I suppose the reason that I cannot sleep is that these words need to be 'penned' to this page before my heart and my mind can rest. Why waste perfectly good writing time? Its 1:00 in the morning. I need to be up in less than 5 hours - but I don't think this will take me too long to sift from my heart.
I quit my job.
After almost 15 years.
As in, by the end of the summer, I will no longer be employed there.
I KNOW you're thinking one of two things: 1. You're CRAZY or 2. What happened? I will answer them both with maybe and it's a long story. If you want to hear it, read on.
I have been feeling for while that there is change in the air. I could never put my finger on it. I found myself in a constant state of aloofness - like I had one foot planted and the other tapping around to find the hole that I might fall in to when I took my next step. I'm tired, I said. I'm overwhelmed, I said. I'm in a rut, I said... and while all of those things may have been true, they were JUST excuses. There was more to it than that.
Our church hosts a women's prayer nights (monthly, most of the time). They are a time of prayerful songs and a powerful word from a powerful woman. In the month of September, I had the opportunity to attend one rather than serve at one. This day LITERALLY changed the course of my life.
Prior to this, I had been battling work. Knock down, drag outs. It wasn't healthy for me...but I NEEDED this job... or so I thought. During this prayer time, God said to me - Look AT me. Don't look TO me, look AT me. Don't look to the left or to the right - look AT me. I tried. Really. It was one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. I realize there might not be a huge difference between AT and TO, but when it comes to looking at the face of God, I can ASSURE you there is.
He gave me the scripture of Psalm 39:6 which says - "ALL this busy rushing ends in NOTHING...we heap up wealth not knowing who will spend it." Basically - you could work for wealth all your life, but it will cost you a LOT to do that. We all die at some point - and you could die before you even can ENJOY the wealth that you are building.
After that day, things began to change. As I fasted and prayed over what to do, I felt God calling me away from what I was doing. Towards what? I don't know. Something. But it was the CONSTANT reminder to look AT Him. I mean - it was EVERYwhere. And so I said I would. And I began to practice that.
During that 'discovery' time, I realized that my dream to stay home was closer than I thought it ever was. I began to crunch numbers, pray, and pray some more. Would God be calling me to stay home? Could He be granting me the desires of my heart? The more I prayed about it, the more I was sure.
My husband is an amazing man. Sure, we clash like ALL married people do, but he truly is someone special. (Let me precursor this with - I had been praying all along that if this WAS God's will for us, that somehow, someway, my husband would be on board with this. . .) As I emptied my heart of ALL of the emotion and conflict and uneasiness it could possibly contain, he listened to hear me. Not just listened, but listened to hear. He said let's pray about it some more and just make sure that God was whispering to him what He was shouting to me.
As the holidays went speeding by, I found myself drawing from a well that was running dry. It was a hard season. I tried to see the bright side of things. I tried to soak up every smile and laugh that poured from my family's hearts... but it just didn't sink in for me. I felt as though I kept digging the hole deeper and deeper with no way out.
About a month or so ago, I was in between asleep and awake on a weekday morning. I love that state. And as I was just resting in that place, I heard the sound of a door unlocking. It was an audible CLICK. And at first, I wasn't sure what that was about, but as the day went on, I realized that I was being unlocked. Unlocked from my employer. Unlocked from the chains that seemed to smother me. I FELT it with my whole being. It was exactly what I had been waiting for.
Now - I will NOT in any way say anything negative about my employer - that's not my style. But I will say that I had a conflict. And I had a solution to the conflict....yet it didn't seem that my solution was being considered. Ultimately, without this solution, I felt like I was being set back in my 'career' instead of being propelled forward. There came a day when I realized that things weren't really going to change unless I made them change.
Coincidentally, that VERY weekend, my husband and I had scheduled a trip to our favorite place. Just the two of us and 3 glorious days. We laughed a lot. We talked even more. The one question we mulled over and over was this: In five years, will we wish that we had taken this chance? The answer was an overwhelming YES. I don't deal with life or death. I teach. I have good experience. I have a good education. At the end of our 3 days, we knew it was the end of my 15 years.
So we poised ourselves to jump. We stood on the edge, hand in hand. We closed our eyes, bent our knees, sent up a quick prayer and launched ourselves over the edge. The funny thing? We didn't even fall too far before the Father's hands caught us. He held us tight and reassured us that this IS what He has for us in this season.
Funny thing is that the goal was for me to stay home. We'd foray in to homeschooling (we probably will) and do more 'homesteading' kind of things. Ironically, since then, I have gotten two part time job offers and a per-diem job opportunity. If that's not God proving His faithfulness once again, I don't know what it is.
And so... after all that... I quit. At the end of the summer, I will walk out of comfort and in to uncharted territory...but we all know that a ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what it is made for.