Before you pass this blog over as another disgruntled laid off employee, or perhaps a lazy person who job hops—please reread that title carefully.
What makes this post interesting and different is that— in a society where people are taking jobs they are over qualified for just to have employment—-I just resigned (from a job that people asked me to recommend them for weekly) and instead I chose to be unemployed. Intentionally. Deliberately. On purpose. Without another job.
And I’m not sure if and when I will start looking for another job!
So, you’re probably thinking one of a few common things by now….so let’s clear those up.
- No I’m not a trust fund kid,
- No, I’m not pregnant or physically unable to work.
- No, I’m not depressed or mentally ill.
- And no, I’m not lazy.
- Nor am I moving in with someone else who will front my bills.
Here’s what I do know is true.
- I do have some money saved from previous hard work.
- I do have a mortgage, car payment, and other provisions that will continue to need attention.
- I am physically and mentally capable of holding a job and have done so successfully and willingly since graduating college.
- I left my last job of 4 years as a top 10% sales earner.
- I was happily recruited away to another sales job for the last 5 months.
THEN I QUIT.
Those are the basic details of this timeline.
So I know you must be wondering what most logical successful rational people would be wondering at this point:
Why did she do it?
How is she gonna do nothing?
And the dreaded full picture that is starting to set in as auto deposited paychecks stop…..OMG how will she take care of myself?
Why?—Because I know that role was no longer for me. Something changed in me and I no longer desired those same things that allowed me to be happy and content pursuing the work I had been successful in all those years. I base that change directly from living out this scripture:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 (Message)
How? –with a little bit of savings and a whole lot of faith. Hebrews 11:1 — “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” -NLV
I may not be sure of what is for me yet but I know where I was is not where I needed to be.
I knew although it had been nice to have a normal steady job that afforded me a nice home, new car, and showcase of shoes any women would take off my hands—it wasn’t enough to make me happy and I was ready to give up the pursuit of the dollar for something greater.
And I have to trust that the same God who put that discontent in me for months as I woke up each day performing the job I was in, that same God who stirred up a lack of peace in accepting the position (that I wrestled with accepting if I look back and am honest), that God would also show me in His time where and what “work” looks like in this new season.
You see as I hit my 30s, my world changed, like most young ladies I planned my life to be married around 27 and kids by 30 (God chuckles I’m sure everytime WE PLAN). So as I go into my 32 year with neither of those goals in grasp I have begun to shift my focus in order to not go crazy like many other 30-something’s in my season of life who have shut off Facebook and avoid weddings etc because of the growing discontentment in our plan versus gods plan.
I had for some reason this year really been praying to focus on my work life to take my mind of my lagging personal life—but more than that—in my prayers something beautiful had budded. I had started to birth thoughts I had never had before about my life.
For the first time in 31 years I began to wonder and pray diligently about my purpose; my calling
God why am I on this earth? How can I serve you? What is my purpose?
I had already given my personal life to The Lord, relationally, which had been the hardest thing in my life thus far, but now God was asking me to also give Him my career?!
“Really lord?!,” I thought to myself. “As if that wasn’t hard enough and I hadn’t given enough up and still can’t see the full measure of fruit there, now you’re asking me to also let go of how I provide for myself God.” And He said, “yes” that’s what I’m asking.
And I remembered, I had been praying. And be careful what you pray for, because your lucky, you might get it—but it might now look like what you expected. I had been praying to be wholly devoted to Him, for Him to use me since He broke me down and had been rebuilding me through my personal life changes I had been open-eyed to how much God could use me. After-all, He gave it all for me the least I could do was pray that I wasn’t scared to do the same for Him.
So—–I found myself no longer was I praying for a job. No longer was I praying to be successful where I was and be a great salesperson. And no longer was I content in that being who I was occupationally.
I wanted……”Gods more” in my life and I wanted Him to use me and due to the overwhelming discontentment I knew—“this” —-wasn’t it. (see my first blog post about Gods’ more)
But the discerning point to this feeling is that this discontentment wasn’t directly related to my performance. Listen we all have days or seasons where because of our performance we feel great or we feel defeated. That is not what I’m talking about. This feeling is more of a lingering in my belly kinda feeling that even with a great day or a sale—still disrupts my any given mood in a way I can’t shake it off for long.
