New beginnings

All my life I have felt pressure to be responsible. I wasn’t raised in a responsible home by responsible people and it’s always felt like everyone expected me to be the one to change that, to break that cycle. So I did. I got good grades in high school. I went to college. I did grad school. And even as the economy was tanking, I was blessed with a great job only a few months after getting my BA, and the months in between graduation and the start of my job, I had plenty of odd jobs to help me out. But I am just exhausted and overwhelmed with life right now and work has become a burden. Please don’t hear me wrong: I am so thankful for a job like the one I have. The pay is amazing. The benefits are fantastic. I work with some great people and I love interacting with students.

But my heart.
My heart is aching.
My heart is hurting.

Luke 12:34 has been echoing through my head for the last few weeks: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What I treasure has changed so dramatically in the last couple of months. I used to want the money and the prestige. I wanted to be a Dean of Students. I wanted to accolades and the attention and I thrived in that environment for a while, but that “while” has come to an end. I hate the waste I see in education. I see us cut classes and I watch the classified staff we lose and yet we have a grant that allows us to spend money to buy 110 iPads but not use any of that money of people.

I spend my days getting mad at instructors who kill the ink on our color printer and who call me with silly questions. I lose my patience with students who don’t do things the way I want them done the first time. And my love of what drives my job, educational technology, is rapidly diminishing.

Throughout all of this, I’ve heard that still small voice asking me Krista, where is your treasure?

I’ve built my treasure in all of the things that are not worth it: in technology and job security and health benefits and a ripe paycheck every month. And if that is where my heart is, all I can possibly think about where that means my heart is not.

I don’t work in a bad place and educational technology is not evil. But it’s not for me. God is calling me, and has been for some time now, to something else. My excuse for not getting involved? “I can’t, I have to work.”

So two weeks ago I quit my job. Ahhh, take that, responsibility. Also, I am the suckiest secret keeper ever so I am so glad that’s a public thing now.

(Seriously, two different friends have told me in the last couple of months that they were pregnant but I couldn’t tell anyone. TORTURE.)

I’ve had some interviews but I don’t have anything lined up. Through some miscommunication at work, it appeared to some that I do, and I’m just going with that because it’s making my departure a little easier. I have, after all, worked here for four years and a lot of people were shocked when they found out. But it’s out there now. There are reminders everywhere that I’m leaving. My office is emptying out. Its walls are blank and I’m packing my stuff in boxes. Yesterday an email was sent out from the district HR about the available position. My farewell party was also confirmed yesterday. There’s no going back. I will leave a 3:00 pm on September 14th and won’t be an employee here anymore.  The hardest part of this whole process is saying see you later to the faculty and staff who have supported and loved me through these years.

Thank you, Jesus, that I leave here and go directly to a Woman of Faith conference in Anaheim. I’m going to need faith and You that night.

But I am otherwise totally calm and feel an amazing sense of peace. (Minus last night when I told my friend Megan about quitting. I pretty much worked myself into the most overdramatic frenzy ever in my life thinking she was going to yell at me and then murder me. Let me just state, for the record, that I don’t actually have friends that psycho. I have a brain that psycho.) If you know me, you know that I am not naturally a peaceful person. I am BIG and DRAMA and CRAY-CRAY. I like to make things seem so much worse than they are so when that “worse” thing never happens, the sense of relief I feel is gigantic. (Also, for proof of drama, please refer to the section on pregnancy secrets and torture.)

(Sick, huh? And this coming from the girl with a graduate degree in the counseling field!)

So yeah, I’m a tad bit on the panicky side in my typical, everyday life. In the past, I’ve always agonized over starting a new job even when everything is lined up perfectly. I worry it isn’t the right choice. I have no problem deciding things like that until after they’ve been decided and then I wonder if I made the right choice. This makes it clear to me that what I am feeling now, sadness at missing my coworkers but utter peace about this entire process, isn’t from me. It’s from Him. A verse a friend send me about 18 months ago has come to mind many, many times during these last few weeks:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6 – 7)

Yeah. His peace, not mine. ‘Cause I think it’s clear peace doesn’t come naturally to this girl.

Obviously I’m going to look for a new job. I’m not made of unlimited amounts of money. But I’ve worked out how I can live for a few months if I am careful. I am incredibly excited to be still and wait to see what God has in store for me and what opportunities He brings to me. For so long it’s been so easy to say “No, Lord, I am committed to something else and can’t serve you in the way you want.” I have every excuse to say “Yes!” now.

Yes, Lord. I say yes to You.

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