When You Can't Go On Another Day
Do you ever feel like you literally cannot go on another day in your current situation? Whether it be your job or lack thereof, your marriage, or school, you reach a point where you sit there and think to yourself, “I don’t think I’m going to make it another day.”
I just had one of those months. Nay, I’m currently HAVING one of those months.
I’ve had this dream in my heart to be a business owner since I was a little girl; I’ll wake up early and exercise, drive my nice black sports car downtown and parallel park under some shaded trees, and walk a couple blocks to my office. It’s at the top floor of an immaculate skyscraper, and it has the most beautiful view of the city.
Or the other dream, where I wake up and make a nice, healthy breakfast. I’ll take care of my chickens before riding my bike to a quaint house-turned-shop where I will spend the rest of my morning listening to peaceful music as I prepare my shop for the day.
Whatever the dream may be, I’ve always been dreaming up different ideas, different businesses I could have, different inventions I could create, and so on. I’ve always been a dreamer and after college, I felt God calling me to start my own business… Just not yet.
Those might be the hardest words for me to hear. In a world of instant gratification, I HATE waiting. If I have a goal, I want to accomplish it now. Why wait?
Nevertheless, I had a small dream to be a business owner, but I was happy enough to wait, get a job, and pay off my loans before jumping in to start my own business. I told myself that it would take me 2 years after I graduated to pay off my car loan and student loan, and I’d definitely have enough saved in my 401k to feel secure if my business failed. I told myself that by then, I’ll have enough money saved and enough investors to open my first coffee shop.
2 years after I graduated, I realized it’s going to be hard to pay off my debt if I’m a contractor and work for a company who doesn’t take out taxes or doesn’t even have a 401k for me to invest into. So I decided I was going to quit my job and find another job that would pay taxes on my behalf and have a good 401k program so I can be financially secure before quitting to be a business owner. I even gave my boss a formal notice and he graciously said I’d have my job there until I found another one, so as not to leave me unemployed.
So I began applying and interviewing like crazy for 6 months.
12 Months passed.
I went on so many interviews and had endless phone screenings and only ever got one rejection letter after the next. I grew bitter and angry as to why God wasn’t opening up this door for me, until he finally told me, “not yet.”
He told me I just need to trust Him. He told me I need to stop worshiping this god of “financial security”. Instead, seek HIM as my security. If I’m seeking Him, the rest will work out. So, defeated, I sat in our closet floor and cried as I said, “okay, God. I give up. I’m finally ready to listen to you.”
THE LAST RESUME I’LL EVER PRINT
Months went by as I was walking in this newly-found confidence in God. I was determined to stay in this company as long as I needed to because even though I was only a contractor, at least I was learning how to file my taxes as a business owner would. I was learning so much that would definitely help me when I’m ready to finally launch my own business. And when that time comes, I would launch my business and do this contracting stuff of the side until my business makes enough for me to quit completely. Afterall, with the schedule of a contractor, I could customize my work days to be exactly what I need them to be.
And then I got a little distracted. A new job would pop up here and there, and I’d print my resume and go to that interview. I wasn’t seeking a job for security anymore, just seeking something more fulfilling so I thought maybe it was God’s will for me to move on now that I’ve learned my lesson about seeking financial security.
I got an interview, finally!
I dressed up nicely, printed my resume on fine paper, drove my nice black car downtown where I parallel parked under some beautiful trees. I couldn’t help but remember my dream as a little girl. “Maybe this is where I’m finally supposed to be” I thought. This company would be perfect; a non-profit working to protect the environment - everything I could dream of. The interview went so well that I was offered a higher position that what I applied for on the spot. I gladly shook my interviewer’s hand and happily said “yes” and marched back to my car with so much joy and confidence - I finally did it. After 2 years, I’ve finally landed a new job!
“That’s the last resume you’ll ever print.”
I heard these words as I sat back down in my car and looked at my resume. God was telling me right then and there that I would never need to print another resume. And I thought, surely this must be it.
TURNING DOWN THE JOB
However, God had other plans in mind.
As I was reading over requirements for this new job over the next couple days, I saw the schedule would require me to work weekday evenings, meaning I wouldn’t see my husband except on Saturdays and Sundays, and I wouldn’t be able to be home Wednesday nights, when my Husband and I lead a church small group. “Well maybe I can make it up by working Saturdays”, I reasoned: but Saturdays are when I have worship rehearsal, so maybe I would step down from Worship Team altogether...
Right then, I heard God tell me to turn the job down.
I was justifying in my heart how I can make it work. I will wake up early with Tim so I can see him for a few minutes each day. I’ll cook dinners ahead of time so he has something to eat while I’m gone. I’ll see if I can serve on the worship team without doing Saturday practices. It will be fine.
“Turn down the job.” God told me once more.
So I concluded to obey him; I picked up my phone and called my interviewer to tell her I had a change in heart. The conversation was awkward and she was mad, but I tried to be polite as possible, thanked her for the opportunity to which she responded, “Okay” and hung up.
On the bright side, I will never see her again and at least I still get to spend the evenings with my husband, right? But what in the world does God have planned for me?
Would that really be the last resume I would ever print?
What does that even mean?
PRESENT DAY: I’M NOT WHERE I WANT TO BE
So here we are presently: December 2018.
I’ve been working for the same company since August of 2015.
I still have my car loan.
I still have my student loans.
And I have no coffee shop.
I have all these dreams, a calling from God and a reassurance that I’ll never print another resume again, but I feel like I’m in the same spot as I began. No idea what I’m supposed to do with my life. Does that feeling ever go away?
