So, life is full of twists and turns and bends in the road that we don't always expect.
I had very clearly heard God telling me to change. He said it to me about a year and a half ago; and being of the stubborn flesh I decided that I wasn't going to listen.
Why would I? I was happy. Wasn't I?
My thought process at the time I first heard God telling me to change was something like this: I am happily married to a man I adore. We have an awesome daughter whom we adore. We live in a comfortable home that is in no way pretentious or bigger than we can afford. Amanda and I attend church with people that we love and respect. We serve God by working in the nursery and where ever else we can. Russ and I have jobs. We are blessed and content. Why would I change?
Yes, I could clearly see where I needed to grow and learn and accept that my life is not my own; and that I craved knowing what God's purpose for my life is. But change...change is painful.
Then in early fall .... the stirring became stronger the voice became louder and the much more firm. CHANGE.
I began to look around me and see if I could determine what God wanted me to change; but my flesh was clearly in the way of God's vision for my life. I was blinded by my own inability to see.
My pastor began a series on SHIFT. Everytime he spoke the word SHIFT I clearly became uncomfortable in my own skin. I clearly heard, wrote and began praying on CHANGE. It didn't take long for the spirit to answer my prayers, to give direction to my question of what to change first.
The first change was spiritual. God asked me to explore other churched and to seek with an open heart. He lead me to forgiveness; growth and passion. This has not been a quick journey. Manda and I attended many different churches in the area. Some weekends we attended 3 or 4 different churches. Some we returned to frequently. Others we quickly knew were not what He wanted for us.
During this spiritual change God quickly changed EVERYTHING I knew about myself and blew the pieces that remained into the wind.
For 21 years I was employed by the most wonderful people. I loved what I did; who I worked with; who I worked for; where I worked. Working for Drew and Jill clearly had defined who I was.
Yes! I was a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, sister in law, friend, co-worker, cousin, etc. But, ME who I was was defined by the space I occupied for 21 years. I didn't stray far from that mould. I worked for Drew and Jill.
I was the employee they needed me to be and I did so with pride and joy. It became my everything. I scheduled life around work. I never missed a payroll processing. I never missed a meeting. i never missed processing scheduled receivables. I took pride in doing all that I could to the very best of my ability. But, what I didn't see was what God saw. I was not me. Not the me He created me to be.
On December 07, 2012 I was laid off. Laid off from the very job that I loved. Laid off by the very people I loved. Laid off like ... it didn't even matter.
But it did. It mattered. It mattered so very much that I actually grieved for the loss of my job. Not the income. But the loss of me. I didn't know how to function without that job. I didn't know who I was; what I was supposed to do or how I was going to recover.
But the change didn't stop there. No. You see God asked me to CHANGE and I didn't understand what He meant. I thought the changes had been made. I thought I was doing enough. I was wrong.
Less than a week after I was laid off; my hubby was placed on medical leave from his work. He needed a hernia operation. His employer would not allow him to work until he was cleared by the doctor. So, on December 20, Russ had surgery.
We were suddenly a family with out our normal income. We were a family with out our normal identity. My job was gone; and Russ's job was on temporary hold. We were just husband and wife. Amanda was on winter break from CSUS. We were father, mother and daughter without our usual labels.
You know what we discovered? That we don't need labels to be who we are. We are who we are because God created us to be. He created us to live in harmony; to have peace and joy and to be obedient to Him while sharing His love with others. We are to be a lamp into the world of darkness and show others that God's love is unconditional and pure.
Amanda and I have found a new church home where we are GOWING, LEARNING, CHANGING and becoming the women that GOD created us to be. I have discovered a new passion for being me. The me that God wants me to be. I am serving, working beside wonderful women of God with a deep passion for Him and for sharing their love of Him with others. I am learning beside others with diverse backgrounds, with real life issues and concerns and I am learning from them about living a life balanced.
I am learning about me. About things that I pushed aside because I had made work more important than ANYthing or ANYone else. I put work above life. God CHANGED me because the ME I had become was not the me He created. he created me to interact with others; to connect and learn and grow with others. To serve and give of myself while learning and receiving from others. He saved me from a life of loneliness and solitude and pushed me out into the world to enjoy my friends and celebrate their lives; not look on vicariously. He changed me so that my life would have more dimension; more meaning; more depth.
He is not done with me. But I am willing, inviting and accepting of the changes still to come within me. I'm ready.
I still need a job. But, not an obsession. I need to be a fabulous employee; but not to the exclusion of all else. I need balance and joy; harmony and peace in my life. I need God. I need my family. I need my friends. My heart beats so that I may share my love and passions with others.
God's calling on my life is still partially a mystery to me. I have a inkling of my strengths; but not how He wants me to use them.
Change. It is may not always make sense; but it can be good. Don't let the fear of change stop you from experiencing life as He created you to.