Hi, Debbie –
My name is Jenny and I live near Asheville, NC. where I expect the market for personal coaching services is great and far enough away from you that we would not be competing in each others markets.
I have a very good job with a premier diversified corporation as a Global Customer Support Manager. I am 48 an have been with the corporation since I was 18 approaching my 31st anniversary with them in May 2010.
So, why am I contacting you. Although I feel totally blessed that God has provided me with a great husband, 2 beautiful children and this good job, I have a relentless yearning to spread my wings and fly! Why? I don’t know I just know that doing so has been on my heart well over 10 years yet due to existing financial obligations, I have not been able to step out in faith. Yes, I am ashamed! I claim to be in full surrender to Christ, yet I because I know God gave us free will I cannot take the leap of faith because I cannot trust that my decision to do so is HIS WILL for me.
I am interested in YOUR STORY — how did you do it. Were you like me or did you have less risk when you started?
If you do not wish to reply to this message I fully understand — I am not a customer — you do not stand to gain profits in $s by sharing your story with me. You do, however, stand the chance of making a difference in my life.
Reply if you will and if not, I wish you great success with 48 days.
I appreciate your email. I am reminded of Dan Miller’s chapter in Rudder of the Day called “Divine Discontent” where he quotes Emerson: “I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have see with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in.”
Yes, we had risks. We sold our house in California and went back to school and training for two years to pursue our calling. We both had the divine discontent and both a sense of calling to something new. We lived off of what we made from selling our home and then our first year in NC. we emptied our small retirement fund to get started. Our children were 6 and 8 when we moved to NC to begin a non profit ministry. I won’t go into details, but there were times I was very concerned for us financially. But now my husband is in his sweet spot and I am half way there as I am transitioning out of counseling into coaching. But I love our simpler lives. There has continued to be a lot of paring down to what is most important.
I would say definitely listen to your unrest and ask God for His leading. I have found that every change He has led me in took courage, but there was a desire to step out that kept us going. You have to incorporate times of stillness to hear God’s voice. If your life is so busy, you may have to start by letting go of some “ought tos and shoulds,” to fill your life with the most important. If God is calling, He will no doubt be paring (pruning John 15) so you can have a richer fuller life.
I’m struggling with a similar decision. I’m about your age, and by the world’s standards, I have a “great” job in that I’ve moved to upper management, I make more money than I ever dreamed possible, and yet, I’m so unhappy. I have a wonderful family, but the higher you move up the corporate ladder, the more that is required of you. To keep the job, the salary, and all the things the world says you should aspire to and be so grateful for – and I am grateful for the blessing of this job – you have to be willing to auction off more and more of yourself: your own values, your family, your time with God, your soul’s cry for something more…
I’ve known since I was a teen that I didn’t want to do what I’m doing now. But since I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I went where life led me and The Lord has blessed me and kept me every step of the way. But it’s not what He has called me for; I’m sure of that. Jesus is using the skills He’s blessed me to develop, but their application for corporate gain is not the field I’m to be spending my life, joy, and labor in.
It’s become increasingly difficult to fake a smile, and push down my discontent. I absolutely need the income this job provides to take care of myself and my family, but I also know that at all times now, I’m standing at the edge of the cliff staring down and questioning fear with increasing skepticism when it tells me I’ll never make it through alive if I step off. It’s fear that’s holding you back. I’m just waiting for one word to move from The LORD, and I’m over the side. Yet, I also realize that He may have already spoken and I’ve just been too afraid to move. However, I think now, I may be at the end of my ability to continue to make compromises with my heart and, what I believe, is my Savior calling me to step out and begin to walk in the purpose for which He made me, which He will show me. But first, like Abraham, I have to get up and start walking.
I hope you will soon know clearly what Jehovah wants you to do and that He will give you the courage to do it. One day soon, maybe much sooner than I expect, I will be challenging the voice of fear and walking away to walk closer to my LORD, Jesus Christ. And I know that even though it will be difficult and scary, it’ll be perhaps the greatest moment of my life.
GOD will fulfill His purpose for you. (Psalm 138:8)
I feel for you and am reminded of Ps. 127:2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved in his sleep.”
Sometimes instead of large paychecks, He makes clothes and shoes last as He did for the children of Israel on the dessert. Sometimes He gives good health, and sweet connections with those we love. Let me encourage you to meditate on Matthew 6:24-34 and let your motivation come from faith in God, not fear of “what ifs.”
Boundaries and Work is supposed to come out this spring. The original Boundaries Book is excellent and can help in establishing some margin in your life. (Both are listed on our resource page.) There may be some things you can do internally to set boundaries that will change your experience at work.