There is literally so much that I want to say, things that I have been contemplating as blog posts and then frankly I just didn’t get time to write them. Thoughts. Updates. New adventures. Here I am finding myself sitting on my day off and realizing I need to write something to the blog, only to log in and find out my last post was in April.
Yikes. So… here we go….
The Career Move
In March of this year, I made the decision to leave full time ministry and return to the secular marketplace. This is not to say that I don’t still DO ministry, that I’m not still writing and speaking, but rather that my primary source of income is a regular 9-5. I was hired into a company to open and launch their newest location in our area. In the month of March, I traveled to another location for training, and then it was all hands on deck to open our location April 15th. Once we were opened, it was still all hands on deck. You learn, in the process of opening, that theoretical training and practical application are two totally different things.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how much training you give someone, going live with that training is a totally unique experience. You can equip them the best you can, but launch day brings with it uniqueness that is not found in training. There are not clients starting you in the face demanding you work at an expedited speed. Your equipment will inevitably fail on opening week simply from taxing a system that was being underutilized before customers and clients were factored in.
Honestly, I feel like we finally hit our stride in mid July, where overall things were functioning pretty seamlessly.
The Book Deal
Intermixed during this season, I was also in the midst of several rounds of book edits. This is SUCH a process, that you don’t even really understand until you are an author. When I was working on my first book, I thought that once you wrote the manuscript and it went to the “editors” that my job was basically complete. They would polish it and make it even better. Friend, that was naivety on my part.
The editors send you back a marked up version of your manuscript, and you make all of the edits. Every missed comma, misspelled word, or sentence that needs to be rewritten. They will of course make suggestions, which is helpful to see how the reader is interpreting your words, but the work is still on you… and it comes with a deadline. You may go through several rounds of edits as well, with different editors leaving their own fingerprints all over your manuscript.
I promise you though… it is SOOOO worth it. Tedious work, but the end product is so much better.
As the edits were coming to an end, I was also sent the draft for my book’s cover… and I can not express to you how much in love with it I am.
I am going to write a separate post about the book, more in depth, but for those who are already following this part of my life… you can pre-order it through my publisher now. Release date is in Spring 2023.
When I left full time ministry, I had spent the better part of my life (over half, honestly) serving in the local church and community. I’m incredibly proud of the work I had done, but walking away was incredibly difficulty. To be totally honest, I didn’t want to. While this is also going to be another topic for another day, I will say that I was growing weary of trying so hard to be the hands and feet in a space that no longer wanted me.
Prior to the Covid shut down, I was already feeling a tinge of it. Through the shut down, it became more obvious. Finally, as things started opening back up I realized it was time to make a decision. And, one that in some ways I am struggling to find peace with. Yet right in the middle of that is where I am seeing God work.
First, He led to me others who had been experiencing the same things I was OR who had insight that I needed to hear. He’s been patient with me and I had to be patient with Him to unravel and reveal to me my next steps in His timing.
Second, He brought me to a place where I had to examine my own long held beliefs AND challenge myself in the areas I didn’t think were worth debating. There were hills that I would tell people that I didn’t feel were worthy dying on, when there were people basically being murdered on these same hills. I couldn’t turn a blind eye to it any longer.
Third, He affirmed the book. When I signed that contract in 2021, knowing the release was in 2023, I questioned the timing. Would my topic be relevant then? Would the conversations on this issue already be drying up. Each day, I would encounter something that would reinforce that this was an issue that was not going away. In fact, I feel that my topic is more timely now than ever.
Finally, He confirmed that I didn’t really leave ministry. Ministry is not something we are “involved in”. Ministry is who we are from the moment we are adopted into this family. It’s the core of what we do, ministering to the hearts of those He puts into our paths.
We can not leave ministry, because it is something we carry with us every where that we go.
In my new employment, every day I have the opportunity to watch someone grow and thrive. Investing in them from the bank of knowledge, helping them forge a career path, seeing those who have been overlooked, giving people jobs to provide for their family, helping them move higher in the company ranks, and ultimately provide for themselves and their family.
I come home and sob in my driveway, because I helped someone get promoted. Go from part time to full time. Get a pay increase. Get benefits. Find security in an insecure world.
And… in every little seed… there is Truth.
For He is at the heart of all that I am… and all that I do.
Right now, I’m watching Him repay what the locusts have eaten.
The harvest is plentiful.
This worker punches in her time card.
Let’s get to work.
One place may have not wanted my gifts and talents. But, rather than bury them under the ground… I took them elsewhere and the fruit is good.