The last four months have been tough.
God has literally picked me from the path I was heading down and placed me on a totally different and completely unexpected path. Although it was not as simple as that, as I don’t think in life it is ever is, it has been a period of feeling totally broken, scared, and incredibly anxious. Whilst it is has been horrible to go through I do believe it almost had to be this way for God to get my attention in order to show me that he had different things for me.
About 4 years ago I sat in a service where the leader of our church, Mick, said he had a word for someone there that God was going to ask them to let go of and step out of a career which had been hard won – my heart started racing and I knew it was a word for me, especially given that it was a service made up of predominantly students who had not even started their careers yet. Now at that point I was studying as part of my career progression and was happy in the thought that I would build a hopefully successful career in law, but that word never left me.
About a year later whilst cleaning the kitchen floor, on Christmas Eve, I felt again a real sense that God was asking me to step out of that career that I held so dearly, that gave me part of my worth and identity.
Slowly, gradually over the next few years I have prayed and thought about that word and those feelings and bit by bit I have become less and less satisfied with the work I was doing, increasingly questioning whether I wanted to invest my life in this work for the next 30 years.
Before Christmas some stuff happened at work, mostly out of my control, and I became consumed by anxiety – I could find no rest, no peace and no joy – I couldn’t sleep or eat. I had no choice but to cry out and ask God to help me, on an hourly basis, as at times it is was literally overwhelming. I knew that I need out of litigation and not because I couldn’t do it, because I had proved I could, but because it no longer gave me any peace and literally, without meaning to sound over dramatic, felt like it was sucking the life out of me.
So in ten days time I will be leaving the world of litigation and entering into the charity sector. Whilst the way it is has all come together feels like it is totally of God, and I am excited, that move does not come without its anxieties for me – am I leaving a potentially lucrative and secure career for a not so lucrative and secure one? Whereas before the future looked sure and certain now I have no clue what is ahead and I feel like I am stepping totally into the unknown and am having to hold tight to my father’s hand trusting that he will show me and he will provide for me. I have so many thoughts and feelings swirling round my head and my heart right now but I do know this is right and that this will be about so much more than a job and earning a living. I sense that this will also be about pursuing my dreams, about writing more, about finally being able to explore training as a bereavement counsellor and probably many more things I cannot even imagine right now.
What I have learnt through this time is that I am a worrier and that I need to work to let go of that worry – I need to replace worry with trust – to trust that God is my father, that he loves me totally and that there is nothing that he cannot turn around and sort out. That all I need to do is place my worries in his hand and trust him to work out the solutions in ways above and beyond my understanding and comprehension.
I am sure it is going to be a process as it is inherited, it is tied up in family expectations (so many times in the last week I have wondered what my Dad would say if he was here, whether he would agree with my decision- I guess however old you are you never stop needing your daddy’s reassurance), it is deeply rooted – I do not want to be a failure, I want to always do things well and be a success, I want people to think well of me – to like me and to love me, I want to have enough and then some, I want those I love to be safe and happy, I want this nation, this world not to be so screwed up and scary. So slowly I am learning to give the worries and the stresses over to the one who has the answers, to lean on hope and goodness, to keep trying to walk with faith and truth and to choose joy and life but also to accept that sometimes failure is part of the process and that those failures, if we let them, can teach us and humble us, to lead us to the successes.