I left my job last week.
[insert shocked face]
“You did WHAT?!”
That’s right. Last week I finished out my time at my current place of employment. And this was actually one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in the past couple of years. This announcement may seem unexpected and out of the blue for many of you who are reading this, but allow me to explain…
Several weeks ago, I was approached regarding the possibility of a position opening up that I have always considered to be “my dream job” (if there is such a thing). Several years ago, goodness, even just one year ago, I would have jumped at this opportunity! Instead, I found myself sitting at a table hearing all about the potential for working somewhere that I clearly feel the Lord has designed and gifted me towards, and I wanted to cry. And this was not a cry with tears of joy, they were more along the lines of fear… fear of the unknown, fear of “what if this is being presented to me and it’s not the right timing and I have to turn it down?” There were a number of things stirring in my head and in my soul, and I certainly thought that this was something that God was going to shut the door on…
Because honestly, I loved where the Lord placed me currently. I fully enjoyed the work that I did, the company that I worked for, and my coworkers that felt more like a family than just a job. And I know that opportunity was also something that the Lord opened doors for… it was an easy decision to accept their offer to work for them. It all made sense. A good job, with good pay to support my needs (and student loans),
good great benefits, and a work environment that fits my personality like a glove. So believe me when I say that this was not a decision that I took lightly… in a lot of ways, I was expecting to see God close some doors on this new offer, because I didn’t want to have to explain walking away from a job that made so much sense.
In the weeks following the initial discussion regarding this potential job offer, I sought wisdom and prayer from some of my closest friends and family members. Bottom line, we were all praying for clarity. And I asked the Lord to make several things specifically clear… to know that the finances would fit my needs, and to know that the job description would bring me excitement and be a fit for my passions. During this time, there was one song that kept repeating itself over and over in my heart:
I clung to these words so dearly during this time of overwhelming confusion… I needed that reminder that I was not in control, nor was I ever in control… I needed the reminder that I have always seen God to be faithful in my life, and He is not changing… I needed the reminder that regardless of what makes sense in my head, no matter how unrealistic something may seem to me, it’s not unrealistic to God… I just need to believe.
And is anyone really surprised to hear me say that the Lord just continued to open doors for opportunity and answer the questions for clarity that I was asking along the way? So, less than two weeks ago, I accepted an offer to work for Calvary Church.
The following day, I sat down with my current employer and discussed the difficult decision that I had to make, but that I had accepted that offer. Let me tell you, I was dreading that conversation… but I was met with an overwhelming sense of grace and genuine encouragement regarding making steps towards my passions in life. I know the Lord has been leading every step of the way, but even the responses that I received when I gave people the news about my new journey were clear signs that the Lord is ushering me into a position that He has been crafting for me for a long time. So last week I finished up my time at my current job, which allows me this week to relax and reposition myself for the new journey, which I will be starting on December 1st.
Talk about a week of thankfulness. I look back and truly see God’s faithfulness and provision working through my life in the past ten years. Certainly He has been working in my life far longer than that, but these past ten years have been crucial for developing me towards this role. Throughout this process, I often wanted to tell God that this timing doesn’t make any sense… why would He give me such an amazing job (only 8 months ago!), just to open up a position for my “dream job”… I know that God’s timing is greater than my own, and I think it will still take me some weeks or months (or years) of processing this journey to understand the wisdom in God’s timing. Even just last week, as I had the opportunity to sit down with a room full of church staff and elders (try to not be intimidated by that image) to share my story and the journey that led me to accepting this position, one of the men asked me to share my thoughts on “Why now? Why now, instead of when you finished college over six years ago?”
I know that I’m not done learning. And I know that God’s timing is greater than my own. And while there is much about this timeline that still doesn’t “make sense” to me… the one thing that I do know is that the Lord is faithful and He is still working on me. These past six years have allowed me to craft skills that are necessary for this position that I did not have straight out of college. There is a great deal of selflessness that must be molded into your soul when you have a dream that you feel is unreachable and out of your hands… a dream that is not showing up even when you feel you are ready. One of the most influential books in my life, Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years and yours (which, I highly recommend that you dive into), described that juxtaposition between your dreams in life (desires) and the reality of where you really are in this way:
“What grows in that underestimated gap between God’s calling and others’ perceptions, between our true capabilities and our current realities? Most of us struggle if our dreams are delayed one year, let alone twenty! We find God’s pauses perplexing. They seem to be a waste of our potential. When those pauses extend beyond what we can comprehend or explain (say, for instance, three days), we often spiral into self-doubt or second-guessing. But in anonymous seasons we must hold tightly to the truth that no doubt strengthened Jesus throughout his hidden years: Father God is neither care-less nor cause-less with how he spends our lives. When he calls a soul simultaneously to greatness and obscurity, the fruit – if we wait for it – can change the world.”
I don’t have all of the answers, but I know that God has been crafting in me the skills and character and attitude required to take on this new role. Skills and wisdom that I would not have had several years ago. And I am so very excited to know that it is God alone that has opened these doors…
So what will I be doing now?
Starting Monday, December 1st, I will be part of the full-time staff with Calvary Church as a Student Ministries Associate. My position will take on many different roles, so it’s hard to explain in a blog post exactly what I will be doing, but the bottom line is this: I will get to use my skills and passions to inspire and facilitate opportunities for clear and effective communication, and invest in discipleship and counseling opportunities with the female students, volunteers, and parents within this ministry.
To all of my friends and family members that I was not able to approach about this journey in person, please accept my sincerest apologies. As you can imagine, this has been an overwhelming journey, which I am still processing, to be honest. I would greatly appreciate and covet your prayers for this new position as I learn to adapt to an existing ministry with grace and without becoming too overwhelmed with all of the changes in my own schedule and process of learning throughout the next few months. To those of you that have already been praying me through this journey… I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know that God has gone before me and that He is able to do more than all that I ask or seek. I am looking forward to seeing Him use me within this ministry to hopefully (and prayerfully) inspire students to be genuine in their pursuit of and identity in Christ!