played with the variety of experiences I’ve had over the years. Let’s see, what should I put at the top of my resume? That I raised four children? No, the initials M.O.M. behind your name aren’t valued like they used to be. Scrap that. Sorry, kids.

How about my job as a night operator at the Canadian Pacific Railway? Hmmm. I used a telegraph and a computer the size of a refrigerator. The first thing the employer would do is take my pulse and ask if I’m carrying nitroglycerin. Scratch that off my resume too.

I did counsel at camp way back when. I have training in piano and voice – I could play you Amazing Grace in several different keys. Or I could teach a spellbinding flannelgraph story...

Should I list my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies? They might be afraid that I’d wonk them over the head with the family bible, or worse – that I might be ‘intolerant’. I highlight and delete that most wonderful time of my life, the foundation of who I am, and pretend it never existed.

Hmmmm, that leaves nothing on my list. Once I take away everything I did, that only leaves my character values. I’ve got “honest, responsible, and reliable.” Will they believe that with no initials behind my name, and no ‘experience’ to back it up?

Guess I’ll work as a waitress if they’ll let me. Or go back to school and get a ‘real’ bachelor’s degree. One that will get me a ‘real’ job.

It’s left me feeling rather deflated and worthless, like a balloon that squeals and takes off once the air is released. I’m a piece of colorful rubber that’s no good to anybody.

But there is One who values the inner life. One who takes the world’s idea of shriveled waste and sees far past its outer shell.

God says, “Tear your heart in half...and come back to me” (Joel 2:12, 13).

Well that shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m feeling somewhat broken already.

There was a time after the Hebrews conquered the land of Canaan when they fell away from the God they trusted. Once they were settled and began enjoying the olives and figs and the well-watered valleys they no longer needed to depend on God for courage to enter the land of the giants.

The Hebrews continued to practice their own religious rituals. They would sit in the dust and tear their clothes to show sorrow before God. But God saw their hearts and He knew that they were not sorry for their sins. In fact, they kept right on indulging in prostitution and idol-worship. The tearing of their robes was only a showy ritual.

So God invites them to rend, or tear, their hearts instead of their clothing. He valued their inner brokenness far more than their outer decorum.

We can do all kinds of valuable and good things, and have meaningful letters behind our name, but what God really wants is for us to ‘be’ somebody more than for us to ‘do’ something.

Whatever stream of education I enter, and whatever career I take up, what God longs to see is the laying down of my heart, more than the taking up of my hands.

My resume is in God’s hands – the best place it can be – and He is my ultimate employer. He puts a high price on what really matters.

My first day of classes will start soon. Now where did I leave my zippered briefcase and type-writer ribbon?


  1. Technology may change, but fears, and a sense of inadequacy, and the ability to be transparent will never be out-dated! These will give you a welcome place in that "outside world" where so many others struggle with the same things, and need an encouraging word - and have not yet learned how to get one from their Maker.

  2. What an exciting and terrifying time of life, Pam! But it will be good. With your resume in God's hands the future is bound to be incredible! (And you say it so winsomely. I hope writing is part of your new job description.)

  3. Hey I'm with Violet... I agree that writing ought to be a part of your new job description.

    Type-writer ribbon? Now that rolls back a few years.

    And if you went to the same Biblical training center I did, did you also type your research papers in the middle of the night on your electric typewriter? Oh no, not in your dorm room, but with it perched on the ping-pong table in the common room?

    Enjoyed your posting, as usual!

  4. Bottom line: God will find the right position for you. I actually think you should put ALL of those things you scratched off back on the list just to see what happens! A kind of crazy 'Gideon' experiment, if you will. "Okay, God. Now take THAT and see what You can do with it!" Might be fun.

  5. ha ha, thank you everyone for your encouragement!
    I'm looking into taking the TESOL certificate. Meanwhile my local paper has hired me for a temporary freelance contract. I will miss my puppet and flannelgraph. lol
    Pam M.
    P.S. and yes Brenda I believe it was the same 'institution' where I took my training. What great memories!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.