This has been one of the longest years of my life. And yes, I know it is only March 24th.
Here’s the thing. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I am less than happy at my job. And by less than happy, I mean checking my phone every few minutes on Sundays to see how much longer I have before Monday hits kind of unhappy. I can’t remember, and don’t feel like going back to check, if I have mentioned this before, so I’m going to say it again: About a month-ish ago – possibly two – my husband asked me how I would feel about quitting my job and just taking a month off to write.
Guys. I freaked out. Never mind that I’ve always said (in very blasé tones) that the eventual long-term goal was to write full-time. This was a real suggestion. And I immediately rejected it. For many reasons. No, I was NOT going to randomly quit my very well-paying job just because I was unhappy without another job lined up, and actually WRITE full-time. I mean, who DOES that? How irresponsible would I have to be in order to do that? Most likely, the entire world would fall apart without me in the career field. What a suggestion.
The following month was like one of those roller coasters in amusement parks that people take Dramamine for before getting on. No, of course I wasn’t going to quit without another job. No, I was not going to take a month off to write. **go off into dreamland for a minute imagining quiet days at my desk being thoroughly productive and miraculously getting hundreds of things published by the end of it and realizing I was supposed to do it all along** No, I would not be so irresponsible. Think about the money I make. The bonuses. The benefits. What would happen if – well – if ANYTHING happened during that month?
And – that’s when God started working on me. Why don’t you want to take a month? I don’t want to be irresponsible. Why? Because . . . I make a lot of money. What happens if you don’t? I might not be considered successful. So you base everything on what others think? Um. Noooo. What if I ask you to do it? **silence as utter panic hits** Why are you so afraid? What if something goes wrong? What if we don’t have enough money? What if I don’t find a job? What if people criticize me? I’m the responsible one – I’m the one everyone looks at as an example. What if I . . . fail? At what? At everything. At writing, at finding another job, at – everything. What if I make our life hard? We just bought a house, we have all these repairs. At this point you might as well just imagine the conversation going on and on as I listed all the things that could or probably would go wrong. And then: So, you are saying you don’t trust Me to provide what you need? Have I ever failed you? **silence again because I know He hasn’t. Ever.** What if I want you to do this as a leap of faith? So that you remember I provide all you have – it is not what you do that provides it – it is what I do. There’s no way it could be your will for me to do this. Why not? Because. . . it’s what I’ve always wanted. Therefore, it can’t be right.
You could have heard a pin drop. I could almost feel God shaking His head in disappointment as so many verses (or summaries of them) floated through my head. About His love for us. His plans for us. As how everything I’ve always wanted, He has made come true for me – college, career, living in DC, buying a house. . . etc. Why would I ever believe He wouldn’t allow this dream to come true as well? It showed me so much about myself.
After many many days of this back and forth – I finally surrendered. I could trust God to provide for me. I could do something I thought people might judge me for doing. I could do this. It still took a lot to actually make myself quit my job. But I finally did. Last week. My last day is April 3rd. And although it was like the summer wind floated over me and lifted all the stress from my shoulders, don’t think there wasn’t still struggle and questioning. But you want to know something interesting? This week, as I still struggled a little – no longer with the idea of God providing, whether I found a job or not, but wondering if I had made the right decision, wondering if I’d misunderstood and in general this overarching fear – I hit a chapter in the book I am doing as my devotional yesterday (Fervent). And it was called “Confronting Your Worries, Claiming Your Calling”. Yup. Guys, my eyes still want to well up when I read that. And the chapter was about a successful woman who was terrified of following something she felt God calling her towards. You know what that was? Cutting back on her career to write. Would you like to guess some of the questions going through her head? What if I can’t do it? . . . What if I do get some stuff written, start to feel pretty good about it, but nobody likes it? What if the financial adjustment we’ll need to make in order for me to do it means my kids will have to give up some of the activities they love [in my case, read: means my husband and I have to give up the lifestyle we love]? What if it all ends up being a total waste of time and energy? And, most compelling of all: What if it’s all just some sort of ego trip or head game, something I’m projecting onto myself?
I almost thought Priscilla Shirer was secretly talking about me, not one of her friends. And then? The rest of the chapter was about doing it anyway. About not letting the enemy paralyze me and obeying God anyway. It was almost like – permission. Since then, I haven’t really worried about it. And, granted – that WAS yesterday, but STILL.
So anyway. That’s that. Come April 3rd (or technically, the day after), I’m officially taking a month off to write. Be praying for me!
Oh, and, P.S.? Almost as soon as I fully surrendered, God gave Daniel a new job paying him enough that we will be just fine on one salary – not our previous lifestyle, obviously – but we will be fine.