A while ago, I sent out some invitations for guest bloggers here at Simple Deep Life. I'm not the only one in the world who has a passion for Kingdom living among women. I work best in community and I love having other women speak into my journey.
Michelle is an amazing woman who contacted me as she felt compelled by the Lord to share her story to a broader audience. I'm so thankful she prayerfully decided to share it here! May this story encourage, inspire, and challenge each of you today! Here is her story:
“Please don’t make me go to work tomorrow,” these are the words I would often whine to my husband on Sunday evenings knowing that my work week began again the next morning….another Monday morning. The dread could be completely overwhelming and take the joy right out of my Sunday.
I am a manager….I compare management to motherhood, there’s never a time where your mind is completely away from it. There’s never a moment where the responsibility is not there. HOWEVER, unlike being a mother, I had gotten to a point in my job where there was no joy, there was nothing to look forward to, there was nothing that felt like purpose. It was a paycheck. I might add it is a much needed paycheck, as I have a son in college and two more planning that direction. I felt stuck in something that was making me miserable.
I knew I had become a broken record to my friends, my husband, and especially with God. I complained. I complained a lot. I had this need to make others understand the stress, the relentless unreachable demands, the hard personalities that I dealt with each day.
Next came the health issues….headaches, fatigue, digestion issues….I decided a trip to my physician was in order and he wanted to discuss my stress level. I explained the demands of my job, I was stuck in a position that I couldn’t get out of. He informed me that the stress was manifesting in high blood pressure and weight gain. He encouraged me to find another job or learn to better manage my stress. Well, another job was not in the cards……
This is when it all came to a head. I did not see or feel hope. I felt desperate and stuck. I was unhappy and it was affecting my entire life. I was trying so hard to figure it all out. When I came face to face with health issues I finally begin to pray, really pray about my job. I was scared. I was at my breaking point.
I am presently reading a most excellent book by author Kristan Dooley called Bigger. It references Ephesians 3:20; God desires for us more than we can imagine, bigger than we can imagine or even ask for. Kristan does point out that in order for God to work in our lives in a bigger way, we first have to be broken to Him. I did not know it at the time, but that is where I was, completely broken. I finally came to my knees with God and asked Him to change things. I asked that He would help me find purpose in my day to day job. I asked Him to somehow make my job my ministry. In my weakness and humility, I finally felt God take control.
And I begin to feel change. Nothing about the job changed….nothing. All the same demands, all the same people. But I started to change…..
I prayed often about my reaction. He heard my prayers. I prayed that Jesus would be my first reaction, my first thought every time I felt pushed into a corner, every time I opened my email, every interaction with a co-worker. I wanted the words from my mouth, the look on my face, my entire body language to reflect Jesus. I prayed for patience, calmness of spirit, humility. He answered. He answered in mighty ways. I could hear His voice and presence in situations like never before.
I prayed often about opportunities. He heard my prayers. I prayed Jesus would place people in my path that needed to feel His presence as well, people who needed to hear His name, people who needed Him and didn’t even know it. I prayed for opportunity to share the peace He was providing to me. It started to happen on a daily basis, and people would thank me for stopping to talk with them, encourage them, pray for them. It gave me a new joy.
I prayed often for purpose. He heard my prayers. I wanted to know that in the position I had been placed that I was doing something for His kingdom, not just creating revenue for a company. I wanted to know that at the end of my day I could find worth in my efforts. I felt new purpose, a thankfulness to be placed here.
Lastly, I prayed often for specific co-workers to somehow come to know of Jesus through me. Two co-workers in particular that I knew did not know a relationship with Jesus Christ. Soon, I noticed them asking me more questions about my faith and asking my advice.
I started using my drive time to work for meditation. He led me to new inlets, a pod-cast called “Lead Like Jesus”; positive, uplifting Christian music to set my mood for the day; time for silence—to pray and then listen.
I established a new morning routine, getting up a little earlier and spending time in His word and being accountable to friends in an online Bible Study. I shared my journey and was so encouraged. He always meets me in that time, it is my greatest comfort.
I asked, God answered. The level of demand continues, but so does the deepening in relationship with my Prince of Peace.
During this time, God gave me a word. That word was “Grow”. I now feel, with all my soul, I was specifically placed in this situation so He could teach me a different type of leadership and a full dependence on Him. I also believe He has plans for me to use all He is teaching me in something bigger than my job. I praise Him for leading me to and through the brokenness. I thank Him for His continued grace as I fail miserably some days. Through Him I will continue to “grow” and I will trust and seek out the immeasurably more He has for me.