March 29, 2011

When He goes before you.

Last week I wrote about waking up to the new life God had dreamt for me more than a decade ago. Here is the other side of the story...

Quit your job, he said.
Lord, I hear you but…the budget does not add up.
Quit your job, he repeated.
You know best, Lord but…we would have to have private health insurance and that is expensive and no dental insurance and that is scary.
The time has come to stay home with your babies, he prodded.
I want to, Lord…but in this economy?
It took another year of praying, discussing, adding, subtracting, saving, finding faith, and getting courage for us to realize that yes, the budget would not add up; yes, we would have to get personal health insurance and lose our dental one; yes, this is scary but yes, the Lord spoke and we must obey.
So I quit.
After six years of teaching high school, the only grown-up job I’ve ever known, I walked away. I was near the top of my pay scale, I had a position of leadership, I had great benefits.
But I quit.
At a time when other people were desperately looking for work, I purposefully resigned. It was not easy and it was terrifying and many friends were puzzled and many others were frustrated with our seemingly illogical timing.
Still, I quit.
It seems to me that after walking with God for so many years, having experience after experience with his faithfulness and his provision I had finally learned to trust that He has a plan, that his ways are truly higher than my ways and that, when He requires we have faith and obey, He has begun working on what the future will hold.
I just quit.
But this God, this God will not be explained, this God will not be controlled, this God will not be fully known. While I sat comfortable in my knowledge of him, He had yet another lesson to teach me about his Holy character, his incredibly organized mind, his deep understanding of our journeys, and his perfect, oh so perfect, timing.
I entered my freshman year in college with the idea of becoming a journalist. After taking my first journalism class I dropped the major. It simply was not for me.
With not many ideas and little direction, having a love of theatre, public speaking, and teaching, I decided to major in Communication Education. It was a prayerful decision and I felt comfortable declaring the major.
I knew I wanted to teach but I had the opportunity to further my education before entering the workforce. With a student visa about to expire, with the threat of having to return to Ecuador before I was ready, and with an offer to earn my master’s degree for free by teaching undergraduate communication courses, I enrolled in a master’s in Communication Studies program at a large state university.  My elective courses were spent taking Spanish-related classes to enhance my teaching license.
Two and a half years later, with two diplomas in hand, and a state license to teach both communication courses and Spanish courses, I left for South Carolina with my newly acquired husband.
I never found a teaching job that required my communication knowledge. I was quickly hired as a Spanish teacher and, while my master’s did help me to climb the pay scale, my two diplomas were put away in a box in the attic, never to be brought out again. When people would ask what one does with a master’s in communication studies I would shrug and say: “beats me.” For years I taught Spanish, loving every minute of it.
Quit your job, God said six years and two kids later. 
I closed my classroom door for the last time in May of 2009. In faith, we began the journey of living with one income, of making ends meet, of re-arranging our priorities.
In June we took a trip to Ecuador and we spent time praying about how our lives would be different when we returned to the States.
In July I received an e-mail from an accredited, well-known online university. They required someone with a master’s in Communication Studies, with two years of experience teaching at the college level, who spoke Spanish, to teach from home. This job was made for me. Perfect. The pay is equal to what I was making before, the work is less demanding.
In September I was hired. God spoke again.
I’m glad you quit your job; I had better plans for you.
As He always had.
He knew what I would need right when I needed it. All the things He guided me to do all those years ago that I could not understand were part of a plan I could not see coming.
When I quit my job I knew He would be faithful, I knew He would provide, I knew He would come through.
I didn’t know He had already been faithful, He had already provided, He had already come through for this very moment, years ago.
This is the dependable God, the Creator of the Universe who still has enough time to worry about where I have been, where I am, and where I will be all at once; He understands my every need and orchestrates it all just as it needs to unfold. All I have to do is trust and obey.
I have been home for almost two years now and this is right where I need to be. As I think about how God’s handprint shows up even a decade ago to make my today what it is, I start to understand what Moses was trying to teach Joshua in the 31st chapter and the 8th verse of Deuteronomy:
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you" (emphasis mine).

**Linking up with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters this week. Visit to see what other wonders God is doing in their lives**


Unknown said...

Oh Gaby. Not only could I use these words today, but at least one other SDG sister can really use these words today. Confirmation just dropping from the sky!

Jenny Roan Forgey said...

Jen is talking about me! I left my job in obedience to be a stay at home mom of two last summer. I'm one year behind you & praying through next steps as the money is running out. Your prayers for discernment & faith are appreciated!

Deborah said...

I know I've said this before, but that is totally amazing! I'm so glad it's worked out that way for you.

Gaby said...

Thank you, ladies. Jenny it is so nice to meet you. I stopped by your place to leave some bloggy encouragement. Many blessings to you.

Debbie said...

This one is wonderful!! I heard those same words too many years ago to count, and God has been faithful. I pray that someday, the perfect "replacement" job will be sent my way too.

This was such an inspiring post.

Jennifer said...

Gaby, how cool is that?!! It's very easy to get bogged down in the here and now--I do it all the time--but I can't wait to one day see how everything fits in the big picture. Loved your post!

Amy Sullivan said...

Oh Gaby, I love this. God knew all along he had something much better in store for you. . .good job trusting Him.

Anonymous said...

Gaby, I have been struggling with this decision as well. I have been praying about it for a while, and still unsure (as is my husband) about what we should do. Your post really encouraged me. God Bless:)

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Kudos to you for following the guidance. And I also think it's great that you find the stillness in which to hear it.

Michelle DeRusha said...

What an incredibly convicting post -- and I so admire (okay envy) your ability to trust. I know I should simply leap and trust...but I hold back far too often.

Thank you for giving me such encouragement and incentive!