Photo courtesy of KelseyLeighPhotography.
I want to take you back to a year ago when I was returning back to work from maternity leave. My heart ached each day as I dropped my children off at daycare. I cried 45 minutes while driving to work and cried the entire way home. I have had a stirring in my soul to be with my kids since I had my daughter in 2012, but financially it wasn’t feasible with the debt we carried from our mortgage, car payments, student loans, and dare I say it, credit cards. God began working in miraculous ways as we chipped away at this debt and paid off $80,000 in only two years. I knew that I knew I was supposed to be home with these kids. He had confirmed it many, many times, but I still questioned Him daily. The stirring was stronger than ever; however it made absolutely no sense from a professional standpoint or a financial standpoint. He had been preparing us this entire time for such a time as this…from paying off substantial amounts of debt, lining up opportunities, receiving miraculous promotions in our careers, to the people He surrounded us with.
I began praying for the timing of this huge leap of faith. I said, “Ok, God. If this is really what you have for me, I need a sign.” That same day on my first day back to work, a truck threw a rock at my windshield from all the way across a bridge on my way home completely cracking it all the way across. I thought, “Hmmm. This is just a coincidence, God. I need another sign.” Within a week, I had been driving Mike’s car and a pit that had been in Mike’s windshield since October of 2011 completely cracked sitting in the parking lot at work. “Hmmm…that must be another coincidence,” I thought. “I need another sign.” That night I left an entire days work of breastmilk on the counter for daycare. Dev-A-Stated. I know it may not seem like much, but that’s liquid gold I am talking about. If I didn’t have to work, I wouldn’t have had 16 ounces of breastmilk left out over night. Still I questioned and attributed it to exhaustion. “I need another sign, God, and let’s make this one obvious…like flashing lights obvious.” July 3rd, driving home from work excited for a long weekend…I got my flashing lights alright. Speeding ticket! I wasn’t even aware I was driving too fast, just zoned out I suppose. He continued to confirm the direction He had for my life, but I kept negotiating and arguing with Him.
In August, I turned in my notice to leave my career. I absolutely loved what I did, but it was like I was scratching a burn each time I went to work. It just didn’t feel “right” anymore. The human aspects of me wanted to keep my nice salary and all of my incredible benefits. I mean I had AMAZING health insurance, retirement plans, work perks, co-workers, you name it. I had worked hard to be where I was professionally and walking away from that required much laying down of my pride. It reminded me much of this picture:
The idea was for me to be done in October after our September 30th year end. We began chatting about what they could do to change my mind or if I just needed a little more time to figure it all out. I went back and forth. I was so lost. I felt so confused. People I had talked to about the situation and my confusion said, “Wow! God is so good!” I had this burning in my gut that this was absolutely not God. Did you know that the enemy doesn’t show up dressed in red with a pitchfork? No! That would be too easy! He shows up as everything you ever could have wanted! I decided to continue praying and seeking God’s guidance. I still struggled with the thought of throwing it all out the window. Throughout all of this confusion, I heard a song that changed my life called, “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns. I would play this as loud as I could on repeat and just cry my eyes out. Did you know that God just wants to hold us? He wants us to run into His arms and long for His embrace. He wants us to know that sometimes when we feel like we can’t manage anymore, He is working things out for our good. He is fighting for us, we need only be still.
I ended up working through January 6 and began my new career as a stay at home mom on my 30th birthday. Why not kick the new decade off with a bang?! Here we go. We made it. The peace I felt was more than I imagined. The anxiety subsided. I knew God was going to take care of us. I mean, He had gotten us to this point. He has never let us down…ever. Matter of fact, He usually goes above and beyond so all we can do is give Him the glory.
Today, are you feeling God nudging you to step out of your comfort zone? Are you afraid of laying down your pride? Are you hesitant due to finances, benefits, what others might think, etc.? Did you know that He has this all worked out in your favor? We serve an amazing God who has called us to lives of prosperity and not to harm us. This was by far the scariest thing I have ever done in my life…to step out of the known into the unknown, to break the mold, to do something different. Today, I encourage you to step out in faith in the direction God has called you and when you feel like the world is closing in around you, stop and just be held.
Thank you for being an all-knowing God. Thank you for guiding and leading me. Thank you for just holding me when I can’t go anymore. The warmth of your embrace comforts me beyond measure. I know you are working things out for my good and that you are delighted by my obedience. Thank you for knowing what is best for me as any good father does. Thank you for choosing me to enjoy this beautiful journey and for the specific purpose you have for my life. It is simply breathtaking knowing that you handpicked me to walk this very specific journey and to give all the glory to you. I simply cannot thank you enough.
In Jesus’ name,