J.P. Morgan once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” As I write this blog entry, I have finally decided to not stay where I’ve been for the past twelve years of my life.
Over the past several years, I have been asking myself the same questions over and over again: Is this it? Is this all there is to life? Work, sleep, prepare for work, eat, and cram the rest of my life and relationships into the one or two hours left of the evening and on the weekends? Is this really the meaning of life? If it is, why do I have this nagging feeling like I’m missing something?
After graduating from university, I spent the next ten years of my life working in a career that paid well, which allowed me to live in comfort. I had a house and money to buy whatever I wanted (food, books, music, magazines, collector’s items, etc.)—things I didn’t really need. Each time I bought something, I would love it for a while and then get bored of it. Now I’m spending hours trying to sell the thousands of dollars worth of collector’s items I bought over the years because I no longer find pleasure in them and they sit in a box in my closet.
The last two years of my life have been spent contemplating why I still feel empty. Why don’t I feel fulfilled in my career, my house, my relationships, and my stuff? Why do I feel drained and exhausted when I come home at the end of the day? What am I missing?
Finally, after years and years of emptiness, I cracked open my Bible and began reading, studying and praying. I grew up in a Christian home, but it’s only been the last couple of years when I truly began to pursue a relationship with Christ and looking for answers.
Recently, I started reading a book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. In the third chapter, the author hit the nail on the head when he explained why I’ve been feeling the way I’ve been feeling. He says: “Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals—hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart” (Warren 32).
After reading this, I almost shouted, “Yes! This is exactly what’s been happening to me!” I feel like the three jobs I have worked in the last twelve years have been meaningless. The relationships I’ve had with many people over the years (including family members) have barely scratched the surface and have not gone into the deep, intimate relationships I was designed for. In addition, my husband and I have changed churches three times in three years and moved four times in six years.
So, of course, I have to ask: “What on earth is going on?”
Four months ago we put our house up for sale and I resigned from my job a week later (for reasons I won’t go into here). Afterwards, I sent the following message to my family:
Over the last six weeks, I have done a lot of thinking about my life, and I realized that I’m not living the life God has designed for me. He has given me gifts and talents that I’m not able to use in my present career, and I feel in my heart that it’s time for me to leave this career path.
This decision to quit everything and follow a new career path may seem incredibly irresponsible to you, but I have been thinking about this for a year now and, with recent events in my life, I feel very strongly in my heart that it’s time for me to do this.
It feels like we’re starting a new adventure and I’m really excited (and scared), but if I don’t at least try, I’ll never know if I can succeed (and if I fail, I’ll try again).
So here I am again starting something new, but this time it feels different. This time I’m letting go of everything and letting God direct my life. I’m on a quest to find the purpose He has designed for me. I hope that, by the end of this quest, I will have found the answers I’m looking for.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with words of wisdom by Martin Luther King Jr.: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
I have taken the first step and I can’t wait to take the next and see where it takes me.
You are not alone.
You. Are. Loved.
I hope you find love, hope and peace in these words.