A New Chapter

Last week I left the best job I’ve ever had.

For over a year now, I felt a tension that just wouldn’t go away. Sometimes it was better than others, but it was always there. My pastor preached about how we’re all juggling balls. Most of us are juggling too many. And we’d better know which ones are made of glass. Some will bounce if you drop them. Some won’t.

I believe this was the source of the tension—juggling too many balls. Fortunately, none had dropped. But it was only a matter of time.

For over a year, I prayed. My husband kept reminding me that I didn’t have to work. He made enough to support us. But my job… I couldn’t drop that ball. I didn’t want to.

I tried to stop writing. But that ball bounced back in my face. How could I stop writing? That was like trying to stop breathing.

I stopped trying to figure it out on my own and sought prayer from trusted friends. I asked for prayer for clear direction. I just wanted to do whatever God wanted me to do. Whatever it was, as hard as it may be, everything would be okay if it was His plan.

His will slowly came into focus. I received many messages in different ways from friends. They basically boiled down to the same message: “When you choose your family, you can’t go wrong.”

All along, my husband had no preference as to whether I stay home or work. So, I finally asked the right question: how would he feel if we had time to do something together on a Saturday? He paused. It seemed he’d never considered it in that way. Neither had I. It was that moment that God’s will came into full view. My husband suddenly had a preference—for me to stay home.

At that moment, I also realized that I’d been “doing” so much for God that I’m forgetting to keep things in their proper prospective. I forget that He wants to be first, my family second, then everyone else. But when I mixed things around and work got in the way of caring for my family, could I continue to justify it because I worked at church? I forgot that working at church didn’t equal following Christ. I can serve my church and keep my family first. It didn’t have to be one or the other.

Beyond that, I realized I could do more for God with a freed-up schedule. I could spend more time with Him, my family, friends I’d been too busy for, etc. and do what I believe He’s gifted me to do: write books that I pray will lead people to Him. And continue to serve my church by teaching 5th & 6th grade Sunday School and leading Women’s Bible studies.

And I wasn’t leaving a hole at church. God would bring the right person to take my place.

But that would mean my job would be gone.

Forever.

This realization brought me to the underlying truth: I was afraid.

I was afraid of losing the job, the connections I’d made, and the income (particularly when my daughter is gearing up for college). My biggest fear was a fear of disappointing people, particularly the pastors.

But God made me realize that these fears were hindering my relationship with Him. They were keeping me from trusting Him. I had sought His will. Now I needed to do what He had shown me to do and trust that He would take care of the details. Life will never be perfect, but He will use it for good. He will bless me and my family if I choose them over income and a false sense of security in myself and my abilities. He will provide for us.

This move will deepen my faith and my dependence on Him.

So, I’ve begun a new chapter. Each day is a blank page. I stepped out of the boat, continuing the faith walk I’d begun years ago, keeping my eyes on Him. I won’t look down. Throughout the process of finding and training my replacement to finally being home, I’ve had a peace that only God could have given me.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting everyone quit their job. We’re all in different circumstances. Different seasons. The years I worked in my church was my season to be there. Now it’s someone else’s turn. The key is to be willing to do what God calls you to do…even when you’re afraid.

We’re all on a journey. Where is God calling you? Are you right where He wants you? Or is there something He wants from you? If you’re unsure. If you feel at all unsettled. Don’t ignore that tension. Pray. Seek prayer and guidance from trusted Christians.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8

You are loved,

J F Rogers

2 thoughts on “A New Chapter

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