This past Sunday my husband preached a lights-out message about Abraham. In it, he talked about how Abraham had a clear promise from God, but despite his faith, he still tried to get in the way and do things his own way to make these things happen. It was not until he truly threw his hands up in the air and stopped interfering that these promises came to fruition and his descendants populated the earth. Now, I know that my calling is not to populate the earth (or at least I hope not!), but I do know that God has been calling me to do more in our ministry, our city, and to make impact in our world. The only problem is, I can't seem to find the time.
Fast forward to yesterday at lunch time when our whole world was rocked by one phone call. To just put it out there, and in the spirit of transparency, I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that I was let go from my job yesterday (or "your position has been eliminated" as the
so kindly put it). I got the whole "it's not you, it's me" song and dance and my six years of faithful service to a lavish resort in Miami has now been minimized to merely two weeks of severance pay and health benefits that end at the close of the month, which is lovely considering that they told me this with only eight days left in April. But alas, it is what it is and I cannot change this, so we must move forward.
I spent the day going through every emotion imaginable. In many ways I think I went through the entire coping process in about eight hours when it normally takes weeks or even months. As I hung up the phone, tears stung my eyes and freely ran down my face. I wasn't truly surprised as our company has been letting people go right and left, but I was a bit shocked as there was no fair warning; in fact, the meeting on my calendar had been set up as a "golf group review." The other three people (who are left) in our department each gave me a call to let me know how crazy it was and how they could not believe it was me who was next on the chopping block and it oddly made me feel better. I'm not sure if you've ever been let go from a job, but no matter what the situation, there is certainly a feeling of rejection. After learning, however, that they had all been assured a couple of weeks ago that this "letting go" process had ended and they need not worry about their own jobs, I almost felt relieved- liberated even. After hearing this and reflecting on the package they sent me packing with I realized that the management no longer saw us as people, but merely as employees. My former boss had left about a month ago after being there for 15 years, so I suspect that she felt much the same way although she didn't say. All I know is that after the hour or so that I allowed myself to have that pity-party, I felt nothing but a sense of peace. This was not the job or the company-culture that I had said "yes" to six years ago, so in many ways it's for the best. I had often said to close friends that I had lost passion for what I was doing and that I wished I had a job that truly made a difference in people's lives, but since the financial situation (and working from home) worked so wonderfully for our family, I never made the moves to see that happen. In these cases, I think sometimes God gets tired of us lamenting, wishing, and hoping, and so He intercedes and gives us the push we need, which is where I find myself today. So like I said, I had my pity-party, and then wandered aimlessly around the house. The call came at one o'clock, so there were still several hours of the "work-day" left... hmmm... what to do? I determined that until I figured out what was next, my current position was "stay at home mom," which meant that I could scrub my house from top to bottom and not feel guilty for doing it while I was "on the clock." While the kids napped, I ran the vacuum, even moving furniture to get all those hard-to-reach places. I scrubbed a carpet stain that I had been neglecting for months, boxed up the Goodwill pile that had been sitting on our closet floor, organized our laundry room, and wiped down the kitchen until it sparkled. It was oddly satisfying, and kept my mind off of things for a bit.
Once I stopped moving, however, I went into a few minutes of panic mode... oh my goodness, we're going to lose about 65% of our income! Oh my goodness, we're going to lose our health insurance! How will we ever make it??? I started Googling "how to apply for unemployment" and took a look at our bank account, wondering if I should just go ahead and call DirecTV now to say that we can no longer afford their services or at least wait until I see the next episode of "Nashville." Should I sell my car and get one that is less cushy? Should we reconsider sending Lilly to pre-school next year? So many ridiculous questions flooded my brain that I could hardly keep up, but in the moment that I almost signed on to Monster.com to search for jobs, I stopped myself...
"I've got this".... was the small voice I heard in my spirit. I battled those other voices that were fighting for my attention and listened to the only one that mattered, the one of my creator, the Father who loves me deeply and will never abandon me. For the first time all day, I just sat and breathed deeply, basking in His love for me and resting on His promises. I thought back to that impacting sermon and asked myself, "Do I want to be the Abraham who said he'd follow God, but still tried to do things His own way because of doubt, or do I want to be the Abraham who climbed up the mountain ready to sacrifice his own son, because He knew that God had asked this of Him and had not let him down in the past?" And then I turned that thought inward and wondered, "Do I want to be the Kim who moved to Lexington three years ago full of faith but also full of fear, wondering not how, but IF God would pull us through the church planting process, or do I want to be the Kim who knows that even though our situation looks different now, God has a greater plan for me and He just needs me to trust him to see it through?"
In these past few years, our faith has been tested time and again. But in those times of trials, not only had God proven over and over again that He will take care of us, He's far exceeded our expectations and made some incredibly miraculous things happen. I can think back to the four people that came to our very first launch meeting when we moved here to plant TurningPoint... sure, there were only four folks there, but had there been zero we might have quit! I think back to the timing of it all, when Josh left a big salary behind and we lived on mine for three months, and then on a very small maternity pay for three more, and yet we still managed to pay our hospital bills and treat our kids and family members to a nice Christmas... it just doesn't make sense! I think back to the house in Illinois that sat empty while we ate the mortgage, and then the renters who literally came out of nowhere when our saving account was about to run dry. I think about the 285 people God brought us on the day TurningPoint launched, the hundreds of salvations we've seen happen in that place, the palpable feeling of the Holy Spirit moving each week in that building, the boundless joy we witness at our baptism services, and the 500 people we're seeing come through the doors every weekend, merely 14 months after we started. It's miraculous, it's incredible, and it's only through God, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). If these things haven't yet perfected mine, I'm not sure anything ever will; what more could I possibly need?
So that's where I'm at... still a bit stunned, but completely resting in His perfect love and plan for me. While I don't know what the future holds, I know that the plans He has for me are good and they are plans to prosper and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). It might be a new job outside of our home, another work-from-home opportunity, or maybe a bigger unpaid role at the church, which I would love if we could swing it. It might be a new arm of our ministry, a season of just being home and investing in our children, or a presence on our directional team... who knows. What I do know is that during this in-between time I'm going to listen for that still, small voice, and spend my time investing in people, getting coffee with friends, taking the kids to the park, assisting our worship leader with some media projects, blogging more, getting into the Word, and trusting that the best is yet to come. Waiting on God can be hard sometimes, but I know that worry does nothing, fear can be crippling, and neither one will change the outcome. Today I choose to remember the promises He has already fulfilled for us and rest in His promises to come. Who knows, this might end up being the best thing that has ever happened to us... only time will tell.
Thank you for your prayers, concerns, texts, calls, and emails. I love my TurningPoint and ARC families, as well as the many wonderful family members and friends we have surrounding us. This is just a hurdle on our journey, but it's certainly not something that we can't move past. This is a new day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).