I prayed for favor; instead I got fired.

The frost settled on the ground from the night before, the sun was already up and the traffic was starting to build for the final workday of the week.  With the engine barely running long enough to put the car into motion, I was off to work with a thermos of hot tea as the only thing warm in my car... My commute to work took only that of 15-20minutes; so just barely long enough to get that heat crankin, center my thoughts, and spend a few quiet moments in them before I would get to the studio and have to burst into energy to help everyone have a fantastic day.  (for the sake of the story, where I was employed doesn't matter - You can think it was an art studio, a studio for dance or even a boutique of clothing with your imagination;)  The important details are outside of the actual place of work.

I had been on this journey for the past few years.  I knew what I was called to and still pursuing that, but I had to pay bills and put food on my table, so I did what any sane person would do.  Get a day job!  I loved this job. It was fun and full of energy. I had the privilege of helping people feel wonderful in their own skin.  It was a good gig. It paid the bills. I could still focus on my own business of helping non-profits and people tell their stories through events and film.  Also, with the luxury of working outside of my normal day job hours, I could manage a handful of things.

Once the initial 'beginning/honeymoon' phase of this "day job" had passed things started to occasionally interrupt my pursuit of work in events and media though.  I had noticed the passion that drove my calling and dreams to tell people's stories through events and film was slowly being overtaken by the call to responsibility, and from needing to get to bed on time so I could perform well the next day, to meetings and extra events, I found myself putting personal projects off for a week knowing I could "get to them later." The hours, although lighter than full time were spent around the clock thinking about building my day job business.  I was constantly thinking "How could we see more clients? How could we see their lives' changed?"  **This in theory isn't wrong, and in fact I would encourage every business owner and employee to WANT to do this for the company they're with and representing!!  But it was taking precedence over the very reason I left a full time job in 2013 to pursue my calling and career.  Little by little, month by month, week by week, I was giving up precious time of pursuing my career to advance another GOOD gig.   

That "good" fit was just the problem though. I liked working here. I had fun with our clients and looked forward to working. There were some unpleasant things along the way, but I had been taught from a young age to be a go-getter, and a problem solver, and pursue improvement, perhaps just short of perfection to make things better.  And so I continued to push through challenges that would allow me to rise to the top. I would work harder to show my bosses I was committed and would make improvements based off their suggestions. I was a team player and wanted to be so!  I even pushed through several injuries knowing it was only temporary but because I wanted this to succeed, I kept fighting for it to work. (Kinda sounds like a relationship huh?) I was so torn though.  I loved my day job because of the fun it was, but I was slowly letting my calling slip away and my dream fade into the background. 

And so on that cold drive into the studio before my scheduled weekly hours I did what I normally would do.  I prayed for our clients. I prayed for my energy. I prayed that people would see something different in me they couldn't just pin point randomly; but that people would be drawn to the light within me. I prayed for favor.  In a moment of being tired of always being under critique I also prayed for favor in the eyes of our owners! Then in a moment of honest confession also told God "You know the desire I have to eventually work myself out of a day job, so I can then in turn be a client and enjoy still coming here. But Im not doing what I'm called to do to my full ability and I know this!  Im ready to see you move"  I didn't know what it was that morning, but my spirit was heavier than most mornings and while the joy was still there, I was moved to the point of tears.  Feeling a bit repetitive, I offered up thanksgiving and pleas in the same prayer, but knew I had to pull it together because it was GO time and I had arrived at the studio.  

Now, the irony is I had forgotten that several months before I had started to pray that God would interrupt my life.  (warning:  be careful before praying that kind of prayer because it usually will not be answered in the way we hope/think/care for;)  

Isn't it funny how most of our prayer life never works out the way we want it to?  Or let me rephrase that; it typically works out WAY DIFFERENT than what we hoped for.  The very things we pray for usually will not come together in the ways we expect.  I had been praying for months that God would deliver me from a situation beyond my control, but in order to do so, I needed income to be replaced.  I also had been praying for him to intervene in other areas of my life, but in the broad sense of "Lord, interrupt my life" perhaps that should be my hint to pray more specifically.  And the funny/irony of the entire thing?  That morning when I had been praying for favor in the eyes of my owners, I didn't know I would get favor in the eyes of some of the other business owners I do work with.  

