4.18.2012

Surprise Ending

I've got a tentative last day scheduled on the calendar at work. It's written in blue and circled and it seems so permanent. My co-workers have made it clear that they aren't happy with me for leaving (which, of course, makes me feel good), but they understand the desire to move on. And there's the rub. I don't have another job lined up, and that is causing mixed emotions in yours truly.

I have never been what people call, a "career woman". I have no aspirations of climbing any ladders or being the Next Big Thing, but something funny has taken place inside of me since I circled that date on the calendar...I feel a bit lost. I suddenly realized that even though I haven't really enjoyed my job, for the last fifteen months I've had an identity outside of our home. When people asked me what I did, I had an answer besides, "I stay at home. No, we don't have kids. Yes, I find ways to fill my time. No, I'm not bored, but thanks for asking." In fact, what I discovered was that I liked being able to say, "I work at..."

In about three weeks (give or take a few days), I'll be unemployed - by my own choice. For a little while, I'll get by with, "I just left..." or "I'm looking for...", but eventually (if all the resumes I sent out end up in the round file), I'll be back to saying, "I stay at home." Only this time, I'm not sure that the words will roll off my tongue quite as easily. I'll be honest, I liked earning a paycheck. I never enjoyed the odd hours or the work itself, but even though the checks were never big, I liked feeling that I had contributed to our bank account and towards our financial goals. I liked buying Peter's Christmas gifts with money that I earned.

If you haven't picked up on it by now, this aspect of quitting has taken me by surprise. All that I have dreamed about since January 24, 2011, was the day that I could clock out and never go back, but now that the end is in sight, I'm having second thoughts. Oh, it's not that I want to stay at this job (though I will certainly miss the camaraderie of my co-workers), but for the first time, I'm not so sure that I want to "keep house" for a living. Of course I will do it, and I will like it, but I won't get an automatic deposit on Friday for folding laundry and cleaning our toilets.

I remember those first few crazy weeks on the job, feeling completely lost in what I was doing and oh so nervous about what the day would hold, never being quite sure what was expected of me. I know that I spent most of my working hours praying that I wouldn't screw up. I still pray that. And now I find that in departing this job, I'm experiencing the same feelings of insecurity and nervousness. I wasn't expecting that. I worked at home for 10.5 years before I took this job, why does it make me nervous now?

So, with the end in sight, and an unsure future (do I apply for an office job? submit articles to magazines? try selling a book idea? clean the floors?), I'm clinging to the same promise now that I clung to frantically after I got a job "on the outside": God has a plan for my life. He's with me whether I'm helping grumpy customers or cleaning toilets or trying to find the right words for a book or an article or a simple blog post.

Whether I get a job next week, or I never work outside our home again, I'm thankful for the lessons that He has taught me over the last fifteen months. I came face-to-face with my pride (from "here I come to save the day!" to "I've never felt so incompetent in my whole life!" in less than a week), my temper, and my laziness. I became a better financial steward because I finally understood with my head that money = time (as in, prior to buying something now, I ask myself, "It would take me 3.5 hours of work to pay for this, is it worth it?"). Best of all, God used my broken spirit to draw me back into close fellowship with Him, which is worth more than any paycheck I could ever get.

What does the future hold? I don't know, but I know the One who holds my future. He controls my life, provides for our needs, fills my heart with joy, comforts me when I worry about what's next, and forgives me when I fail. Without Him, I would be hopeless, and with Him, I can face whatever is next without fear or hesitation. Which gives me my answer to the question, "So, what do you do?"

I serve The King, whether that's out in the workplace or at home with my vacuum. What about YOU?

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5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Surprise Ending. I envy your relationship with Our Lord. I wish my relationship with Him was as strong & personal.

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    1. Hello anonymous - thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, but I want to encourage you that my relationship with God isn't something that's not available for you. Just like any relationship, it takes work. You have to spend time with God, reading the Bible, talking to Him through prayer. He desires a close relationship with His children, and if you know Him as your Savior, He's waiting for you to fellowship with Him. The more time you spend in His Word, the more you will grow, and your relationship with God will affect every area of your life. You will recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and you will find comfort in the darkest of times. It's so worth the effort! I don't know your name, but I promise to pray for you. If you ever want to talk, send me an email @ couponcarriek (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  2. Your feelings are quite normal and a testament to the strength of human relationships. I think you summed up your purpose wonderfully - to serve.

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  3. Yep, this post absolutely resonates. I'm not sure what job lies ahead (and I hate saying I don't have a job outside our home AND no, we don't have kids). But it will come, I just have to continue to do my part and wait for God to do his.

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  4. "I serve The King, whether that's out in the workplace or at home with my vacuum. What about YOU?"

    OOH I LOVE this, Carrie!! Thanks for your honesty!

    I think there is always that element of feeling "lost" when you end or begin something. You have an amazing perspective and it encourages me to read your thoughts about being surprised at the bittersweet feelings you're having as you prepare to close this chapter of your life. Praying that God's continued guidance will bring more surprises as you continue to walk with Him!! =)

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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