Quitting My Day Job
Faith Over Fear. Big Jumps. Lots of crying. Trusting God.
These words have been sprinkled through a lot of my posts over on social media recently. They’ve been hints of what has been happening in my heart for months, and many sweet friends have texted, emailed and called wondering if everything is ok. And today I’m letting the cat out of the bag:
I quit my day job.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve worked as a massage therapist for many years (mostly in a health care capacity). The last couple years I’ve been at a speciality chiropractic office less than 2 miles from where I live, and I’ve loved it. The staff is great. The patients are wonderful and I love helping people heal and get stronger. All of these factors made the decisions a difficult one.
And at the same time; it was easy.
Earlier this year, my husband and I decided step into the world of homeschooling with our girls. I know some of you just rolled your eyes or just opened another window to check Facebook or hop on Pinterest. It’s ok; no judgement. I was a pretty hard critic of the home-schoolers for a long time. But, that’s another post – which I promise to write, in the future.
For a variety of reasons we made this decision, but, it hasn’t been going so well. The reason being that “mommy is trying to do too many things”. And instead of doing them well, I am doing most of them good enough, and that is not alright with me.
Cause I’m an “all in” type of person. When I jump into something, it’s head first into the deep end without looking back. And it’s safe to say that I’m at the point where the shallow end of the pool slopes into the deeper end, and being that I’m only 5-foot tall, the water is over my head and I’m on my tippy-toes trying to keep my head above water.
Truthfully we have been praying for about a year on an exit date for me, knowing that in order to do more of the things that are important to us (homeschooling being just one of them), it required me to be home more.
Then, a couple of months ago I had the chance to attend the Influence Conference in Indianapolis. It was a weekend full of teaching and workshops and connecting with “my people”. It was wonderful. It is also where I feel like God really spoke some truth to me about my job.
During the last session I got a little mouthy with God. I had gone to the conference with a desire to know what His “next steps” were regarding my writing. My desire is to spend more time devoted to encouraging, inspiring and challenging people with words. It has been there for as long as I can remember. I had also been asking God for greater influence – to “enlarge my territory”, “widen my reach”, “open doors” for me to write and be paid, so that I could confidently quit the day job and not have to move my family into a van.
So there I sat, in frustration, asking God, begging Him once again, to give me a clear picture and timeline.
The words I heard were, “I want to give you more, Malinda, but your hands are full and closed. You’re grasping so tightly to your security blanket of a job that there’s no room to receive what I want to give you. Malinda, do you really think I need you to have your job in order to provide and take care of your family?”
My immediate response was “no Lord, of course not!” But I felt my heart drop. Doubt flooded my mind. ThenI felt Him press into that twinge in my heart with a “do you really trust me?“
Yes, Lord… (deep breath), I trust you.I whispered it, said it out loud and wrote it in my journal. Then I came home and together we put a “resignation” date on the calendar.
Even though we just increased our living expenses with a larger rental house. Even though my husband had his heart set on getting another vehicle (we are a 1-car family). Even though the holidays are just around the corner and we decided to go to Canada to see my family for Christmas (not an inexpensive trip as a family of 4). Even though I’m uncertain of what is to come in the future, I am confident in this:
God is my Father. He loves me. He is for me. He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He who spoke the earth into being and knows the number of hairs on my head, He whose hand spans the expanse of the universe and cares for the sparrow, He who knit me together and calls me by name, has promised to care for me, never leave me, and to go before me. He is faithful, never-changing and most powerful.
That being said, it is still a risk. There are moments when doubt moves in with whispers and darkness and fear. In those moments I come back to the words above and I remember the image I saw sitting at the conference – a closed fist that was unable to receive an increase. But when the hand opened up, it was able to be poured into – with abundance. And that image makes me excited. Because I know God’s plans are good. They are so much better than what I can dream up.
So, that’s the big news that has been a long-time coming. I hope you’ll stick around because I think things are just getting started.
I can’t promise you rainbow and unicorn themed posts about how “the grass is greener on this side” – because we all know what makes the grass that vibrant green color (more organic fertilizer!) But I do promise to continue being honest about our journey with a hope to encourage, inspire and challenge you in your own journey. Toward your own adventure. In your own version of a fuller life.