I’ve started this post ten different times and keep deleting and starting over. I’m not quite sure the right words to use, so I’ll just come right out with it:
This week I lost my job.
I guess it’s not correct to say that I “LOST” my job because I willingly (tearfully, painfully, hesitantly) gave it up, but it definitely wasn’t my decision. At least not initially.
As you may know, I work as a school counselor at a local high school. 99% of the time, I love my work. And God has equipped me to do it well.
As you also know, I launched this little ministry, Wellness Witness, 18 months ago to try to teach people about stewarding their health well for God’s glory. Because of God’s goodness alone, it’s grown and grown, as have my local workout classes.
I also am a Mom and a wife.
Balancing these three roles is tough, and this year, I was overextended in each area. It was too much. Something had to give.
After much prayer for direction and discussion, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to request reducing my current position to working half-time.
By doing this, it would allow me to still get to be with my kids any time they weren’t in school, I’d have some extra time each day to work on my ministry and my classes, and I’d have a little bit more time each day to try to get all of my tasks done well.
I requested this reduction, and it was approved a few months ago by my boss.
Two weeks ago we wrapped up a great school year. I felt like it was a
successful year for our school and for my professional work- God even
allowed me to win the North Carolina Counselor of the Year award. Such a
gift! I really was proud of the work I had done and my success in it.
However, on Friday, I got a call and everything changed.
Due to the huge number of students we have with high needs, the decision had been made that my school needed to hire a full-time counselor. They kindly offered to place me at a half-time position at a local elementary school if I wanted to stay employed.
And if being honest, I have to tell you that when my Principal (who is also a dear friend) told me this idea, I literally could not breathe.
I didn’t see it coming.
I tried not to cry while on the phone but spent the afternoon just heart broken.
I had felt like I was ‘safe’ because of the quality of work I do and the impact I was able to have on our school. I never anticipated that what I did wouldn’t be enough to ‘save’ my position.
Bottom line: the best thing for our school was a full-time person and due to the different daily schedule and calendar schedule of my school and my kid’s school, I am unable to work there full-time.
I also was not interested in trying to learn how to be an elementary counselor on a half-time schedule (I’ve worked with high schoolers for the past 12 years and have NO background with young children).
After much prayer, many tears, and lots of discussion, my husband and I decided that I would be resigning from my work as a School Counselor.
It’s terrifying to me financially as I know the impact it will have on my family.
However, I also know that God is good and He gives us what we need.
I’ve been sad as I’ve been grieving the loss of a role that has previously given me much of my identity and worth. I’ve mourned the loss of the opportunity I had to help impact student’s lives. I’ve stayed up through the night wondering what we would do about different bills and expenses. I’ve cried over leaving dear friends and coworkers. I’ve questioned if it’s the right choice and if I’m going to look back and regret it.
But as heart broken as I am to step out of my role, I’m also anticipating what lies ahead.
See, God knows me. He CREATED ME and knows my heart. He knows me so well (and loves me so much) that He knew I would never be brave enough to step out into trying to run this ministry full-time on my own.
Each time I’ve been praying for direction, He’s been guiding and leading my steps to this very place. To this moment when I must kneel, submit, and hand Him it all. Every bit of it. Even the parts that I think I know best and want to keep close.
ALL OF IT.
When I was called to my counseling position 4 years ago, I didn’t know if I wanted to go. I prayed that if it was God’s will that He would throw the doors wide open so that I would be brave enough to walk through them.
I didn’t want to go, but He led me and directed me so obviously that I had no choice but to go.
And now, four years later, I don’t know that I want to leave and He is closing the door shut. He knows it’s time.
I don’t want to leave and so He is making the choice for me so obvious that I have no choice but to go.
He is leading and directing just as faithfully now as He did then.
I didn’t know this was coming. And I’m scared. But I’m also relieved.
He can see the whole picture and He knows when it’s time to move. And just like all endings are usually sad, and all beginnings are usually scary, He’s still saying GO.
I have peace that this is the right decision.
My sweet husband has given me his full support and isn’t worried about how we will make it through this transition financially because we have seen God be so faithful time and time again.
Last week, I led my workout group with reading Psalm 91. One verse says “He is my God and I trust Him.” And that is what I’m clinging to now.
I trust Him. I TRUST Him. I. TRUST HIM.
And so although I’m scared, although I have absolutely no idea what lies ahead, or what all sacrifices are going to be required, He is good and I’m saying Yes.
I’m putting my YES on the table. ALL IN.
My word for 2015 that God kept saying to me over and over back in January was “DEEPER”.
I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I do.
It’s time to walk what I talk.
It’s time to go where I’m sent.
He’s been preparing, He’s been leading, and now He’s asking me to TRULY follow.
I’m writing this with tears in my eyes and sadness over what I’m leaving, but also with such joy and anticipation of what lies ahead.
He is Good, and He’s a good Father. I can trust Him.
I’m going to take a little while to rest and to pray and to seek HIS plans for this ministry.
But will you join me in praying? Pray that God will use Wellness Witness and me to help Him ‘make ready a people prepared for the Lord’ (Luke 1:17).
An army is rising up, friends, and I’m praying that I’m part of it.
I’m dreaming some big dreams for what lies ahead and asking Him to guide and direct each and every step. Thank you for following along with me and for all of you who support me with your prayers, your time, and your encouragement. I am SO grateful for you!
1 John 3:20-24 MSG version: “For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we are no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re BOLD and FREE before God. We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we’ve asked for because we’re doing what He said, doing what pleases Him.”