Seasons of personal and career transition
can provoke feelings of fear and insecurity,
or hope and excitement.How about you? Are you restlessly or patiently waiting for God to unfold his plan your life? Let me ask the question this way… Is your within life freaking out or holding steady as you navigate your way through seasons of life and career change?
For some, career path decisions seem to fall into place without much effort. And for others, it seems like ones career path rests solely on the decisions and choices made by the individual.
Within the inner space of our lives and the inward turmoil that can sometimes come into play when trying to discover our place in the world of work, it seems that there seems to be a few common ways most of us find our way through the maze of career path discovery:
- Sometimes it may be wise to say ‘no’ to open doors and continue waiting until God makes a particular path clear.
- Sometimes you may need to walk through one door of opportunity to gain the clarity you need.
- (NOTE TO SELF): Just because a door opens in your life, does not mean God is necessarily leading you in that particular direction.
The latter (in green) is exactly where I find myself at this juncture of my life.
A recent career opportunity has led me to explore an entirely different career path unlike anything I have done in life or accomplished; a change that would require a major adjustment for my husband and I (now empty nesters) and the life we have known up to this point.
At the same time, I have also been pursuing a ministry position that seems to be a perfect fit…and yet, that door has remained closed to the present date.
And I find myself saying to God – with a great deal of anticipation and excitement…“I can’t wait to see how you are going to unfold your plan this time!”
I have always believed that life is more about the journey than the destination, and therefore, I am convinced, that,
I. Won’t. Know. Gods’. Plan. Standing. Still.
Instead, I need to ACTIVELY STEP INTO THE JOURNEY OF FAITH AND GIVE GOD THE FREEDOM TO LEAD ME, USE ME, and TEACH ME WHILE I WAIT ON HIS “YES” OR HIS “NO.”
I BELIEVE ULTIMATELY – THAT GOD KNOWS (BETTER THAN I) “THE PLANS HE HAS PREPARED FOR ME – PLANS TO PROSPER ME, NOT TO HARM ME. PLANS TO GIVE ME A FUTURE AND A HOPE.” Jer 29:11
This passage has anchored my life from the day I surrendered to God’s grace and forgiveness and began following Jesus as a lost, broken teenager in 1979, until now.
I do not fall into the category of individuals who have carved out for themselves a clear career path which fuels passion and God-given talent.
My path has been one of sheer grace that has been marked by a great deal of divine intervention.
As a young girl, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer – but because of God’s intervention in my life, I ended up having a life beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine.”
In addition to raising my eight children (now adults ages 34 to 20) my life experiences have included, having my own workroom making custom window treatments, serving alongside my husband in fulltime youth ministry with coaches and athletes, being called to fulltime ministry working with teen moms, completing my masters degree in Christian Leadership, starting a non-profit organization with my husband, working as an admissions advisor at the same design college where I studied fashion design (after high school), and working as an interior home décor consultant.
It’s as though I have been peering through the window of my life saying…“I wonder what God is going to do next?!”
Because the Lord has done an exceptional job at leading and directing my life thus far, I take comfort knowing he is leading me to something wonderful. But I admit, when this new career opportunity presented itself… I was both intrigued and skeptical…because, like I have already said, it is unlike anything I have done thus far – and I am completely out of my comfort zone!
This is as honest an account of what is going on inside of me as I seek to know God’s wisdom, plan and direction. It sounds something like this:
- Am I crazy for even considering this new career path? It’s so out of the box, but what if God wants me here.
- Does the fact that I was selected as one of 75,000 applicants mean that this is a door God has opened for me?
- What will others think? I’m not sure what I even think about it yet – because it’s unlike anything I have ever done.
- Would this new career path allow me to use my God-given skills and talents?
- How will I know if I will like it – or hate it – or that God is opening a new door of ministry for me in a new industry – if I don’t give it a try?
- What if I start down one path – discover that I actually like it – and then God opens another door that seems to be a more ‘logical’ fit? And what if I have to make a choice? Will I make the right one?
- Although sacrifices will need to be made (personally and on the home front) the benefits are amazing, and could be a real gift to me, my family, and others – as well as providing an exciting new place of ministry that I would have never have considered on my own (or without the nudging of a good friend who urged me to consider this particular career path).
The truth of the matter is that we all want a life of fulfillment – we want to be in our niche. But sometimes, the path of getting there, is not always clear. Sometimes, it really is more about the journey than the destination.
These are a few other questions that I am wrestling with as I walk through my mid-life transition experience.
- Do I really believe that God is completely and thoroughly sovereign over the details of my life?
- Will the fact that I can’t yet see where I will ultimately land (career wise) prevent me from taking new, and even bold steps of faith?
- Am I open to walking through new doors of opportunity even when it means getting out of my comfort zone?
- Do I care more about what others will think? Or about following Jesus?
- Even if I fail at trying a new career path – and it leads to a closed-door, can I have confidence that God is with me and will use the experience for my good?
- Is there someone I am supposed to meet, have an influence on, or be influenced by while I explore new career paths? Or something God wants to teach me?
Isn’t it great to know that God knows us intimately and that he has a unique plan for each of us? And isn’t it great to know that our Savior leads us in such unique and creative ways?
My prayer for myself – and for you – is that we, his sheep called by his name, will know beyond the shadow of a doubt…the voice of our shepherd…and that we, will have the confidence to follow the leading of the Spirit wherever and however he leads us…all the while, trusting that his plan for our lives is for our good and ultimately for his glory and purpose!
May we enjoy and give thanks for the journey! He is with us friend. And that alone, is enough for me.
Until next time, consider new opportunities with utmost fervor and prayer…you never know where the road will lead you!