Passion or Just Plain Foolishness
Let’s just say that Flo and I have led an eventful life together, filled with layoffs, thousands of miles of U-Haul truck moves and drastic career changes. We are definitely wired for change… although, not by choice.
Eight years ago, we both took on positions in a Christian non-profit organization where our salaries were completely dependent on donations. Although it was definitely out of our comfort zone, we were absolutely sure about this decision and we were committed for the long haul. The confirmations of our decision were clear: our gifts and passions were leveraged in our roles, our donation funded salaries were almost always at 100% and our jobs offered great flexibility. For the first time since we were married, we moved from chaos to stability. We were comfortable in our roles and excelled at our work.
After spending the last four years as a stay-at-home mom, Flo went back to work in January for a just a couple of hours a day. The plan was to increase her hours in September when the kids were in full-time school, from part-time hours to almost full-time. The job was flexible and she could work from home and still drop off and pick up the kids.
Like anyone else, I experienced frustrating times at work and in February, I had it. I was done. However, instead of giving notice and just leaving, I was graciously offered a time of discernment to make a decision. In the end, it was clear that I wasn’t leaving because of the job, organization or people. I was simply being called, by God, somewhere else. It was time to move on.
The thing was… there was no job waiting for me on the other side and no leads, just the unknown.
Flo was pretty sure about staying at our organization, even up to the day I gave notice. Someone had to work, pay the bills and take care of the family. She didn’t mind being that person.
But about a week afterwards, it became apparent to Flo that she was to leave too. Of course many concerns immediately came to mind: How are we going to take care of our family? How are we going to pay the bills? We can’t both NOT be working. But the bottom line was, it was time to go and we were no longer passionate about our work. So, Flo resigned and that was that.
Some of you must be thinking this move as irresponsible, foolish… even crazy. No worries, we often think the same thing.
Our journey has been an exciting one and God has orchestrated many experiences that are not “normal”. We have hopes and dreams of owning our own house, being successful in our work, providing all the lessons the kids want so that they grow up well-rounded and so on. And we know there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But we are not looking for that next “job” that pays the bills and that can offer all those things. God has been very clear that our plan A, B or C is not His plan at all, period. If it were so, we would have packed our bags and moved to the United States.
The day after my last day of work, I was messaging with a friend (let’s call him John) from the US and told him that I had quit and had nothing lined up. John was really intrigued by this decision, going on to say that he’d never do the same thing. It’d be too scary a decision to make.
John then tells me that he just created a position at work and was looking for someone to fill it. Perhaps, I should apply for it. Since he was the hiring manager, the offer was practically on the table. My first thought was, “Wow, this is awesome! This is the answer! No waiting… Easy Button… BAM!”
This job would have taken care of all our hopes and desires: a six figure income, our own home, nice things, Flo would be able to continue staying at home… and adventure.
I spent the next two weeks working on my resume and talking to John about the job. Flo and I talked and dreamed lots about this possible adventure. However, our time in prayer, reading the Bible and conversations with others revealed a different path. I was reminded of my ‘goto’ verse:
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
~2 Corinthians 4:18
I graciously declined the offer and told John this: “In the last 7 years, God has changed me, moulded me into the person I am today, with the passions and gifts I know now. If I take this job, I would erase much of who I’ve become. It would just be a job, passionless.”
We believe that this was not a lost opportunity. Instead, it was an assurance from God that there would be opportunities. This was just one of them.
Where are we now, you ask? This is what we know. We know where our talents, skills and passions lie. So… we are building on that.
Without trying to sound too airy fairy… We’re trying to live by faith… to be dependent on God and to trust in His promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Have you ever wanted to step out of your comfort zone and what would you do?