Growing Pains

Faith

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My whole life got flipped upside down when I took a job on July 7, 2014. I went from being self-employed to a full-time employee. I lost one of my largest commercial cleaning accounts in May. I was pretty upset at first, but knew God would provide for me and my daughter. I had so much peace while I was waiting on God to show up. I just knew He was going to provide what we needed. After all, He is my provider (Phil 4:19). I truly learned how to rest in Him during this season and wait on Him to provide. I was excited for God’s provision to come thru. I just knew it was going to be amazing.

I got a call from my grandmother on a Friday afternoon in June. She left me a voicemail about a job offer with a company that I had worked for 10 years ago. I sent my resume in that same day. I went in for an interview Monday. I was offered the job by the time I got home. I negotiated, then accepted the job. Did I pray for guidance before accepting this job? No. I didn’t. I had been praying for God to provide, so I just took the job as a gift from God. But was it a gift from God? Or was it a stumbling block from the enemy to steer me away from my God-given desires and passions?

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I took this job. It met all my requirements on paper along with some pretty sweet bonuses. I really thought God had given me the perfect job to replace the missing income. Two days into this job my commercial cleaning account came back. I was grateful for the return of this account, but was worried about being able to handle it all. Can I quit? Is it wise to quit? Can I trust that my client won’t up and leave me again? These questions plagued my thoughts for weeks. I finally decided I should stay a little longer. I really did not want to, but I was not hearing anything from God to direct me. Honestly, I kind of felt like God had cut me off once I started the job. So how was I going to juggle a full-time job, run a commercial cleaning company, be a single full-time mom, and have a life in Him?

This perfect job turned into a nightmare. I would work 10-14 hours a day and then have to check on my cleaning properties. I worked on the weekends at the cleaning company to make up the work I didn’t get to during the weekday. I literally worked 7 days a week. I dropped out of all my extracurricular activities. All those God-given desires and passions got pushed to the side. I did not have any time for my small group, women’s bible study group, or my gym time. I love working out, so not being able to do this was killing me. I did manage to get my priority time in daily, but I was crying and complaining the majority of the time, begging God to speak to me. I needed His direction, but I was getting silence. I was so consumed with my work, my desire to quit this job, and all my needs. I did not even notice how much distance was growing between me and my daughter. She was pulling away from me. And quite frankly, I was letting her because I didn’t have time for her either. I was present, but I was not actively parenting her the way I should have been. She was rebelling and I did not have the patience to deal with it. Therefore, I was a reactive parent instead of a proactive one. Our fun Friday nights had turned into the dreaded grocery shopping night at Sam’s. I stopped meeting with her on Saturdays to discuss the word of God. I was too tired. I always had something else that needed to get done due to my overwhelming schedule. My life was quickly falling apart, but I could not see it because I was too busy.

I started getting really good at this job as well as juggling the demands of my cleaning company. It only took me about 4.5 months to finally stop crying everyday. I settled into this new all work and no life lifestyle. I got the work done each day, but I didn’t have a life. I was making money and helping other people make money. But I had no purpose in this job other than financial gain. I was bitter and angry more than I had ever been in my life. I felt like a part of me had shriveled up and died. I hardly worked out or saw my friends. I wasn’t involved with my church. I was pretty negative during this season. I complained everyday. I am not a complainer by nature. I try to see the best in every situation. But this situation was sucking the life right out of me. I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know which way to go. I was filled with fear to quit and fear to stay.

In November, I started to hear from God again. I was convicted of chasing after vain idols, certainty, and security in this job instead of God. I prayed for Him to show me if I could quit or not. I didn’t want to quit if He had given me this job. Who am I to say no to what He gives? I was confused, but knew something had to change. I was so stressed and filled with so much anxiety daily. If one thing went wrong during my day then everything I was trying to juggle would come falling down. The stress finally took a turn for the worse mid November. I was admitted into the ER one morning for passing out unexpectedly and repeatedly. The doctors really didn’t have an answer as to what caused the episodes other than stress. God made it pretty clear that I was failing miserably in all areas of my life. And for what? Money? Security? Comfort? Was it really worth it? What good is it if I gain the whole world and lose my life? It was not worth it. I would rather have my life than all those other things. But I sure wasn’t living like I believed that.

I finally got up enough courage to resign from this job in January 2015. It only took me 8 months. I was paralyzed with fear the entire time at this job. All the what if’s kept going thru my head…what if you lose the cleaning contract again, what if you don’t have enough to pay your bills? But Gods voice said, “I will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9. He also said, that He is my rescuer if these things should happen (paraphrased 2 Chronicles 20:9). This paralyzing fear was crippling to my walk with God. I wasn’t living a life of faith in Him. I did not trust Him to provide for me. I was starting to trust in the security of this job instead of God. I was letting all my priorities go in order to do this job and keep up with all my work. I was slowly gaining the world and quickly losing my life. The person I was becoming was not the person I wanted to leave behind as a legacy to my daughter. I was becoming a work-obsessed human being who wanted comfort, certainty, and security instead of the life God has in store for me. I resigned in order to step out in faith the God is enough. I would rather have life in Him than spend my life chasing this world. I know this may not make sence to a lot of people, but that is ok. It doesn’t always makes perfect sense to me either, but I have faith that God will be there wherever I go. I believe this is His will for my life. I am to trust in Him to provide for me and forgo my idols. I know the will of God will not take me where the grace of God cannot sustain me.

I was stretched and strengthened during this whole 8 months at this job. I have grown in mercy and grace in multiple areas of my life. I am grateful for having worked at this job. God has used it to teach me many lessons.I have never had to work like this before. It was hard on so many levels. I had prided myself on being a single mom for years who did not need anyone’s help. I could do it all. This season has humbled me in many ways. But God has shown me how much He loves me, cares for me, and will always be there with me even during my ugly seasons. He has given me so much grace in multiple ways throughout this season. His grace covered my sin of idols and security, my ugly attitudes, and my passive reactive parenting during this season. His grace also provided what I needed in order to juggle everything without losing my cleaning company or my life. He held everything together. There is no way I could have juggled a full-time job, ran a cleaning company, been a mom, and kept my life from completely falling apart. His grace provided for all of those things to be held together. His grace also led me out of this job so that I could have my life back in Him. I still don’t know if this job was a gift from God or a stumbling block from Satan. But what I do know is “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”, Romans 8:28

God is for us. He loves us and will never leave us or forsake us. If you are a child of God then His grace covers you too. Whatever is going on in your life remember that God is there with you. He will help you and provide what you need even when everything appears as if it is falling apart. He holds everything together. God always has a purpose in everything and sometimes it is for us to grow. He will be there when disaster strikes and He will rescue you. “Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.” 2 Chronicles 20:9