Well, I’ve bit the bullet so to speak! Many of my friends on Facebook often tell me I should write a book. Well….I looked into that, and it’s expensive! Besides, who would want to read a book about me? I’m no one special. I’m just an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Or, is it ordinary??
Ten months ago, I felt that God was prompting me to do something bigger and better with my life. I wasn’t sure what that would involve, but was hoping that somehow He might “slap me in the face” with the obvious thing and I’d just know that whatever it was, it was His plan. Well, He didn’t just slap me, He body-slammed me!!!
It all started with a discussion with my niece. She is part of a leadership training program at a local camp and I am her mentor. I have seen magnificant growth in her since she started the program four years ago. She informed me that she wasn’t sure she was going to join for her fourth year of training. WHAT???? Oh no she wasn’t!!! I didn’t want to see her throw away all that she had become and just spend her time pursuing trival things. I tore into her like mother hen protecting her peeps from a rabid fox. “Why? Give me one good reason why!” I prodded.
“There’s no one in leadership for the program, and I don’t like that,” was one of many answers.
I began to give her a lecture on the pros and cons of staying with the program…of course focusing on the pros moreso than the cons! I ended with, “This would be one of the biggest mistakes of your life if you dropped out.” I felt pretty smug, thinking I had told her how it was and that she would certainly listen to me. After all, I was her mentor. I expected a “okay, I’ll stay” response, but instead I was met with tears…big crocodile tears. I felt terrible. “You’re not making this easy for me!!!” she sobbed.
Then the mamma came out in me and I hugged her, told her I was sorry, but at the same time said, “But you know what I said is true. You can’t walk away from this.”
She looked at me and said, “Why don’t you apply for the leader position?”
WHAT??? Me??? Crash!!!! That’s when God “body-slammed” me.
I cried the whole way home! I felt terrible! But yet, I could hear this voice in my head…”check it out. Why couldn’t you do this?”
So, I checked out the website for Joy El Ministries . Sure enough, under their job opportunities column was the job listed in all it’s glory. I read over the job description. No….it just wasn’t something I could do. But wait…what’s a Development Coordinator? I was intrigued.
I had been working as a nurse for 21 years. Certainly, I would never be able to do anything else with my life, right? I read the job description for the Development Coordinator position. “Hmmm….I think I could do all this. Nah…I can’t walk away from my nursing job!” I closed the top down on my laptop and decided to try and forget about it.
By the next morning, I knew I had to look into it. All that night, I had tossed and turned and felt as though God were speaking to me to check it out. I contacted a friend who is part of Joy El and inquired about the job. She set up a meeting between me and the director (who happened to be her husband!) and we met to discuss the two job openings. By the end of the meeting, I knew I was more interested in being a Development Coordinator vs. a Leadership Training Program Coordinator. They encouraged me to pray. Pray? That’s all I was doing!!!
My husband, Dave was so supportive of me during this time. I was anxious, depressed, excited and scared. Such a variety of emotions going on all at the same time!! I decided after a day or two of unrest, that I would apply for the Development Coordinator position. Was I crazy? Maybe…..
Over the next two months, I completed tests, answered question after question, and then had a phone interview. It was around this time that a coworker pulled me aside one day. “You’re looking for another job aren’t you?” she asked.
I was shocked!! The only one that knew what I was doing was Dave, my niece, immediate family and closest friends. Who told???
I looked at her said, “Ummm, maybe??” (I’ve never been a good liar!)
She said, “You’ve applied at Joy El haven’t you?”
I admitted to her that I had, but begged her not to tell anyone. She replied, “We’re at an age that if we don’t step out in faith and do something we know is right, we’ll regret it for the rest of our lives. Do it!!!”
Wow!! What confirmation! My husband was just as confirming that same day. “Honey,” he said, “I know you haven’t been happy for a long time as a nurse. If you are offered this job, I think you should take it. I know you have a heart for this ministry, and I think it’s where you belong.”
Soon, the call came for me to spend a day there with the staff for a day-long interview. I was sure that I was “in”. The day of the interview, I was told that there was another candidate in the running as well. My heart sunk. How could God bring me this far and not let me see this realized? Still, I felt confident that I was doing the right thing by stepping out in faith.
Shortly after that exciting day of interacting with the staff at Joy El (and believe me, I loved every minute of that day!!), I received a call from the director. He asked a few more questions. The suspense was killing me. He informed me that the other candidate cancelled their interview. Really??? Could it be??? My heart was pounding as I heard my future boss say the words, “I’d like to offer you the position of Development Coordinator! Now take some time to pray about your answer, but let me know as soon as you can.”
“Aaron, I don’t need to pray about it…I’ve been praying all along! The answer is YES!!”
Within 24 hours of that call, I had received an email from nearly every employee of Joy El welcoming me aboard. I knew I had made the right choice. This was where God wanted me to go!
So, on July 5th, I began a new career. Let me say, it’s nothing like nursing ever was, it’s a whole lot better!!!
I’ve moved from working in an environment where I could not freely share my faith to a place where it’s encouraged! I can finally be the person God intended me to be! And I have my niece to thank for prompting me to start this journey.
I’m delighted to say that her hope of a leader getting put into place has happened as well! God has brought a wonderful youth leader into that role and my niece has decided to stay with the program. She is blooming even more this year as she continues on with the program.
So….as I said before….am I living an ordinary life? I don’t think so! When God is part of your life, it’s anything but ordinary….it’s extraordinary!!!
In future posts, I want to share how God has provided for my family with this life-changing event. I also want to share the crazy tales of raising a 10-year-old daughter! And so much more! I hope you’ll enjoy the ride I’m on and tag along!