“Hear God.” Those were the words written on the vanity plate a verbally abusive supervisor I had at the job I just quit.
Hear God. That’s what I did I as stayed in that job for almost three years despite the stress, anxiety, and frustration it caused me.
Hear God. That’s what I did when I quit this past week to pursue better opportunities to further my career.
I often sit out on a dock that’s in my backyard. It jets out into a river that’s downstream from a major naval port. The view is industrial and it can sometimes smell, but it’s peaceful. Out there the water moves slowly and there’s often a gentle breeze that helps cool me off on a hot day. The dock is where I have gone to sit when I want to hear God this past year. There’s something about looking out at the water and seeing the reflection of clouds that reminds me He’s there and hasn’t left. It’s not like this dock holds any special powers because I could hear God anywhere. But, the act of moving myself out of my house and close to God’s creation helps me connect with Him. It’s where I went when I made the decision to quit my job.
Since I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree I have been working for the university I attended. The job started out amazing. I worked with a great team, had a great boss, and was able to learn a lot. It also allowed me to continue my education to grad school and pursue a Juris Doctorate. But, there was a point when it all changed. My boss was fired suddenly and I was tossed to another department. In this new department I experienced a fear based work environment where no one was sure of moment they would be fired. Because the firing was coming. Even those who you thought were safe because they got promoted were usually fired within a month of their promotion. Only a few were lucky to continue past promotion. I was one of the few. The promotion did little to help me tolerate the job. I no longer believed in the work I was doing because of the way my co-workers and I were treated. It got to the point where the job was more stressful than Law School.
So, I prayed. A lot. For a long time the only thing I heard from God was to stay the course. Growing up in church the message of “God’s plan is hard” was never properly conveyed to me. In the Bible Paul gets shipwrecked, put in prison, and driven out of cities even though he was doing what God told him to; that all went over my head. To me it seemed like everything worked out just fine. Now, I’m not saying I’m Paul or that what I’ve gone through is comparable to a shipwreck, but I do now understand why God’s plan isn’t the easy way. Sometimes you have to go through hard things to accomplish the goal. This probably sounds like it should be obvious. If God’s for you who can be against you, right? Apparently, everything (or what seems like everything). God is what gives you the strength to overcome everything. Even when it seems like nothing will; God does. You just have to hear from Him.
This past week I resigned from my job. I could’ve quit at any point, but I did it now because I finally got the green light. I’ve always been told that things happen in Gods timing. I wished for a long time that His timing and my timing would line up, but as predicted His timing is better. Now, I get to go forward and do the next thing he’s calling me to. And when I hear differently I’ll do the next thing. Everything that I went through in the past couple years has prepared me for what is coming next. For all along God was teaching me lessons that have I will use in my new job. Things that I only would have learned if I didn’t quit when I wanted to. These past few years I learned how to listen to God, trust His plan, and know that everything has a reason. God’s plan for me is not easy, but it brings me to things I would not have imagined for myself.
“If you find what you do each day seems to have no link to any higher purpose, you probably want to rethink what you’re doing.” – Ronald Heifetz