Thursday, January 20, 2011
Day Dream Believer....
"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." - Francis Chan
This quote wrecked my life.
And I hope that it is going to wreck yours.
I think it was a combination of things that finally lead me to make my recent decision to change every single aspect of my life as I know it. Sound dramatic!? That's 'cause it is.
When you allow God to take a wrecking ball to to your life, things can't help but get a little dramatic. But there's good news; great news, actually! After the dust has settled and the old life you had built for yourself lays around you in scattered broken pieces...the rebuilding begins. This time, God lays the foundation; God provides the materials; God designs the structure and the purpose it will serve.
It's scary. Change is always scary. But with Jesus there is a peace that transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7).
I know you're probably itching to hear what I've gone and done, so let's get down to it.
I decided to quit my job as an Administrator at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC and move back to my home state of West Virginia in order to pursue the dream that God laid on my heart many years ago. Next Friday is my last day at work, and on Saturday the 29th the McNemar's and friends are moving me out of the city and back to WV. I'm going all Green Acres, ya'll! (The theme song is playing in your head right now isn't it!? [insert evil laugh here])
I'm gonna be honest. I'm scared crap-less (edited for content) of telling you all the details of my dream. It's scarier to talk about my dream than it is to uproot my entire life. What if my dream doesn't come true? What if I am making the biggest mistake of my life and by telling you all this, you will have front row seats to my failure? What if this isn't what God wants me to do and everything is going to fall apart and I'm going to become some crazy hillbilly? What if I'm not strong enough to do it? What if I keep typing "what if" scenarios ad nausem??
But fear does not exist in this dojo.
As I have told people that I am moving back to my home state, I have gotten mixed reactions. Some people feel that moving to West Virginia is like a step backwards for me. They feel that I have worked so hard to get where I am with my job and make it in DC (which is a tough place to live when you're supporting yourself) that it would be crazy to give it all up and move back to a state that doesn't have a lot of job opportunities and lacks some metropolitan flair. West Virginia gets a bad rap. It's true that there is a lot of poverty in my home state, but then again there is a lot of poverty everywhere. What we might lack in subways and skyscrapers...we have in family values, community, beautiful mountains, and hard working, God-fearing people. I grew up having everything I needed and plenty of what I wanted, but more importantly I was raised by a community of people that have worked hard for what they have and have instilled their values and morals in me. I could live anywhere I want. I don't have a husband and kids (or a boyfriend for that matter), so I the possibilities for me are endless...and yet I find myself longing for those Country Roads.
We live in a time where we are told to look out for ourselves. We are encouraged to pursue careers, make money, have stuff, and get the job done, now matter who you have to step on to get there. If we don't work ourselves to death, then we aren't successful. But to me, the true measure of success will not be whether or not I can live in DC, move up in my career, or get married and have babies. To me, you are successful when you are willing to give everything you have to God and then follow Him. When Jesus called James, Johns, Simon and Andrew away from their fishing business, He promised to make them fishers of men. I'm sure they could have spent the rest of their lives getting by with their fishing business, but Jesus took what they gave Him and multiplied it because they were willing to sacrifice it in order to follow Him.
But living in WV, isn't my dream; as excited as I am. My dream has little to do with WV. WV just so happens to be the means in which I will be able to pursue my dreams with the added benefit of having my friends and family close by to support and encourage me. When I decided to give up my job and follow Jesus, at first, I wasn't really sure where I was going and why. I just said..."Okay! Let's roll!" While I prayed for direction, Jesus revealed to me something I have kept hidden deep down in my heart for a long time. A dream I've had since I can remember. I didn't want to ever let it back up out of the tomb I closed it up in, but like how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead...He raised my dreams!
What a friend I have in Jesus!
Obviously, I am stalling....so I'll tell you my dream. Thank you for being patient.
I am going to go back to school in order to become a Counselor.
There. I said it!
But wait there's more...
