Monday, August 22, 2011

Why God Has Not Called Me to Get a Job (Part 1)

Over the last four years, my husband and I are asked repeatedly by Christian family and friends as to why I have not gotten a job.  After all, we have lost our home and we’ve been struggling financially for several years now.  I thought it was a great question and I will answer it, but I can’t do so in just one post so I will write several parts to Why God Has Not Called Me to Get a Job

Let me take you all the way back to the beginning of my training/upbringing as a young girl.

When I was just seven years old I told my father and mother that when I get married the man is going to take my last name because I am not going to take his.

My parents constantly told me to get excellent grades, get into a good college, and choose a lucrative career path.  So off to college I went, seeking a career in mind.

At age 25, I said, “I am not about to sit home and listen to some man tell me what to do.  I’m certainly not going to have babies and wipe their snotty noses and then later bake some cookies like ‘Susie the Homemaker.’  I am a career woman!” 

Being in the business world was very natural for me.
I had very strong convictions!  At that time in my life I was living with my boyfriend and my career was my life.  Being the manager of a Chamber of Commerce at 25 years of age was who I was.  Business came easy to me.  I was a natural at it.  It was my strength and it became my identity.

Me, the strong-willed, determined, powerful, and focused executive.  My life consisted of board meetings, town hall meetings, grand openings, luncheons, political fundraisers, etc. I lived and breathed business.  In fact, my entire wardrobe was business suits, dresses, and high-heeled shoes.  Except for a few pair of sweatpants, you wouldn’t find any casual clothes in my closet. 

Note:  I broke up with my boyfriend shortly after I made the above statement.  He wanted to marry me and have babies but I wasn’t interested in marriage.  Been there, done that.  (That’s another post.)

So, I now live alone and God gets a hold of my heart.  I become saved but I have no idea how to follow Christ.   The people that I called friends were either business associates or men.   In fact, it was a man that I met on a blind date that eventually led me to the Lord! 

Okay, great.  I am now saved.  My sins were forgiven and I learned that Jesus loved me.  Now what?  Where do I go from here? 

I had so many questions.  What were the Gospels?  Why is it called the book of Romans?  Why am I supposed to read the book of John first?  What was the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament?  What exactly is a testament and why is it called that anyway? 

Did I say I had a lot of questions?  I did.  I was (and still am) a ‘why’ child.  You know the one.  Why is the sky blue?  Why is the earth round?  Why do we have to do this or that? 

None of it made any sense to me. 

I went from church to church to church seeking to find answers on how to live my life for Christ, yet all that I would hear is that Jesus loved me and my sins were forgiven

Is that all there was to know?  In my mind it didn’t add up.  The Bible is a thick book and I thought surely there was more for me to learn.  The messages I would hear every Sunday morning seemed very basic.   I needed to know how to walk, people!

During that time, God did not feel the need to bring Christian women into my life to show my how to follow Him.  The Lord, being fully aware of who He made me to be, knew I would ask those ‘why’ questions.  I guess He felt it was best if I got the answers straight from Him and His Word, that way He knew I wouldn’t argue about it! (smile)
So it was just me and my Bible as I searched for answers, and there were a few verses that I processed over and over in my mind.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  John 15:4

Remain in Christ….? Hmmm, if I remain in Him, then He’ll remain in me.  Okay.  I want to remain in Christ because I wanted Him to remain in me, but what does that look like, I thought? 

I had no one to ask that question to, except God Himself.  I don’t know what that looks like Lord, but I am going to do the best I can in my limited understanding to remain in You.  Help me to do this Jesus.

Then I came across this verse:

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.”  Mark 12:30

How on earth do I do that?  How do I love the Lord with all my mind?  Lord show me.

My mind was CONSUMED with work.  In fact, I had so many responsibilities that I was literally becoming dizzy and lightheaded, so off to the doctor’s I went. 

The appointment went something like this: 

Doc:    “What do you do for a living?”

Me:      “I manage a Chamber of Commerce.”

Doc:    “Wow, you are really young.  That’s a very demanding job with a lot of responsibilities.” 

Me:      “Yes it is.”

Doc:    “Okay, keep your eyes open while I look at them through the light.  Well, I don’t see any pressure or swelling on your brain.”

Me:   “What?”  (To say that I was shocked when I heard those words would’ve been an understatement.  I just thought I might’ve had an ear infection!)

Doc:    “Get some rest.  Take some time off.  Here’s some drugs so things don’t get worse.”

Those words scared me.  I was now 26 years old.  Too young to have the possibility of a swollen brain due to stress!  For a job?  No way!  I’ll find another one.

I share this news with a so-called, ‘friend of mine’, (at least I thought she was my friend).  She was one of the Directors that sat on the Board for the Chamber of Commerce.  I tell her I am going to look for a new job because of my health.  She acts like she is concerned for me.  (Backstabbing liar!)

She shares the news with the President and Vice President (my bosses) and they decide to fire me because my heart is no longer into my work. 

I was DEVASTATED, HURT, BETRAYED, FURIOUS…and did I mention unemployed!   

Guess who applies for my position?  Yep, you guessed it, backstabbing liar herself!
(Okay, that was just funny!  I know, I know, I am a Christian woman and I shouldn’t say those things but I have forgiven her... really, I have!)

So, let me connect the dots for you.

Did you see how the Lord took care of the problem I was having about keeping my mind on Him when my mind was so consumed with work?  No more job to be consumed with.  Yes, a hard lesson I know!

The Lord knew my heart was to follow Him and remain in Him.  He knew I was too wrapped up in my identity of my position and not in Him.  He knew I needed to eat a piece of humble pie as well.  I needed to be broken of my pride.  By the way, that was THE WORST tasting pie I have ever had, but it was the best one for me.

It hurt, but God answered my prayers.

Life continued on.  I drew closer to the Lord.  I found a strong, Bible teaching church (where I am still attending 15+ years later).   I found a new job that taught me to be a servant (again, very humbling) but something I needed to learn for my future role as a wife and mother.

My life was about to be radically transformed by the power of God. 

Stay tuned for Part 2.
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