My life before my leap can really be described in one word: searching. I wasn't always sure what I was searching for, but when I was starting to see God's love in many aspects of my life I started to feel more and more at home. Which then drew me in closer to really hear the soft, gentle words that directed me onto a very scary, out of my character direction, that I could no longer ignore.
How I got there..
A year and a half ago, we were cruisin'. I was so in love with my new husband, we had a dream wedding and honeymoon, Z had a great job that he loved, I was working at my dream employer doing what I loved, and life was so so good. Great things were happening to us as a couple and as individuals, but in my heart I was still searching. Still, no clue as to what I was looking for. One day, I started to follow Lara Casey's Blog, which lead me to Emily Ley's. I was really taken back by how excited these women were to share God's word through their work. I mean, you can't deny either of their successes! I was so intrigued by their lifestyle. I followed their every move for about 6 months until God reached me on a new level through their stories. It was like the final piece to the wall was broken down, unveiling a free path, or lifting a curtain to reveal life's greatest gift! Through my fascination with Lara's & Emily's lives, I let my self listen to what God was whispering to me. He placed a dream on my heart that day.
He said to me, "You were meant to do something meaningful, and you are worthy of it. You are enough."
Everyone has their own way of listening to God, or feeling his words, and I am so grateful how God chooses to communicate with me. I need clarity. I need someone to say, 'this is what you do and how you do it'. And God, the amazingly personal God that he is, whispers things into my heart in such a calming, yet life-changing way.
"God thank you for being so personal. I can't even fathom how many prayers you hear in a day, but yet you still have time for me. You still speak to my heart in those perfect moments. Your attentiveness means so much to me."
Ok…. well now what? At this point, I wanted more communication and interactions with God, and I wanted to share my recent revelations with other people. Particularly my friends. So I nervously asked two of those friends to do bible studies with me once a week. I was scared of rejection of course, but on some level I was also scared that they would accept. Having a relationship with God isn't easy at times because he calls you to do things that bring you out of your comfort zone, and as much as I craved more fellowship with others, it also scared the crap out of me to be so vulnerable. Well, they said yes. :)
As time passed, bible study was what I looked forward to most in the week. It really helped me open up and feel accepted, and I was connecting with my friends on a deeper level. The outcome of that has been so rewarding. Through those moments, God never let me forget about the 'dream'. In fact, he made it more prominent. We studied the book "You were made for a God-sized dream." It was SHUT-THE-FRONT-DOOR perfect for me. NO doubt, that book helped prepare my heart to make some big changes in my life and revealed a new dream in the process which was to repair the relationship with my Dad.
Fast forward a few months.--So there I was… I was buried in God's word, I had begun repairing a neglected relationship with my Dad, and I was finally figuring out what I was most passionate about professionally and personally. Thats a lot right? GOOD, but still a lot. I was exhausted of all of the changes going on inside of me, and if that wasn't enough, in September of 2013, God said to me "Child, I am going to call you to do something that seems crazy, but its right and I've got you. Lean on me and my love and I will take you where you need to go. Have faith."
What?! Back it up for a second…You mean, the faith overhaul, trying to pursue dreams, and family therapy, isn't it? How am I supposed to do… MORE? Why is this all happening at once? I didn't understand, and to be honest, I wasn't too happy with God. Sure, he was filling me with his love and grace to the brim through all of the great things happening, but MORE?
Anyone who knows me, knows this girl has a breaking point, and I felt like I was nearing it.
Time passes and I experience really hard times at my job. Things that normally didn't bother me started to, my 'tough' exterior was cracked, I was emotionally exhausted from counseling with my family and my attempts at pursuing a dream seemed to be failing. My dream was to pursue my freelance design clients more, grow my etsy shop, and ultimately work from home so I could make my own schedule to accommodate my medical needs and a family someday. Even though God placed that dream on my heart, things weren't happening like I thought they would. As I searched for an option to allow me to focus more on those things, every lead, every idea, every piece of hope, just disappeared. We had decided that financially, it was going to be too risky for me to just leave my job without a transitional part-time position somewhere and living off of one income was just not in the cards for now.
By December, I was a wreck. To be as unfiltered as possible…I cried all the time, I was so unsatisfied with my current state, and I felt so frustrated because I felt mislead by God. Why wasn't he presenting me with the right opportunities so that I can do what he wants me to do?! I was so confident he was leading me to do this, but there was a big fat NO everywhere I turned. I felt frustration, disappointment, and anger towards him. A friend then shared this with me, "Sometimes God doesn't change your situation, because he is trying to change your heart."
God was waiting on me to give up control and have faith that he will take care of us no matter what. Once I gave up trying to control my situation, I could see so clearly what the right thing to do was. In January, I put all my faith in God and left my corporate job. It was the scariest thing I had ever done for multiple reasons, but I think the biggest issue for me was financial security. Quitting my job meant giving that up, and my husband and I, being very logical people, made that a hard pill to swallow. Also, Family didn't quite understand or agree with my career move, and as much as I can tell my self I am an adult who can make my own decisions, their opinion still mattered to me. I worked for a great company with great people and I learned so many valuable lessons from being there. It was hard for me to even rationalize my decision sometimes, but I just didn't feel like I was glorifying God by being there anymore. I just kept hearing, "This is it. This is the next move." So as I took the leap of faith, we were forced to trust in God and to understand that security isn't financial wealth, it's wealth within our relationship with our Savior. BUT I was still scared. I was so afraid we weren't going to make ends meet. I had confidence that I could make money, but quickly and consistently..not so much. I was also afraid of what else God was going to call me to do. Well, he definitely didn't let me down in any department.
"God thank you so much for breaking me. You put those trials in my path to encourage me to give up control and crave YOUR way. Thank you for sticking with me when I questioned your guidance, and making me wealthy in love and through your promises"
Once I was convinced that quitting my very secure job, was the right thing to do, I then felt lead to approach my Dad about working for his company part time. Talk about scary! I loved my Dad and admired him as a business owner, but working for him when our healing relationship was still so fresh? I wasn't sure. I put it off as long as possible. I didn't want it to seem as though I was trying to get an easy way out by working for my dad, you know? At least I didn't want others to see it that way… especially him. But once again… God wins. I approached the situation wanting to be obedient, and not looking for a way out, but instead a way in to this new life I had chosen to live. The blessings from that obedient move and many others never ceases to amaze me.
This life isn't easy y'all. Does it ever get easier? I don't know, but I do know that God is always good, and he is always leading us to our promise land despite the heartache, struggle and pain! The question is do we follow, or do we think our plans are better. Do we trust his sovereignty or do we trust that we know what is best for ourselves?
Now, I work from home full-time and I am self-employed with my Dad's company and my own endeavors. God's path lead me here and saying I am grateful for his plans and outcomes just doesn't seem like enough. It's important to say that this path I said yes too, isn't easy, in fact it just might be the hardest thing I have ever done. It's God's plan for me, and to have so many experiences and testimonies to share from it, makes it the perfect plan. I see it all in hindsight. God has been working on my broken heart for years and finally submitting myself to him has resulted in so much promise. Promise that he loves me and takes care of me, promise that he always wins. Although each day is different, it is also NEW, and his mercies and grace carry me on this journey.
- A leap of faith is risking something you have for the possibility of something better, ending the chase for "perfect," and surrendering your own life to live for Him. - Lara Casey