I hope you've also considered the possibility that God wanted you to go to grad school, earn a Ph.D., maybe even take a visiting position or two, but has other plans for you besides the tenure track. Seriously, the frustration and bitterness that comes from spending long years on the job market has been damaging to the religious faith of a few people I know.
I have wondered about this, and I'm open to the possibility. Don't have any good leads, but I'm sure they'll show up when/if needed....
I think what frustrates me in reading the job search forums is that I feel I can't make comments to the effect that I'm trusting God to lead me where I need to be. In other words, that even job rejections are good, since I trust that God is able to deliver me from bad jobs as well as to lead me to a good one.
1) The missionary family that is discussed in "On Our Way Rejoicing" (I don't recall their name at the moment) found themselves, after many years of service in Dar-es-Salaam, in the US for a long period that didn't seem to include any form of service and concluded that "You only have a call for as long as the call calls," and that sometimes the ebbing of the sense of call is itself a different kind of call, telling you to stay put, learn and grow where you are. For them, it meant (as it turned out) raising their family, nearly all of whom went back to missions work in some other form, a couple to the original site their parents had founded.
So, maybe the Ecclesiastes "to everything a season" idea is operant--I recall one instance of thinking I was being led to one thing, only to discover an annoncement on the way to something else that I very much benefitted by doing. Sometimes the trajectory is more of a curved dance than a straight line, but our primitive receptors still only get one dot on the curve at a time...
2) However you want to look at the free will/divine determination argument, my sense has always been that affirming God's presence in your life doesn't necessarily always mean you will get what you want or even that it will automatically be the thing that you or anyone else will see as best for you, either at the time or later. God is not a <<papa-gateau,>> or doting parent, as the French put it; nor (as C.S. Lewis would say) can God be made out to be the Sadistic Torturer. Both defame God and the relationship one claims as integral and whole to a healthy faith.
That siad, the affirmation of that abiding presence does, however, for you, oblige you to take whatever happens after all your best (and best-guided) efforts have been expended, and make of it the most whole, complete, and wise offering of yourself and your talents that you can.
I agree with the previous poster, that the path most sought after may not be the one you need to be on. "Playing it where it lies" is a sign of maturity and flexibility (for me, the word "grace" is an intentional, wholly well-meant pun, since both fluid movement and the experience of God's presence have to do with a healthy kind of self-forgetfulness, while being wholly oneself.)
My own work in the liturgical arts has been a roller-coaster ride of more dimensions than I could have imagined when the first promptings started me on this path. But--and especially while writing the thesis--an image of a star guiding the boat to the shore, by which I was to set my sights, was a consistent element in my prayers.
One can have a simple, safe, predictable landing if the star takes you to an established harbor. Or one might hit some rocks, have to pull the boat back a bit to see where the safe passage is for landing because one never knows with shores...but that doesn't mean the voyage was wrong, and it's not over.
There's been a tendency in the popular religious press to pre-package goals and make it sound as if one can have the glitzy-bright stardom along with the humilty and self-searching. I think that's wrong, or at least, not a fair expectation to saddle every praying person with.
For one thing, one has to remember that one is guided by a star, one isn't the star. For another, humilty has as many faces as the people in the world do, so the norm can't be seen as a realistic context as long as some live in high-rise condos and others beg for grain. In academic terms, tenure-track is not the only worthwhile game in town.
And--the point on the shore where the boat lands is also only one point. It ends one journey and may be the start of a different one, if the call is not to settle on the coast but somewhere inland.
Sometimes in prayer, there is a moment when the focused "I want/need this" that started the prayer gives way to a wider, more open, even startling sense of affirmation no matter what happens. It can be like a sudden intake of air, the bright widening of a patch of sunlight, or the dark softening of a velvet night out of the twilight.
That moment of grace, and the faith to be yourself, is my prayer for you. With work, and a steady hand on the tiller, the rest can follow.