I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and from a young age always wanted to be a counselor. After undergrad, I thought I would just take a few years off to figure things out and save up some money, but ultimately...life happened. I followed other people's dreams. I lost myself. I lost my purpose. Over the last few years, I have been allowing God to come into all of the broken places and restore me. God's timing is perfect. He resurrects our dreams at just the right time after He has equipped us to carry them out. When I was younger I felt like I wasn't smart enough or driven enough to pursue my dreams. Over the last few years God has shown me just how smart and strong I really am, but He had a lot of work to do on me first.
My passion has always been women's issues; such as physical and emotional abuse and domestic violence, depression and anxiety, and other types of struggles that debilitate and scar us. God has shown me that I didn't suffer for no reason. The hardships I've faced have given me the ability to understand women (and men) that face the same issues. It seriously brings a tear to my eye just to type this paragraph. Working with adolescents and teens in the youth ministry over the last few years, has completely broken my heart for them and the decisions they face on a daily basis. It was hard for me 15 years ago, but I can't imagine how hard it is now to be a teenager. I want to tell them what I went through, and give them the tools and the strength to know who they are and how precious and special they are to God. I am 30 years old and am still deeply effected by decisions I made when I was a teenager. I want to guide them towards Jesus' healing and restorative Grace and Love.
For this reason, I am going to go back to graduate school. Somehow. Some way.
I always made excuses. I've always limited myself to the safety of a career that I was good at, but felt no passion for. If I failed at this, then it wasn't as bad as failing at my dream. But God is not content to let us stay where we are. It's my time, and even if it takes a year or so...I will do this. Not because I am strong enough, or I am dedicated enough...but because if it is God's desire...there is no stopping me. I dream of one day traveling around to middle schools, high schools, colleges, anywhere...giving my testimony and working with people in order to bring healing to their lives. I dream of one day writing a book that will bring glory to God in a way that only my story can. I don't care where I live, or what kind of car I drive, whether I am married or not. I just care that I have the strength to throw down my fishing nets and follow Jesus. ( I am so excited writing this that I am standing up at my desk typing!)
I had a dream one night that I was walking through the woods. There was no path, but I didn't feel lost. As I walked, I would occasionally come upon a path, and I would follow it, but then I would end up crawling through the brush again. At some point, I realize that there are people following behind me. I can't see their faces, but I get a feeling inside me that I am leading them. Then someone comes up and grabs my hand and tells me that they feel lost and don't know where to go. I squeeze their hand and tell them that I have been through these woods many many times before and even when there is no clear path, they have to keep fighting to move through.
So, there you have it folks. It's scary to put all this out there. I seriously don't want to publish this. This is the first time I've ever done something like this. This is the first time I've made a goal of pursuing my dreams.
I'll be moving back to WV with no job, but with a burning desire to do whatever Jesus calls me to do. Please pray for me as I take this massive leap of faith. I feel so blessed that my family and friends are supporting me while I get everything figured out. My best friend Julie is letting me stay with her in Charleston and my parents are offering to feed me all the good cookin' I can handle when I'm in my hometown of Buckhannon. So, please pray for them as well, because I am sure that this will be a big adjustment for all of us (and please pray that my mom make me some cornbread and beans with fried potatoes. I'm sure you can understand the importance of such a prayer request). I'm going to look for a job and work while I do what I have to do to get into school. My friend Tony blogged today about giving of your money and time, and that is exactly what my friends and family are doing. They aren't giving to me so that they can get something....I ain't got nothing to give 'em! They are giving from their hearts. For the first time I am giving up control and letting people help me. I'm a prideful, stubborn, strong-willed lady, but I am willing to give that up in order to see Jesus' plan for me come to fruition. Thank you all for your support! I'm sorry this post is so long. I'll be sure to keep you updated along the way. I'll do my best to be honest.
So to all my friends in DC.... I LOVE YOU and thank you! This is so bitter-sweet. Don't worry, you haven't gotten rid of me yet. My brother still lives up here and I know I'll get a hankerin' (I'm already trying to get my twang back so I won't seem too out of place) to bust some serious dance moves with ya'll (there it is again).
To all my friends and family in WV...let's get this party started!!!!!!
Okay. I'm going to go puke now.