I’ve been wrestling with something for a while now. Maybe avoiding is a better word. On Memorial Day weekend, I was feeling overwhelmed – not by anything in particular, just by everything that has happened and is happening and that I want to happen. So much is involved in that.
I came to California a little over five years ago. Before that, I was living in Texas with a great job, a great church, and a great community. I was a live in nanny, which was the perfect job for me since I love kids. The job had so many benefits, and I really enjoyed being in Texas. But when I moved there in March of 2004, I knew it was a temporary stop. I didn’t know what God had for me, but I knew that He wanted me out of Iowa. My entire family had lived in Iowa for many generations. I needed to break that cycle. After a year of being in Texas, I could feel that God was asking me to make another move. I loved where I was at, and I had many friends that I knew would be hard to leave behind. And I loved those kids. But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wanted me somewhere else. In March of 2005, I felt that God was asking me to step out in faith and trust Him. My plan was to quit my job and head back to Iowa for a visit. I had no job lined up, but I knew that God was working, and I would not be in Iowa for long. I moved out of the house after I quit my job because they needed the room for the new live in nanny. I stayed with a friend’s mom and felt very grateful for the community of friends that I had. A few days after temporarily moving in with my friend’s mom, I got a job with a family in California. I was not completely comfortable with taking the job without meeting the family first, but I talked with several family members and friends, and it seemed like a good job. I was going to be a live in nanny again. And the best part was that I would be moving into the same area as a good friend who had moved there a year or so before. I had stepped out in faith, and God had provided.
The job didn’t work out, but that’s of no importance. It was how God brought me to this area. That’s all that matters. A few years ago, I came to know exactly why God wanted me here. I was again asked to step out in faith and do something that was counter intuitive to my natural wiring. But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was following where God was leading. As I look back, I wish that things had turned out a little differently, but I would do it all over again if I needed to. But I lost so much with that decision, and after almost four years, I still have not fully recovered emotionally. Now I find myself faced with a decision to step out in faith again.
After my job here didn’t work out, God provided another job fairly quickly. I was able to have a steady income, and I found a great place to live. I didn’t think I would be at that job for very long. I was working in an office which does not suit my personality very well. But here I am, almost five years later, and I am still working in that office. With every day that goes by, I hate my job more and more. Of course, my job loves me. I do very well at my job because I am wired to to my best at whatever I do. I have been grateful for this job. It pays the bills, and I feel as stable as one can in this economy. There really is not much of a chance of me being laid off. I have fallen in love with this area, and it is the first place that I have truly felt at home. The ironic thing is that I have never been through as much stress and depression as I have in the last few years. I don’t feel that I have what I really need, and it seems that no matter what I do or don’t do, nothing is changing. So I needed some direction. I needed to know what God wanted me to do. His answer was to quit my job. In theory, that was a great thing to hear. I’ve wanted to quit my job for a very long time. But that wasn’t the only message. I felt that God was asking me to quit my job without having anything else lined up. I told a good friend about it, and then I did everything I could to avoid the thought. I really wanted to quit my job, but the thought of doing that without having another job lined up scared me more than I could deal with. My friend brought it up a couple of times, asking if I had thought more about it or felt that I needed to revisit the idea. She’s known me for ten years. If I felt the need to tell her about what I was sensing, then she knew it was important for me to come to a decision one way or the other – and not a decision based on fear or comfort zones.
It is now Labor Day weekend. Last weekend, I realized that the idea of quitting my job was something that I had to wrestle through and figure out exactly what God wanted me to do. So I planned to work through some of that this weekend. My friend went out of town, and I am staying at her house. I needed to be away from all the distractions of my apartment. There is so much there I could do to avoid thinking about anything. I needed to take those things away from myself. As I sit here writing on Sunday night, I haven’t made a complete decision yet, but there are some things that I know. I am 100% sure that I will be quitting my job. God has had me there for a reason, but there is something else He has for me in my future. I am 95% sure that I will be quitting by the end of this year. That is the main decision that still needs to be made – when. I am also 80% sure that I will be quitting without having another job lined up. That scares me so much. For a while, I thought that I was having trouble trusting God. There is an element of that – the last time I trusted Him I lost so much, and I ended up in a very dark place that I have yet to crawl out of. But what I realized is that I’m having a harder time trusting myself. Is this really what God is calling me to do? It really makes no sense. What happens if I don’t find a job quickly? I can’t survive here for very long without a job. I know a lot of people who have lost their jobs. I even know a couple people who have voluntarily left their jobs (at the same company I’m working for). The one thing that they all have that I don’t is a second source of income. They are all married. I know it’s not easy for them, but they are surviving. I don’t have that luxury. It’s just me. And that scares me to the point that I can’t allow myself to trust what I’m feeling. I know that I have a very strong sense of discernment, and God has wanted me to trust that more, but I don’t know if I can. I’m in the middle of the toughest time of my life. I’m hardwired to not trust myself, but because I can’t seem to get out of this dark place, I don’t trust that what I’m feeling is truly coming from God. I have plenty of examples in my past of when God has provided. I don’t really doubt that He will this time. I do fear that it will turn out to be something that I will not have the strength to handle. And I do fear that I will find out that I misinterpreted what I was feeling. I want to fly, but I don’t truly believe that I can. So I am still really in the same place – wrestling with the question to trust or not to trust.