I fully believe God cut the chord on this one gig, because He knew I wouldn't have had the courage to do so on my own.  After all, I loved this place. The colleagues and friends I had there. The clients. So many things about it.  But it wasn't right.  It wasn't where I was supposed to be and I don't know if I would have leaped into more of my calling, had I not been given that freedom to do so!  This was my 'shove'.  That in your face, "hello, Im working behind the scenes" nudge from God that he had something to do with this. Instead of being let go from my day job and then feeling the weight of what I would do without this gig, it was an opportunity to see God at work behind the scenes, and trust that he wouldn't let me flounder!  

So while I prayed for favor, instead I got fired. But the reality - God answered my prayers in more ways than I can fathom actually.  While it was encouraging in the mix of the chaos to be told time and time again by other clients how much they loved our location and they would specifically come see me when they could, to be set free from the burden of not being able to perform to perfection was a breath of fresh air. I was given more free time to pursue my career gigs once again, and a fresh new fire had been lit.  Meetings and work opportunities and conversations seemed to happen almost immediately upon my exit and I would have not been able to take future gigs of storytelling through filming and events, had I been working at this 'day job'  . . . Moment after moment I was encouraged to see God working behind the scenes.  I just knew he was setting the stage for what's to come, and this perhaps was his glorious intervention.  Despite an interruption I was NOT planning on, I had this indescribable peace that everything would be ok.  I cannot explain other than knowing and trusting I was in good hands.  Everything was going to work out. And despite being a little freaked out about the financial shift to come, I was choosing to trust my God to take care of me as he so faithfully promises us in his word.  He even mentions how he takes care of the birds and their food needs so how much more he would provide for us in moments of need.  (see it yourself!  Read here: Matthew 6:25-34) It says "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself)

Perhaps this was my chance to take off!  Like a bird stretching their wings, or like a runner hitting their stride I can feel the momentum building and its just as exciting as it was when the original momentum of my business started to gain traction!  Looking ahead I can already see where God is at work and how specific things are starting to happen, and I have the freedom to CHOOSE to pursue this NOW.   I am thankful. 

Now for some of you reading this thinking "Oh that's great for her!  Everything works out for everyone but you're not living my story" To which I can encourage you sweet one, it doesn't always happen this way.  There have been many times in my life where I did NOT get what I was praying for.  Had I, my life would look a LOT different today.  But like Garth Brooks says "sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers" I look back at my life and can directly see points of prayer that were not answered the way I hoped or imagined and how now in hindsight I can look back and see things actually worked out better than I prayed for, or that I was being protected from something which is why my prayer wasn't answered in the way I hoped, or that there was another path I was supposed to take, someone else I was supposed to meet, or another person who needed to encounter the love and grace of Jesus.

I cannot tell you the reasons why He doesn't answer all of our prayers in the way we expect, or even think we want; but I can tell you He IS sovereign and He IS still good.  Romans 8:28 tells us "He works all things together for good, for those who love him and are called according to his purpose." And while some of the trials and happenings of life just seem unfair and way too much to bear, my only words to offer one in that place would be to let Jesus draw near to you. Let Him show you his love, and let Him have the reigns... I believe He will weave things to be an eventual blessing and provision in ways you cannot fathom.  And until then by allowing yourself to draw near, press in to him and let him rework the tapestry of your life so He can show you the beauty He is capable of weaving together out of what you think is a total and utter mess! He is GOOD sweet one. He wants your best! Just as He does mine.

So, even in the prayers I don't get the answers I want for immediately, or the ones still on delay, I will choose to TRUST that God is still at work, and it is for our GOOD!  

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