“Whatever your calling is, God wrote it on your heart when He made you.
You were created to fulfill a very specific, colorful, robust destiny, one of great importance.
Whatever your calling is, pursue it with your whole heart.
Whatever your treasure is, dive into it fully.
You were made to be great.”
– Emily Ley –
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Just over two weeks ago (on my birthday to be exact), I not only began a new year, but I also stepped into a new position at work. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for a new job. I loved my current position and would have been perfectly happy to stay in it forever. I loved the work/life balance I had going and the ability to travel and spend more time at the lake in the nicer months. Overall, I was content for the first time in a long time with my work. I had found my groove, my rhythm, a place where I felt God was really able to use me to make a difference in the lives of those I worked with across the state.
But God had other plans.
The position that technically oversees the role I was in had been open for some time, a strategic decision by upper leadership for budgeting and restructuring purposes. As the new fiscal year began to approach, however, the plan for that position began to be unveiled and at the beginning of September, it was posted and sent out to all of us in the department.
When I read through the job description, something in me stirred. It felt like it was written for me. But because I was content in my current role and not really interested in changing things up, I pushed it aside, never to think about it again. Or so I thought.
In an entirely different conversation with my boss via email, she surprised me by strongly encouraging me to apply for the position. Again, something in me stirred, a feeling I couldn’t shake off as easily as before. So I talked to my husband about it, and he thought it would be wise to “throw my card in the hat,” so to speak. Taking his advice, within a couple of days I submitted my cover letter and resume, and again, pushed it aside, this time for a few weeks.
Then my boss contacted me toward the end of September and asked if I would have time to meet to discuss the position more thoroughly. So on a Friday afternoon, I drove into the city, where the two of us sat down for a long lunch and conversed details. She laid out what she was looking for very systematically, allowed me to share my thoughts about it very openly and honestly, and right on the spot, she offered me the position, giving me the weekend to think it over and get back with her on Monday.
I was honored and thrilled that she felt confident in my abilities to carry out the role to the extent that she wanted it to look like, and that she had faith in me as a professional to make our department and our division the absolute best that it can be. But I had to face the reality, too, that this would mean a change for me and my hubby. I would be driving to/from the office (out-of-town) at least two days a week, taking on more authority and responsibilities, and have a team of people reporting to me on a regular basis. I had to honestly answer the question: Am I willing to give up some of the freedom and flexibility I’ve had for this advanced title and more work? Was earning more money worth all of this?
And here is what God spoke to me: Hannah, it isn’t about the title or money or projects. It’s about the opportunity you have here to minister, lead, and influence others in this role for My good and glory. It’s about becoming more of the woman I have called you to be. And who am I to say “no” to that?
So, that Monday, I wrote my boss to accept the position of Assistant Divisional Social Services Director and the specifics of the offer she had made that previous Friday. And beginning, October 10, I started the new job.
I’m only two weeks into the new role, and while it’s definitely been a change of routine and a reorganization of priorities, unlike previous job changes, this one has been pretty smooth, despite its busyness. It’s amazing how good one feels when they know who they are, what their role is, and how to get it done. I’m so thankful for the way God has worked in my heart and life to get me to this point in my career. Every step in the job path has led me to this point, and while not always easy, those stepping-stones have proved to be the exact places God needed and wanted me to be in.
Now I by no means have it all figured out career-wise, and I have no control over what’s going to happen in the day-to-day grind of work or in the future for that matter, but I am following God where He leads me in these days, giving myself the grace and rest I need to walk boldly and confidently into the meetings, projects, and activities He has in store for me each day, hands wide open to receive and give as He calls.
The biggest thing for me is maintaining the autonomy and freedom I had in the last role, carrying that sense of contentment and satisfaction and joy into this new position. How I’m doing that is by continued self-care activities in my personal time, making the most of my work time at home (really savoring those days that I have to myself to catch up on emails, paperwork, etc.), and having intentional whitespace built into my schedule to either do nothing or whatever fires me up. This past weekend was all about that, and what an amazing difference it makes, friends! I am a better Hannah – the best Hannah I can be – when I am not running around like a crazy person from one thing to another to another. I need space to breathe, to rest, to get quiet, to dream, to let go, to just be.
Our God is a God of surprises. He likes to take us from “grace to grace” and grow us, transform us, and bring us into new places. I wonder at how He has chosen imperfect, messy me to do His work here on earth and shine His light in my workplace and community. Who am I, Lord? He’s a good, good Father, and I praise Him for how He has made me and worked all the things out in my life to bring me to this exact spot for such a time as this.
I’m reminded of the quote, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” It’s never perfect, Lord, but walking this road with You sure is a beautiful journey. I will follow where You lead. And I wouldn’t do life any other way.
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“Calling is where your talents and burdens collide.”
– Rebekah Lyons –
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