November 8, 2018
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next.
I worked in the preschool at our church for 8 ½ years, and Friday was my last day. Man, oh, man, my decision to leave the preschool was a hard one. My husband got a job as the pastor of a new church, so we won’t be attending our church in Turner anymore. But if I had wanted to, I could have kept working at the preschool during the week. I really didn’t want to let the church down or let the preschool families down. What would happen after I left??
I prayed about this a lot. I agonized. I Pros & Cons List-ed it. I made my husband talk about it a thousand times. It got to where when I’d say, “What do you think I should do?” he would say, “You know what I think.”
I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to leave the preschool when my husband left the church. It felt right that we move forward to our next life together. I didn’t want to be left behind living my old life, at the old church. But just knowing what I wanted to do wasn’t a decision maker. I needed to know what God wanted me to do. He’s my Boss. He calls the shots, and I trust Him to do so because He knows so much more than I do!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Alrighty then, I think those verses make it pretty clear that He knows more than I do! So I asked God to make it abundantly clear what I should do. I kept praying, and over time I just had incredible peace that it was right for me to leave with my husband. The timing was awkward; I knew that. But God’s ways don’t always make sense. As I started to tell people about my decision to go, I had to explain my reasons for leaving the preschool. Each time I explained myself, I gained more certainty and more peace.
One evening in September, I was watering the lawn and feeling grateful for the peace I felt about my decision to leave the preschool, but I was still feeling uncomfortable about letting people down. And I had a moment. One where I heard God say something crucial. It was clear as day and I will never forget it.
He said, “It’s time to go. And I’m proud of you.”
I was overcome. I dropped the hose and went to lay in the hammock and I sobbed. The neighbors could probably hear me and I didn’t even care. I just kept praying, “Thank you…. I needed to hear that…Thank you…”
It’s really not a very fun feeling to think others are disappointed in your decision. But God was reassuring me that He saw everything I had poured into the preschool and how hard I had fought to have a loving attitude on the difficult days. He knew how hard I had tried to please Him. He knew that it made me uncomfortable to let people down by leaving at this point. So He told me that He was proud of me! And then He reminded me as I was lying there, “Mine is the only opinion that matters.” And He said, “We did it, baby girl! We did it together. Now it’s time to go.”
I’m sitting here crying as I retell this. Because it’s one of the sweetest moments of love I’ve ever felt from Jesus. I will never forget it. I pray it blesses you to hear it so that you will be reminded that we have a God Who gives us just what we need when we choose to obey Him.
That was September, and even after that assurance from God, I had a couple incidents of waffling in my decision. I thought, "Maybe I should just stay at the preschool until Christmas break…?" I didn’t know where I was going to work next, and the steady income from the preschool would sure be nice as Christmas approaches…. But the one thing I kept going back to in my mind and in my prayers was that I truly believed God had said, “It’s time to go.” How could I question Him now?
So I took the leap of faith and I said goodbye to the preschool. I said goodbye to the little students and their parents. I said goodbye to my co-teacher who is also a precious friend. I turned in my keys. I cried some big, fat tears on my drive out of the parking lot. God closed that chapter of my life and I am following Him into the next one.
But I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.
Before I actually left the preschool, a few weeks ago, I was driving and wondering what job I’m supposed to have next. I told God, “I feel a little bit lost.” God said to me, “It’s OK to be lost for a little while.”
I have held onto that this week. I went back to it Friday afternoon after I left the preschool and I got home. I was walking back out to my car to bring in some flowers and balloons I was gifted with. The sun was shining so beautifully. I stopped and basked for a minute. I took a deep breath and told God, “OK, Lord. It’s the first day of the rest of my life. What now?”
And as I stood there I remembered that He said, “It’s OK to be lost for a little while.”
I asked my daughter to grab my phone and take a picture so I would remember the moment I was starting a new life with the Lord.
There are many things I’m not sure of right now. But one thing I am sure of is that He has good plans for me.
“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.”
I’m also sure that He has good works for me to do.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I’m also sure that if I continue to seek His face and obey His every instruction, He will tell me what to do when the time is right.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the LORD gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
I have been praying that God will show me where my next job will be. I’ve asked Him to “plant me” wherever I can have the most influence for Jesus. Will I work at a school? Will I work at Starbucks? Will I stay right here and work for the Lord without a paycheck? I don’t know. But God knows. And He’s gonna tell me!
I wrote this to tell my own story, but also for anyone else that might feel lost right now. God sees you. He knows exactly what you need. He knows what’s next for you. It’s possible He hasn’t told you yet because He’s waiting for you to get your heart right with Him. Surrender today!! Or it’s possible He hasn’t told you yet because you’re not ready. Or other people aren’t ready. His timing is perfect! Trust Him. Keep drawing near and just wait, my friend.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10