Just One Step
This morning, I started with some homemade pancakes and coffee, along with some reflection on the past week...
-- I quit my day job working in a retail store this week and I cannot even explain the relief I feel.
If I'm honest, it's been weighing down on me for months. The thought of going into another holiday season being committed to a job I no longer take joy in working terrifies me. I was raised by two hard-working parents who taught me the value of work ethic and loyalty, and while that is almost always a blessing, it's felt more like a curse to me over the last couple of months. Since I didn't immediately start picking up on the cues that my job was damaging my emotional, spiritual and physical state, I had to go through some very difficult times before it hit me that I really needed to leave. The loyalty I felt so strongly in me was extremely hard to break, even though breaking it away from a negative environment was the best decision for me at the end of the day.
All that to say - I feel free, in a sense. I'm on the other side. I'm not sure what lies ahead for me - but I'm honestly not that concerned. I don't have many financial responsibilities, as I live with my parents, and I figure it's the best time to change courses. To commit my plans to God's will for me and see where He wants to take me, instead of where I might want to take myself.
But oh, is that easier said than done.
--Yesterday's sermon at Midtown was exactly what needed to enter my mind and heart at this time. Pastor Dave read 1st Samuel 16 - where David is anointed king. God chooses David, the youngest out of all his brothers, to become King. Not for his looks or strength or age, but for his heart. God knew what Israel needed most and He gave it to them in making David the king. But a lot had to happen before Israel could receive their king...
Here are a few things I jotted down that really stood out to me:
--The story of 1st Samuel 16 is not about David or us as believers, but rather a story about God and His redemptive plans for His people.
--What's best for me is entirely God's choice. He knows me infinitely better than I know myself, so why shouldn't He be the one who chooses where I go and what I do?
-- What I look for and what God looks for are not the same.
--The outward is neutral and ultimately secondary. The heart is first and most important.
Not just as believers, but as humans, we always want to know. We want to know what's next, what's happening and why what we want isn't happening.
I stand here as an (almost) 20 year old, wanting to know what's gonna happen for me now that I quit my job. Because I did it as an act of obedience - I believe God allowed me to stay as long as I did, so I could see what happens when I hold myself back for lack of belief that I could do more with my life than work in a retail store. He let me catch a glimpse of what happens when a proclaimed Christ follower is immersed in an environment void of any other believers or spiritual values - and let me tell you, it is not pretty.
Psalm 51 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God... Restore in me the joy of Your salvation." What does it mean to be "restored to the joy of our salvation?" It means to wake up everyday and live for Him. Not for ourselves or for what we are going to do, but to live for God and for His Kingdom. We are saved and have eternal life with Christ. Eternal means forever. Saved to live now. Eternally? Yes, but also now.
I don't believe in mediocracy. I do believe there is beauty and purpose in the mundane, but not in mediocracy. We are called to live and walk with Christ as our guide. Called to stand up for what we believe in, Who we believe in and to humbly serve God's people.
For months and months, this wave of anxiety has kept hitting me when it comes to "what am I going to do with my life and my career?" and I don't believe I'm supposed to worry about it. I honestly don't believe the what matters all that much. God says, "Go, and I will tell you what to do." He appoints David to be king - not because David has it all figured out, but because God sees a willing heart in David, and He wants to use him. David has no clue how to be a king, but God takes what's most important - David's heart - and teaches him the rest along the way.
I don't want to have it all figured out. My job, my "career," if you will. It's not that important. I want to focus on having a willing and teachable heart, one that God can use for great things, rather than focus on what I'm going to do with my life and how I'm going to spend my time and my talents.
My mom has been extremely beneficial in this tough time of change for me. I cannot express how thankful I am for the conversations we have and the support she has given me. A week or two ago, when the weight of it all was almost truly unbearable, she told me this: "God doesn't show us the whole plan, Kaylee. He doesn't even show us the next three steps. All He allows us to see is one step ahead. Just that one step. He wants us to have the courage to take just one step towards Him in faith, and then He will supply the next step and the next step and the next step. Boy, is that hard to hear for a forward thinker such as myself.
So for me at this time, that one step is leaving my job. I don't know what is next - it could be a number of things, but it's not up to me to worry about it.
The why is the most important part when it comes to occupation. The what and where and how and when? I believe God will lead me to and show me those things as I am ready. So for now, I'm going to grab my why and take one step in front of me.