Many people want to take the “jump.” Motivational speakers talk about it, preachers preach it and the secular world has embraced it. This way of living says that the bloom where you are planted theory is dead. We instead need to do “big” things in far off places. We need to become more than what we are. We have to find ourselves in other places, anyplace other than here. That God’s plan could never encompass the smallness that exists in our lives.
My quest for God has always been based on this notion of purpose. That we exist for a reason, that there is a certainty to our existence. This thinking is what led me to explore the notion of faith through philosophy, self-help books and religion. I did not leave anything out. My search for the truth was just that- a search. I had no pre-conceived notions about who God was and no ideas about what may be right and wrong. Although I never called myself an atheist or agnostic, I did disclude God unconsciously by living a life that was searching but without “Him.” I read many books, met many people, lived many different ways. But in the end it was Jesus who ultimately came looking for me at a time when I wasn’t looking for much at all except a way out…
Even after receiving my answer, I still struggled with this notion of a greater purpose. It really is a great fallacy, a blasphemy to think that there is something greater than God. Because ultimately, that’s what we are saying. We are saying that Jesus is just not enough…
I don’t think there is anything wrong with dreaming or setting goals. There is also nothing wrong with structure or having a plan. But to think that our destiny is wrapped up in these concepts is to misunderstand the truth. Yes, God places these dreams and desires deep within our souls, but it is our expression of them and what we think they should look like that oftentimes gets us into trouble.
I’ve been waiting to share with you my “jump.” Now please understand that in no way do I think that my decision to jump was a mistake. In fact, just the opposite. It’s sort of like that one relationship you always “wondered” about. What if I had tried to make that one work? The “what if” theory could apply to practically any situation. And so I took my what ifs, the notion that as a mother I should not be working, the longing I had in my heart to spend more time with my children, the desire to leave my job behind and care for my son who had some special needs and go with it. I had all of these preconceived notions of how it should be, what would make me happy. And on a hot summer day last July I walked into my boss’s office and ended my career. Except ten hours later, I was back at the same desk in a part-time capacity…
I didn’t know why at the eleventh hour the Holy Spirit had me walk into my boss’s office on the eve of saying goodbye and tell Him I would still help him out. There was a case pending that I knew nobody else could handle. I was the only attorney here and my loyalty to my boss who I had served faithfully for six years overpowered my desire to leave for good. The words “how bout I stay and help you for as long as I can” flowed out of my mouth like water. What the hell was I saying? I gave up every thought, every dream, every desire I had to be free and live out my “big dream” of being a stay at home mom in that one small moment. Why did I do that? I didn’t know at the time, but I know now. Back then, I was just simply following the Spirit’s prompting.
My ten hours a week started to stretch into longer periods. I felt myself between two very different worlds. I was holding up the needs of my department and my family. Laundry lingered and I was miserable. But my son was thriving, the medication seemed to be working and his school placement was working. Just like I had told everyone, my son wasn’t stupid, he was brilliant. And what a joy to have proved all of the naysayers wrong!
As time went on, I was dying. Why was God doing this to me? My big dream didn’t feel quite so much like a dream anymore, it was a nightmare. And on top of that I had to up my hours if I wanted to purchase a new home.
The harder I tried to run away, the harder God pulled me back. My job went unfilled for months while I continued to work part-time. Then I did the unthinkable- I walked back into my boss’s office and told Him I’d remain on part time for good. There couldn’t have been anymore signs from heaven. My job was placed “On Hold.”
I struggled through the next couple of months, but my son blossomed. I realized that I wasn’t much of a homemaker and that I didn’t enjoy baking. I was stressed dealing with three young children and needs I just couldn’t seem to provide for. And not the emotional ones, but the ones that children learn simply by learning independence. I upped my hours again at the prompting of the Holy Spirit…
At the edge of it all when I just couldn’t take it anymore, God told me it was time to move. Of course I didn’t look in the area where we were living now, I had to move “somewhere else.” Why? Because again nothing good could from Nazareth, the place where I was from.
So I went on a three-month expedition to find a house away from where I was. I walked so many roads. God let me explore all that terrain, see all of it. And at the end of it, He gave me the house he knew I needed just five minutes from where I live now. Same schools. Same parish. Same people. So maybe jumping didn’t have to mean going to Africa…
And then I did something I never would have imagined. I walked into my boss’s office and asked for my full-time job back. This again at the Holy Spirit’s leading. And He was overjoyed. He stuck by me through my winding road and told me I was not replaceable. I heard God’s voice in every word of that.
So in October, or maybe even before I’ll be back full-time. My kids are back in aftercare and loving it. Things are slowly falling into place as I watch God pull miracle after miracle in my life. I don’t regret for one minute the decision I made to jump, I have learned lessons that can only be learned apart from God, but always with Him. Because even though I chose to take a path that He did not ordain, I learned that He did. He anticipated this and let me do it, and then he fixed every mistake I made.
I can finally say I am at peace. I know now that if God wanted me somewhere else, I’d be there. I know that God knows me better than I’ll ever know myself. He understands the things that make me tick because he created my inmost parts. I don’t have to be anything or anybody else for Him, I just have to be the person that He created me to be.
I wouldn’t say that I would advise everyone to go this route. It involves a lot of suffering and dark days. But I can tell you it will answer every question you have ever had about the what if’s, the something greaters, the big dreams. Because at the end of the day, I came back to the same place, to the same people. He didn’t change my location or my parish, He changed me. I am a good mother not because of the amount of time I spend with my children but because of what that time contains. God sent me to law school, made me a lawyer, ordained me for this profession. He has allowed me to help more people than I could ever count, and I pray that He continues to use me in that capacity.
If you are here in that same space and want to reach out please do. I only hope that my experience can help you find God right where you are at this very moment.
Love and blessings to all-