You know what’s hard?
Being 30 years old and (sort of voluntarily) unemployed.
It’s hard because I have spent a lifetime aiming toward responsible. I got good grades, went to college, got even better grades, got a great job, went to grad school, got the very best grades, passed the comps with the most outstanding score possible, got all of the wonderful recommendations. I networked and interned and I bought a car and paid my bills and worked 40 hours a week like normal people do.
And then I woke up one day and realized, “I cannot do this anymore.”
Not the paying-my-bills part. Not the working-40-hours part. But the job. I couldn’t do the job.
It was my excuse, my crutch. “Sorry, can’t do that ministry. Work, you know?” Or: “I’m so sorry I can’t meet after work. It’s a crazy time and I just need some down time.”
I let work become the driving force in my life for saying a loud, resounding No to anything that made me fearful or uncomfortable.
So after four years at what was, in reality, a really great job, where I had lots of opportunities to be great and a boss who was totally on board with motivating and inspiring, I walked away. I did literally the most irresponsible thing I could possibly do at that time. It wasn’t easy.
I was walking away from job security. I was leaving behind a boss who cared enough to work with me to make me better and coworkers who I’d spent years developing relationships with, people I genuinely liked because they were great. But even with the trepidation I felt at all of the unknown, I had to do it because I couldn’t do it anymore. There were some other opportunities than came to me in the aftermath of leaving but I had a lot of down time.
For once, I felt like I could be brave enough to say yes to many of the doors I had spent time shutting before God had done some cleaning up in me. Things like:
Volunteering at the Pregnancy Center.
That Friday morning Bible study.
Being wholly, utterly dependent on God’s provision.
When I let my no become my yes to the things of God, I saw my life change immediately. I’m not saying I got everything I wanted. I didn’t win the lottery. No one paid my car off for me or wrote me checks every month to cover my bills. I didn’t land my dream job. But I had this deep, amazing faith that comes from literally having nothing but God.
I have been, of course, applying for jobs. Until April 15, I was working for a tax firm, which is probably the most fun job I’ve ever had. It was totally refreshing after four years of stress and helping to basically recreate a falling-apart program. I laughed so hard I cried more than once. I so desperately needed that break and I’m so thankful for God to providing it for me.
And here I am… newly turned 30 and unemployed because that job ended on tax day. Oh, I’ve been searching. I’ve had many interviews but am still waiting. But God is cooking up some good things for me. He is reminding me that sometimes He firmly shuts doors, but He also holds them open, too. It’s too much to explain here, at least for now, but He is reminding me again and again…
I am here. I am real. I am walking with you as your learn to trust in Me. I am God, and I’ve got this.
Whatever may come next, whatever job He provides for me, I cannot and will not let work become my out. God is my God and He will provide if I honor Him.