Is anyone in this place too? Got a lingering discontent with life or work that you don’t understand and can’t shake? Perhaps starting to think your not where you need to be but unsure of anything much more than that?
So that’s where I was. Knowing something was not right but not sure what to do about it. I began to pray daily.
Lord, you know my heart and my talents. Show me my calling, show me where you want me. It’s no longer important for me to have a title or make 6-figures, or to just cruise through the years as a “safe Christian”
I had bee loving The Lord, keeping His word, going to Church and even being unashamed of the gospel when needed—-but God was calling me to step up even more and step into the unknown and do something I do not do well at all.
And not just to trust but to trust without seeing a window into where
I was I am — being led. To go out into the wilderness. To let go of the fear. And to trust in His character and His nature and all He has done in my past—to trust that If I listen—and I follow—not only will He lead me—but He will take care of me. Heart beating really fast right now—fight or flight sets in as I think about the many things I fear.
Fear of bills not being paid.
Fear of not hearing Him properly and making the wrong move.
Fear of what others will think.
Fear of not knowing.
Fear of not being in control.
Fear of where this will go.
The bible mentions “fear not” 365 times!!!
And it also mentions that fear is not from The Lord.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition
So I stepped out in faith yesterday. After long prayer, and many amazing others praying for and supporting me about this, I called my boss and said “I have had a change in heart, and this job is no longer for me.” To which he replied with everything from “Just give it another month”, “you’re just not trying hard enough”, “you’re great and I want you here and will help get motivation Rollin,” and the list goes on. He was the most helpful supportive boss in the world, but He simply did not understand, like most unbelievers and surface Christians won’t, that it had little to do with performance and everything to do with motivation—but He not I could provide the type of motivation I was now seeking. The convo ended on, “Well, I can’t compete with the God thing, but I want you to do what’s best for you.” And that’s that.
As I sit here day 2 of being willfully unemployed, and I cherish the time I have to reflect and share with you I came to an awesome perfect reminder of why God hasn’t shown me where He’s leading me yet. As that was the main point holding most of my fear—not to stay or go, but the fact that I was going—where He hasn’t yet shown me. I’m in a waiting period. I found this in an amazing book I’m reading, One in a Million, by Patricia Shirer
Do you see what I see?
“God did not lead them by way of the land…., even though it was near.”
God knows us so very well! He chose to move the Israelites the long hard way because He knew they would never chose that way of course, and if they saw difficulty they would perhaps return to where they were enslaved.
They had not yet gained the perspective needed to chose the better—more difficult choice—so God used those difficulties to ensure they continued to move towards the freedom He so wanted for them.
How profound is Acts 7:39 —-“what good are freed children of God who want to go back to Egypt in their hearts.”
God wanted freedom for them 2000 years ago, as He wants freedom for me today and He wants freedom for you and each of His children.
But sometimes because He knows us so very well—He doesn’t show us things in the time we expect because perhaps in this place of life we wouldn’t see “it” as what we would desire and would run back to the safety net of slavery, the worldly life aspirations we formerly had found comfort in.
I believe God has not shown me where He has called me, perhaps because of this exact reason. I’m not mature or fearless enough in His plan to see where He is leading me and CHOOSE it for myself. There are things I need to experience, perspective gained, something God needs to work in me before I am ready to see the amazing plan He has called me for.
And so with open arms I face the wilderness today and the rest of this season of unknown and I pray God keeps shaping me and my heart to see as He would see and seek the things He wants me to seek and mold me to be ready for His freedom.
I challenge you today to think about this for your own life. Wherever you are, are you satisfied? Or have you been thinking there has got to be more? Start praying for God to search your heart and stir things up so that you are no longer content with the things of this world and God can begin to show you why you are on this Earth.
God bless!!!! Thanks for being with me on this journey!
2 thoughts on “Into the wilderness I go : Today I am willfully unemployed.”
I am praying for you, Jessica, because that wilderness can be hard on a person. But I applaud your determination to make your life significant for the LORD. Be faithful to him, and he will make all this worthwhile.
Thank you so very mch for your prayers. I’m just walkin into it so I’m sure it will get more difficult just praying I keep on His path instead of choosing my own perhaps easier method down the ways. Have a blessed day and thanks allowing me to share what Gods put on my heart !!