One week ago today, I quit my job. There was no name-calling or grudge-bearing or fist-shaking involved. I loved where I worked, I adored who I worked alongside of and I had every intention of keeping that job for another 2-3 years. The only problem was the job I did with my hands for 40 hours a week: I handled, organized, situated, lived in, breathed out, and drowned under details. All of the other jobs I have worked prior to this one also involved a good number of details, but the ones in this job were different every day. I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried, put them in an order that allowed me to make sure everything was done correctly. From the first day I started to the last day I worked, I was back-tracking, double-checking, chasing down, and tripping over mistakes I had made. It was embarrassing and discouraging for me, nobody wants to be the employee that everyone else has to babysit, right?
Thankfully, I worked for kind-hearted people who love Jesus and were willing to help and extend grace as much as they could. But at the end of the day, I had to be making more improvement than I was. To make a long story very short I was faced with a decision to continue striving and straining and coming up short (and understandably being asked to leave) or I could leave the position and find a job that would make me come alive again. A job that allowed me to be a communicator, developer, and connector of people. Oh how I love people! They are the details I want to be immersed in! Their stories and their passions and their issues and their strengths! Those details make me marvel at our Creator!
And God knows that about me.
This turning point in my life has been a long time coming, about three years in fact. God used this job to bring me to my knees, lift up my face and say, “Enough, Rachel. That’s enough. I have given you A-B-C gifts and you have spent the majority of your waking hours doing X-Y-Z tasks since you graduated.”
I wish I could tell you that I waltzed into this decision with narry a care in the world! I was so happily situated in the grace and provision of God that I didn’t even think twice about the fact that I just yanked over half of our income out of our budget overnight. But that would be a bald-faced lie. I fought God on this one. I spent a night crying and praying and journaling and crying some more. I gave him every reason I could think of for why He needed to make me get better at this job, excel at this job. I gave him enough excuses to weary anyone’s patience for why this was NOT how it was supposed to be. But it wasn’t enough.
When I was done barraging the throne of grace with every ounce of stubborn rebellion I could muster, I sat silent and began to think of people I never met who likely had conversations like this. I thought of my sister, Esther. Queen of the most powerful kingdom known to man at the time, content to spend her days wandering the palace and delighting in it’s comfort. I thought of Moses, my stammering, confused brother who was content to spend his days shepherding sheep, as far away from influence as he could get. And I remembered how God interrupted both of their plans, demanded their obedience, and gave them everything they needed to accomplish His purposes for them.
I thought of their excuses, their humanity. They were scared. And that was OK, but they were also obedient.
I imagine that if you spoke with Esther right before she pushed open the doors to the King’s court, uninvited, she wouldn’t say she was brave or courageous. She would say she was being obedient and scared out of her mind. When Moses shielded his eyes from the burning bush and communed with God Almighty, he likely wasn’t feeling strong and inspiring but rather small and bewildered.
And isn’t that how we all feel when we encounter God? In those moments where we realize that He really is enough.
When the numbers on your budget spreadsheet don’t add up to be enough, He provides with numbers you didn’t even have on your spreadsheet.
When you inch yourself closer to him with a million doubts and second thoughts about it, His grace meets you there. And it’s enough.
I’ve already spoken with many close friends and family about this decision and they have so graciously encouraged me. They have (and still are) carrying me with their prayers during this season of uncertainty, mustard seed faith, and self-discovery. I won’t even try to put into words how much I deeply appreciate and value every. last. one. of them.
I want you guys to know that I’m doing OK. I don’t feel particularly fantastic, I don’t feel like crawling under a rock. I just know that I am given each day and I need to use it as best I can. I don’t feel brave for making this step, but I know the One who asked me to take it. And for now, that has to be enough.
Unemployment is not glamorous. I get out of bed in the morning and the first thing I do is pray for some kind of direction and the faith to silence the doubts that are ricocheting off of my mind and heart. It’s been one week and I’ve had great days of becoming more self-aware and being excited about how I can use my gifts immediately followed by terrible days where I’ve wanted to give up, go home, and apologize to my husband for being a failure and wrecking our plans.
So I guess you can say I’m in a quarter-life crisis? HA! Twenty-five and trying to figure out who I am, what I’m gifted at, and how I can influence the world with those gifts, for the glory of God.
All I know is that God is real, He has a plan even when I don’t have a paycheck.
I walked out of the office last Friday, hands shaking and heart pounding and I told God, “I’m done, Lord. I need you to show up. Because ignoring your purpose for my life? I just can’t anymore. You’re right, enough’s enough.”
Pray for us, friends.