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.
Hannah Beth says
Wow, that’s big news. Congratulations! Thank you for transparently sharing how God worked in your life and heart! Blessings going forward in this new adventure!
Thank you, Hannah Beth! I’m really excited.
kathie hamilton says
Wow! What a wonderful testimony. Happy for your family.
Thanks, Kathie. 🙂
God is so good and when we wake up and really see that, the rewards are so sweet. Best wishes to you in your new endeavors.
You’re so right, Amy. Thanks for the encouragement.
You’ve got this! Congrats on the new job! Change can be scary but also invigorating.
Scary but exciting, for sure. Thank you!
Mandy Ford says
Oh I just LOVE this Mary! LOVE! So happy for you and glad that you realized God had given you what you had been praying for, even if initially it didn’t look exactly like what you had hoped. Most of the time the answers don’t, do they? 🙂
They never do! Ahh. You think I’d learn, huh? Thanks, Mandy.
Ashley Miller says
Congratulations! So happy for you! Best of luck!
Thanks, Ashley! 🙂
Congrats! Such an exciting time and what a wonderful lesson from God! Best wishes to you at the new job!
I am so thrilled for you and your family. What an amazing thing it is when God teaches us, and shows us that he is here for us and always will be. I can’t wait to see where this takes you!
Thank you, Audra. I’m excited to see what’s in store too. 🙂
How epic is this?! Just remember, if you ever feel like you cant do this, you’ve got readers and friends who believe in you and a creator who takes care of you! Congratulations!
Such a great reminder, thank you, Melvelisse!
One thing I’m learning is God does not use “common sense” when dealing with His children. And I’m starting to believe that living by God’s sense instead of “common sense” is what it truly means to be a “free spirit”. If difficult times come don’t forget the peace you felt with this decision. God bless you and yours as you move forward.
Thank you, Whitney. I agree completely, God’s common sense is so much more freeing.
God is good …. ALL THE TIME!
Thanks, once again, for keeping it real! I love hearing that I am not the only one who totally loses their shit! It is refreshing to hear a REAL testimony without sugar coating it!
You are awesome and YOU GOT THIS!
Awww, thanks, Cindy! 🙂
Yay! How exciting! Congratulations & enjoy every minute of obeying Him but also being able tondo what you have dreamt of for years.
Thanks, Julie. I can’t wait to see what this new adventure holds!
Lloyd Hamilton says
Excellent, Mary. I could really relate to so much of this in regard to my own situation. I had many of those same and similar feelings and worries even as God continued to lead PERFECTLY to my retirement. Why is it so hard for us to remember who is really in charge? And I just made the final payment on my house today so I am now, for the first time in my entire life, at age 62, totally debt free!
Thanks, Lloyd. And that’s AWESOME! Congrats on paying off the house! That has to feel so great.
Teresa from NanaHood says
Go where He leads you. You will be fine. It’s our inability to trust that holds us back. Hugs from a Nana who has been there. Teresa from NanaHood.com
You’re so right, my inability to trust has always held me back. Thanks for the wise words, Teresa!
Good for you. Living comfortable is overrated anyway. So much better to live faithful, right on the edge of losing our s#*t so every time things come together, we know Who made it happen.
Amen. And amen. Thanks, Danielle.
Woo Hoo! I decided to read “one last thing” before I went to bed – this post was it. I am so excited for you. I think sometimes when something is just so good, we think it can’t possibly be as good as it looks. In the human world, I think that’s probably true (didn’t they even kinda make a saying about that?), but God’s world has a different set of rules. I totally understand though, the nervously looking over your shoulder when things seem to be working out, because you are just afraid to be too happy. What a great testimony to what prayer can do!
Thank you, Lynne! I am cautiously excited and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂
Congrats! I’m so happy for you in this new endeavor. I do the same thing with graphs & charts to explain away God’s answers & then of course seeing the light he has sent & obeying him. God is wonderful!
Glad I popped over here! It had been awhile since I’ve peeked at your blog. What an exciting step for you and your family. And, a good reminder about our faithful God.
Do you mind sharing where you got your paper grading gig? I’m totally in the market for some part-time online work to make a little extra $ and haven’t had much luck finding anything!
I think I will name my comment “How I lost my shit on Wednesday after reading how I lost my shit on Saturday.”
This was an answer to my prayers. I also have been struggling with making a career move and asking God on constant repeat for help and guidance and a downright miracle. After reading this, I now know that He totally has me in His hands and that something perfect will come along soon.
You are such an inspiration and I am blessed to have access to your blog. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing. You’re going to rock your new position!
I stumbled upon your blog and now after reading just a few posts…I’m addicted! Please never stop writing, you’re amazing! 🙂
Heather–I’m so glad you found me! And thank you for the encouragement! 🙂 🙂
And you post this at just a time I needed reminded of the same thing Merg! He’s answered my prayers for what I’ve longed for and now I’m worrying about how exactly the details will work. Thanks for the reminder, friend!
I guess that should say “repost” this.