Was I making the right decision?
Why would God tell me to quit a job that I loved?
What about my career path? Or finances?
What would my colleagues think?
I was wrestling with too many questions to name but the prompting in my heart was clear–God was leading me to leave the job that I loved, a job that I was good at, and that I had worked hard to adjust our family life around. It didn’t make sense on paper, but the clues were unmistakable: I had a six-month-old in my arms, two older siblings at home, and an online college degree that I was slowly chipping away at. My husband was supportive, but he admitted that he missed me. The tension of family life and vocational ambition was becoming too much for everyone to bear. I had to make a decision.
The day that I signed my resignation letter, I cried on the drive home. Glancing in the back seat of my SUV, I could see the furniture and décor that I had carefully chosen for my new office about a year and a half earlier. The gray modern chair, the framed desert photos, the marble-topped side table, and a couple of plants, which were now nestled in my kid’s empty car seat so as not to lose any soil on the way home. I felt a pang of grief, but I didn’t yet understand what that feeling was about; time would reveal the work that God was doing in me.
When I came across Proverbs chapter 3 over my morning coffee, I lingered there for a while.
The writer wisely instructs,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths,” (v. 5-6, ESV).
Looking back at that time, after a few years and with a little perspective, I can catch a glimpse of what God was working out in my heart. My hunger to experience all that life had to offer (as soon as possible, please!) had once again landed me in over my head. I would have readily admitted back then that I was an impatient person, but what I couldn’t see was the prideful way that I would forge ahead with my plans without asking for God’s guidance. I couldn’t see the root of fear (of missing something good…something great, even!) that still lingered in my life and caused me to question his trustworthiness.
By the gentle, yet persistent, urging in my heart, I sensed God asking me to leave my job and trust him. To lay down my ideas of what I needed and when. He was calling me to the work of faith in that difficult moment—to not lean on my own understanding, as the writer of Proverbs so elegantly stated, but to trust the Lord with my whole heart.
My work was to trust; his work was to make my path straight.
Even though I wrestled with the exchange, it has stretched my faith since that teary drive home. Today, I can look in the rear view mirror and see the effects of growth in my family, the depth to my spiritual walk, and the healing in my heart. As I move forward to new opportunities, I hope to make the exchange more quickly and joyfully, because I know I can trust that the road will align with God’s good purpose.