Answering the Call

As I sit to write this post about my new job, I find it hard to find the right words to describe what has transpired and how God has worked in my life.  When I look at the last 2 years that I have been home. My experiences, my reading, the people that have crossed my path, the depth of the love and growth in my relationship with the Lord, they have all been preparing me and leading me to this even though I cannot see it. 

Let's be honest to start.  I had a really hard time leaving my job.  In the blog post Taking Off My Cape I described the decision and how emotional it was for me.  When I felt God tugging at my heart to my leave my job, we literally had been praying for almost 2 years for God to open the door for a new job.  I had interviewed a couple of times and "better" more flexible positions but didn't receive the position.  I can remember so clearly the day that I called Justin and asked him to meet me for lunch.  Beckett had just had another run of illness that was stressful in balancing work and the kids. I was exhausted.  He was exhausted.  I sat across from him at work and told him that I just feel really strongly in my heart of hearts, when I am in time with God that he is saying that He wants me to leave and stay home.  Justin and I prayed and he agreed it would be the best decision.  Therefore entering an almost 2 year period at home. At the time I wrote this:

Do I know what I will do next?  No clue.  Do I know where God is leading me with this? No way.  But I feel a new beginning stirring in my life and I am praying and trusting Him to show me the way?  How will He use me?  What people will He bring into life? What hardships? What blessings?  And mainly.. what lessons.  A lesson in trust. A lesson in faith. A lesson in family first.  

Do you know that when I go back and read my prayer journal over the last year that we have never stopped praying for my job or my career.  We have always planned on me going back to work in some capacity when the boys went to kindergarten.  Several jobs have come up in the last couple of years but nothing I felt pulled towards.  I told Justin about a year ago that I really felt for the first time in my life that my work had purpose.  Yes being a stay at home mom is hard.  It is physically exhausting and emotionally depleting. Some days are really fun and some days are really stressful and comparable to my hours and stress level at my corporate job.  But at the end of the day, every day, I felt like I was living out my purpose and that what I was doing meant something. I remember telling him that whatever I do when the boys go back to school, I want it to have an impact on people in some way.  A non-profit, a church, a charity.  Not sure.  

It would be way to lengthy to try and explain all the ways God connected dots that led ultimately to a phone call.  A call that said "do you think you might be interested in an opening we have on staff at church."  From the first phone call and message, my heart was racing.  I was at the beach with my parents and the boys.  My "want to make a plan immediately" brain was already racing even though I knew exactly zero details about the position.   I got way ahead of myself in thinking through all the details to the point I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack!  I went out on the balcony, took a deep breath of ocean air, closed my eyes, and from the deepest part of my heart whispered "Your will God, not mine."

I soon interviewed and was offered the position of Grow Group Coordinator in Adult Ministries.  It is a full time job working Sunday-Thursday 40 hours.  The grow group coordinators at our church help new members connect with a group, train and develop group leaders, act as support and contact for the group leaders, help new groups get off the ground, and help with new member orientations like Faithbridge 101.    

Once offered, my family, Justin, a couple of close friends, and I entered a period of prayer.  I was offered the job on a Wednesday and that night I could not sleep at all.  The thought of not spending every sweet minute with my boys was heart breaking. And quite frankly, the change would bring a lot challenges we had enjoyed a break from.  Schedules, vacations, pace of life.  I really feel like I finally had gotten to such a happy, easier place with the daily routine of the boys. We had our friends, our regular play dates, our fabulous extended trips home to Alabama. The boys went to gymnastics on Thursday and my dad called.  As I talked to him, I just lost it.  Broke down crying.  As we sorted through how I was feeling, the core of my anxiety had nothing to do with the job and everything to do with the boys.  I came home that afternoon and had the house to myself.  I poured myself a glass of hot tea, sat down with my Pandora worship music and opened my Bible app to read, pray, and really try and discern the will of God in my life.  As I opened the app, here was the verse.

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7

As I read further into my devotion for the day it was also on fearfulness.  I felt so clearly the voice of God saying to me that I was making my decisions based on fear and that fear does not come from the Lord.  Fear comes from the enemy and in this situation he was so controlling my life that I was scared to follow in the path God had provided.  God was calling me to a new purpose in my life.   A new way to serve.  I can't fully describe the peace that came over me.  I dried my tears.  I pulled it together and had the extraordinary calm about the situation that had alluded me since first hearing the call. 

I have referred to this verse from Isaiah 55 many times on my blog and again I found it in my heart that day.  

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So God basically has someone call me and offer me a great position in His church, doing His work, and still leaving me Friday's each week to be with the boys and I think.. "Hm.  Not right now God.  Why don't you call me back in 2 years when the boys are in kindergarten!"  God directly answers prayers not in our time, but in His time.  Sometimes it is years later and in this case, it is a couple of years early.  Sometime the answers come in the waiting, and sometimes the answers come when you least expect them.  But one thing remains.  God is faithful.  He does work all things to His good, in His time, and according to His plan. 

I have thought a lot about this year and a half I have had at home with the boys.  What I thought was just a "good move" for our family to better care for my family has turned into so much more.  I can see so clearly through the people I met, the Bible studies I joined, the trip to Honduras, the friends we made that God purposely removed me from my position at Wells Fargo and purposely set about preparing me for what was next both emotionally and spiritually.  I have experience such tremendous growth in my faith as a stay at home mom.  Because ultimately unlike the corporate world where I answered to a hierarchy of bosses, as a stay at home mom there is really only on one true boss to answer too.  (no, not Justin :)  It is a daily dependence on manna for the next step.  And because I have developed that trust in God, he was ready to reveal the next season in our lives.

This is from Jennie Allan's book and the blog post I did 8 months ago with no clue that this was coming.

"The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal and temperament are of no consideration.  As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God.... The majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves.  And we cannot hear anything God says.  But to brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed."

I am answering the call. I am walking in faith trusting God and His purpose for my life. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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