I sat at my desk sobbing Saturday morning. I was about halfway through my devotional after a sleepless night of worrying, stressing, and more worrying when God spoke in such a profound way that I’m pretty sure if I had been standing, I would have just fallen over.
I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it’s also absolutely true.
For over two years now, I’ve been praying and asking God to give me the opportunity to work from home. Whether as a full-time writer, as an online educator, or anything else he could dream up, I just wanted the freedom and flexibility that a job done from home would allow. I want to do simple things like get my girls dressed for school, walk Ellie to the bus stop, and occasionally spend the afternoon helping out in their classrooms. Things I just can’t really do with my current job.
I’ve been begging, pleading, and spending time every single week for at least two years looking for the right career move. And nothing ever worked and I’ve become increasingly frustrated and discouraged.
Chris and I were pretty sure that after this school year, I was going to take a year off and see if we could survive on his income. We’re almost completely debt-free (not including our house and our rental house), Harper and Ellie will both be in school full-time next year so no more spending $700 a month on preschool and daycare, and with Chris’ new job, we were pretty confident that we’d survive.
In August, I started working part-time for an online school grading papers. We didn’t particularly need the income, but I felt like it was something good to have lined up for next year if I wasn’t working. Then in September, I applied for a full-time teaching position at a different online school. And until last week, I had forgotten all about it. But at the beginning of the week they called asking to set up an interview and by Friday I had a job offer.
But the salary was significantly less than what I’m currently making.
Like SIGNIFICANTLY LESS.
And as much as I wanted to take the job, I wasn’t sure we could take that pay cut. So I wrestled with it all Friday night and into Saturday morning. I made lists and organized spreadsheets and broke three calculators. None of the numbers were as scary as I thought they would be, but I kept having doubts. I like to have a plan for everything and this felt scary and not exactly part of the plan for this very moment.
So I didn’t get much sleep that night and by 5:30 AM I made my way to my office to putter around. Eventually, I settled into my devotion and read in Acts 12 about Peter being arrested by King Herod and the night before he was going to go on trial, an angel appeared at his side and helped him escape. Peter thought it was a dream until he entered the city and the angel left him. Then he realized that God had saved him and he headed to his friend’s house.
The house Peter went to was full of people praying for his release and when a servant went to answer the door, she recognized Peter’s voice and was so excited, she didn’t open the door to him and instead went back to the praying friends to tell them that Peter was at the door. AND NONE OF THEM BELIEVED HER. They insisted she must be crazy or that maybe it was Peter’s angel, but it could not possibly be Peter.
And then my devotion asked this: How often do you pray for God to work and, when he does, react with shock and disbelief? What does this reveal about the faith behind your prayers?
Once those questions sank in, I was overcome with both gratitude and shame. Here I was–FOR YEARS–asking for something and God hears my prayers and gives me my heart’s desire and I have the audacity to worry about whether or not to take the opportunity. He has been working behind the scenes for months to make this happen with Chris getting a better paying job, with the blessing of a steady freelance writing income, for a totally random part-time grading job, and then the offer of a full-time job with good benefits and the health insurance I was so worried about not having if I quit my current job. HE GAVE ME EVERYTHING I ASKED FOR and I had the nerve to question it.
Oh, thanks for answering those prayers, God, but are you sure? Is this a good idea?
All the worrying and stressing I had been doing was for nothing. He was reminding me so loudly that he has never once forsaken us, never once left us hungry or naked or without shelter and now, suddenly, I believe he’s going to do that? How dare I, seriously.
This all hit me in the span of about three minutes as I’m journaling and re-reading the Scripture. And I kept going back and forth between such shame for doubting my God and such gratefulness for what he had given me that finally my little brain just couldn’t handle it anymore and I ended up sobbing on my desk, unable to lift my head, but not wanting to be loud because I’m sure it would have totally freaked my children out.
When I finally got myself together (approximate time: unknown), I got up, grabbed my phone and accepted the job offer. Without getting final approval from Chris, before checking my charts and graphs one more time, before consulting 10-15 expert friends and family members. I knew that God had made this happen and that he was going to be with me for whatever came next and I was ready.
A little scared, but mostly ready.
So that’s how I ended up losing my shit Saturday morning and, also, getting a new job. Monday I put in my resignation at the school I’ve been at for the past ten years, and I started packing up my classroom. Because God worked and instead of just reacting with shock and disbelief, I want to react with gratefulness and obedience. So let’s do this.