The fact that I’m not 100% “there” yet after 3 years of working hard towards my dreams is SO hard for me. And I don’t mean the kind of work that’s from 9-5, I mean the kind that drives you to wake up early to work on your side hustle, work during your lunch break, and work late into the evenings while you’re eating dinner and watching Netflix with your husband. The kind of work that puts you well over 70 hours a week, still with very little to show for it.
Honestly, I’m exhausted.
And I can’t tell if I’m overworking myself because I’m a workaholic, or if this is just part of it - maybe I need to do this in order to have my own business one day, or maybe this is all for nothing. Every day that I wake up is another reminder that I’m STILL working for someone else in an industry that stands opposite of my morals. It’s another reminder that I’m exhausted and I still don’t have a 6-figure business to show for it.
My heart aches, my stomach turns, but I can’t quit my day-job yet because this income is crucial right now, especially since we recently bought a house.
I’m so ready. I see the vision. I see the work that needs to be done. I just don’t see God’s answer. I am at the place where I don’t know if I’m so desperate to hear God say, “okay, now is the time.” that I’m making myself hear that.
So I’m stuck.
Is God telling me now is the time to quit? Or is he telling me just a little longer?
Truth be told, I’m not sure which answer is more terrifying. If I quit now, our financial situation is gonna be completely in Gods hands and as a planner, me NOT knowing God’s details in the plan completely freaks me out even though I know that he provides where he guides.
The other alternative is God tells me to keep working for this company; another terrifying thought. I am so ready to quit that I physically feel like it’s impossible for me to go on another day here…how can I make it another day?
I’m paralyzed. Yet I wake up everyday and go to work still, until I hear an answer from God.
The company I work for has been going through a lot of changes, most of which we had plenty of notice about beforehand. We knew the company was growing, we knew there was a possibility we’d go corporate, and so on. Through all of this, I had in mind I would quit before it ever reached that point.
And then it happened. We got the phone calls and went to the meetings that told us about this new change: and we’d have to choose whether or not to become an employee or stay as a contractor. I was determined to stay on as a contractor, by golly. I mean, it took me long enough to learn that God didn’t want me working as an employee that surely he wouldn’t have changed his mind at this point.
We scheduled one-on-one phone calls to discuss the new terms and go over some company changes, and finally my meeting was here. I knew what I’d say, “I’d like to stay on as a contractor because XYZ.”
And I said what I planned to say, but the response was not that which I had expected at all.
Maybe there was a breakdown in communication, but the answer I understood was that staying on as a contractor wouldn’t be an option for me; I would need to accept this position as an employee.
With hardly any time to really think about my answer or what was said to me, I was signing hundreds of pages, signing my life away to our new motherhead company.
I hung up the phone feeling utterly depressed. Ironically, something I had previously wanted for so long, having a company that pays well and has benefits, I finally had and I couldn’t be more upset about it. I felt sick, my stomach felt heavy, and I kept thinking, “what have I done?”
The change happened officially as of November 1st and since then, it’s been a real fight to have a good attitude at work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boss. I love my colleagues. I just feel sickened by the industry for so many reasons that I’d prefer not to get into right here (if you’re genuinely curious, I am open to having a one-on-one meaningful discussion about why I disagree with the industry.)
Nevertheless, every day I wake up and feel like I can’t do it - today is the day I will quit. I have to pray for strength to make it through, I have to pray for a good attitude, I have to pray in thanksgiving that I even have a job, I have to pray to be grateful to be in my situation, I have to pray against negativity towards everything, I have to pray constantly and even still, more often than not, I find myself staring at my computer screen with tears welling up in my eyes.
It’s been nearly 2 months of feeling hopeless at work, wondering when I can quit and move onto bigger and better dreams. After so long, I finally reached my breaking point. I had a melt down and cried for an entire day until I picked Tim up from work. And then I cried some more on our hour-long drive through traffic to dinner. During that time, Tim said a few things to me that opened my eyes.
1) Life is about the lessons we learn along the way. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
2) I’ve been relying on myself and my own “success” to guide my direction.
3) If I am doing all of this on my own without God, it doesn’t matter how hard I work, it will never be blessed if it’s not God’s will for me. It will never succeed in the way I want it to if I’m doing it without God.
4) Nothing else matters but to obey God. We are only ever fully satisfied when we’re completely trusting and following God.
After hearing Tim say those things to me I finally felt like I could catch my breath, you know, since I had been sobbing the last hour.
P.s. sobbing whilst driving in traffic is quite challenging and I do not recommend this.
The peace that surpasses all understanding
I suddenly felt peace overtake my heart and I knew it would be okay.
I finally realized that I had been so focused on what I want, what I dream, what I can accomplish, how successful I can be that I completely forgot the whole reason I want to be a business owner in the first place; to have freedom to work in a way that brings honor to God and expands God’s kingdom.
And maybe right now expanding his kingdom looks like me working in an industry I completely disagree with to my core, yet staying faithful. Maybe it looks like me quitting and totally trusting God to work out the financial details. Whatever it looks like, I know I can take a breath and relax because God’s got this.
And though it’s cliche, “Do your best and let God do the rest”. This is another thing Tim said to me that hit me like a Mac Truck. DUH. How have I missed it this whole time? I’ve been so focused on myself; my own dreams and my own misery that I started operating selfishly and stopped working for God’s glory. I’ve been working for my own glory.
Except for me, it’s not necessarily to “do my best” since I already struggle with trying to DO IT ALL in my own strength. For me, it’s “OBEY, and let God do the rest.” All I have to do is obey him. I don’t have to fret about when I can open up my businesses. I don’t have to feel conflicted about the company I work for. I just have to listen to God’s voice. When he says “jump”, I have to jump. When he says “stay”, I have to stay.
All I have to do is obey him, and he’ll do the rest.