The pay would be radically altered from lots to non-existent; the promotions would no longer be offered; and the rewards would look completely different.
I was so scared, but knew that I needed to do this. Regret would only come from not doing this. So I did. I quit my job – I walked away from a career that I loved knowing that I would probably never be welcomed back because of this choice. We sold our beautiful condo in Sherman Oaks and moved to Las Vegas where we felt we had the best shot at living on one much smaller income. We figured our children were so young, they wouldn’t remember eating top ramen and white rice every day. What we were banking on was that if this really was God asking us to do this, He would show up in amazing ways and He would provide.
Funny thing is, that one of my biggest fears was that I would not be able to pay for college for my kids one day. We decided that I could always go back to work when they got older and figure out how to pay for it then.
God was so perfectly present in Las Vegas. He did more than provide for our needs – He radically exceeded them. The stories of His awesome provision on that adventure and season are limitless. We are abundantly thankful and saw ourselves drawn closer to Him every day. The memories are sweet and we cherish them.
Fast forward to 2011, our oldest is in high school now and we are entering into that season where I needed to probably go back to work so that we can pay for college. The unexpected happened when my husband was wrongfully fired from his job. I remember few moments in my life that were as scary as that one – a moment filled with frustration, anger, and fear. I remember it like it was just yesterday. Ironically I was here at Journey about to go up front in Riptide and teach a lesson I had written about the disciples being out on the water in a storm. They looked to Jesus for help. We can go to Jesus in the storms of our lives too.
What were we going to do? Paying for college was no longer a concern. Paying our mortgage and feeding our children was. Our kids are old enough now to notice and feel the affects of this. I’ll just go get a job and life will look a little different. I started applying with the hope that all those years ago I had been wrong about walking away from my career permanently. I wasn’t wrong. No doors would even be opened to me to return. What now?
I had basically been volunteering 20 hours a week in Riptide with Christina for several years and we had become really good friends. She did what any really good friend does and she tried to find me a job. Journey had a couple very part time temporary positions open and she put in a good word for me. They graciously considered me for all three positions and hired me to do each one. To make a long story a little shorter – those three positions eventually turned into one full time position that I am currently working. God is so good!
Gracie is now a senior in high school and graduating this June. My heart has been so sad this school year as I have considered how I wish I could provide for her continued education like my parents paid for mine. God knows this is a desire of my heart and I am frustrated that we can not give her this gift. I recently surrendered all control of this to Him and that is when God showed me that it was never my gift to give. It was His all along.
A few weeks back Gracie got two acceptance letters into local universities. One of them came with a merit scholarship covering her tuition – but not just for the first year, all four years. Later a second letter came from the other university with a merit scholarship that will cover many costs there. We were simply blown away. I am not going to lie – a part of me still wishes that I could have given her that gift. My pride wants to take over and provide for their needs in financial and material ways. But I can’t help but acknowledge that with that one leap of faith 16 years ago God gave us all countless priceless gifts along the way – none of which I would trade for any amount of money or financial security.
I am so thankful I took that leap of faith. The road has been very bumpy along the way, but the blessings far outweigh it all.