These past few months have been quite challenging around here. In May, I had decided to take a leave of absence from my job as a full time special education teacher, to a freelance baker, writer, dreamer. Sound insane? I guess you could say it does, however, never have I had such a strong conviction that this was the path that I needed to take. I remember being in the school parking lot weeks before school ended, talking to my best friend on the phone right before the first bell rang and she mentioned the word Kairos. I had never heard it before and did not know what it meant. When I looked it up, my heart sank.
Kairos: a time where conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action: the opportune or decisive moment.
There it was in black and white. For the past school year I had teetered on whether or not I should leave my job. I felt like this was my moment. This is what I needed to do. Of course, in my mind, I was frightened. I’m leaving a fairly good paying job (I apologize if I offend my teachers out there) to bake, recipe develop and write?! Are you out of your mind?! These thoughts overwhelmed me for a moment but I stopped and asked myself, if God is the one who put this within me to do, could He be wrong?” I had to let that sink in for a bit. Right then and there, I put those thoughts to rest and made up my mind. I was leaving my job.
I came home that day and spoke to my husband about it. We have had this discussion several times before and I was usually told no. So to me, this would be a test. Would the door open or close? I told him about my conversation with my best friend, I told him about the word that was given to me. I admitted that taking a pay cut would be hard but that I could do a part time job at our church to make some money and maybe get a discount for our youngest son’s daycare expense since he attends the church’s daycare. After I made my case and told him what we could cut back and how we could manage, he looked at me and said, “I’ve said no before but I think we can make this work.” My husband had recently gotten a raise from his job so it would help some with the missing chunk from my end. Door open.
Seven days after I submitted my paperwork to take a leave of absence, my dreams came to a screeching hault. I had just gotten home from work and I called my husband to talk to him, like I always do, and asked him how his day was. He then told me he lost his job. I asked him again. He repeated. I thought it was a joke at first. A really cruel, sick joke. But it wasn’t. His boss decided to clear out his department without warning, valid reasoning, or severance. In two weeks, my husband would be unemployed. I sank to the floor of my kitchen, on my knees, sobbing. I kept asking God why. The conditions were just right, everything was aligned just as I had planned. Gone. Wiped out. Door closed. As I sat there, a verse came to my mind.
Jesus replied, “you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7
I stopped crying right then and there and felt a wave of peace. I took a deep breath, got off the floor, dried my tears and whispered, I trust you. I don’t see it, but I trust you.
When Ben came home we had a long talk about what we were going to do. I told him I would pull my leave and just go back to work if he wanted me to. Ben wanted me to leave it in for now and that he would find something soon. He was quite confident and reassured me that it would be okay. He remained this way throughout the week and it bothered me because I wasn’t okay.
During that first week, my brain and heart were at war. I wanted to believe that it would be okay and Ben would find something but I also kept making up, “what if…” scenarios in my head. I then withdrew my paperwork as recommended by my supervisor. This way it would give me the summer to figure out what I wanted to do, guarantee my spot for next year if I needed the job, and to give Ben time to find a job. By Monday of the second week, Ben had a job offer. I was thankful, kind of. I wasn’t thrilled about him being over an hour away or that he took a pretty good pay cut, but it was a job. So I tried to be happy about that. Things were already going to be tight and now, it felt significantly tight. I was worried about money, bills, things. That very day I hadn’t read my devotional yet, and what I found there spoke volumes.
“How beloved are My people. They do not understand the depths of My compassion and mercy. I have called you into My marvelous light.I have drawn you near, by My will. I have created you to be fearfully and wonderfully made. You are chosen for such a time like this my child. My Spirit and Truth have come forth for you. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Nothing shall separate you from Me. I am the great I Am and the call on your life, irrevocable. I formed and predestined you for My honor and glory. Hallelujah! No trial or tribulation will overtake you as long as you call upon Me and believe. What the devil meant for bad, I will work out to the good. I stand before you today and say…. It is time. It is the time that I become the priority in your life. It is time to know who you were always meant to be in Me. It is time to lay your burdens down at My feet and allow Me to carry you to a whole new level. It is time for Me to make all things new in your life. I love you precious daughter. You are mine…..” Daughters of the King devotional, June 1, 2015
A month and a half has passed and I was still holding onto my application to the church to get a job as a preschool teacher. I had already spoken with the director. She was interested in giving me the position but I had been hesitant because this would make it that much more final. Again, I was flooded with doubt. I have had the same argument with God for weeks. “You’ve got the wrong girl. I am not a baker or a writer. Use someone else! I can’t do this! It’s too much. People already think I’m crazy for doing what I’m doing. I just want to stay behind the scenes and work quietly and to myself.” This was the wrong answer. A really, really wrong answer. Not only was I telling God no, but I was telling him that I didn’t trust him and that His plans weren’t good enough for my life. I was being defiant in every possible way. I was so concerned with what people may think about me, worried about money, unwilling to walk the path that, if I might be so brutally honest, I asked for. I wanted to step out of my job to bake, blog and write. Here it is. In all its look-so-hard-really-narrow-door glory.
A few weeks ago, I was in church, minding my own business, and we started a series on Saul. One of the most hateful men, if not the most hated man, in the bible. The usual pastor was not in that week but this other pastor had begun speaking about Saul and as he went on, I felt like I was the only one in the room. I was extremely uncomfortable and on the verge of tears. The gist of the message was that God used Saul despite what he was, and saw what he could be. And as we all know, Saul became apostle Paul who wrote thirteen books of the New Testament with a primary focus on redemption.
I’m kind of a nerd about words as I love to look them up and see all their meanings and synonyms. I looked up the word redemption and this is what it said: 1. The act of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. 2. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.
I already know that I had redemption through Christ, as I had already given my life to Christ by asking Him to come into my heart and be the sidewalk prophet He has called me to be. The second definition also struck a chord in my spirit. First of all, I don’t think God is going to make me rich and I will have everything I want. But I do believe my needs and the needs of my family will be met in exchange for choosing to be obedient.
With that message, last week, I submitted my application to the daycare. I also submitted an application to the Ybor City Farmers Market to become a vendor. I am currently losing my mind trying to get my stuff ready for the first market that is coming up this week, Saturday July 18, 2015. I am not concerned with how much I will make, if people will come out, if I will be a hit. The only thing I have to do is show up. I don’t mean that senselessly, I mean, showing up instead of running away from my fears. Going face to face with fear and letting it know that i am no longer running. Isn’t that typically what God is calling us to do? We don’t have to be eloquent speakers or writers. He simply wants us to be willing and show up. Because when you show up, you are saying I trust You, I have faith in You. Here am I.
I don’t know where this will all lead. But I have weighed my options.
What will I gain?
- Experiences on starting a new business
- Experiences with writing
- Being with my children more
- Learning that I am stronger than I think I am
- Confidence in my abilities and talents
- The opportunity to share with others what God is doing in our lives
- A new perspective of what it is to follow God
- Relying solely on Him to meet our needs
What will I lose?
I hope you enjoyed my first Digesting Grace post. I will be posting our progress as we begin this new chapter in our lives. Thank you for reading and if you’re a local, come by and see me Saturday!
By His Grace and for His Glory,