Posted by Kaylee K on Thursday, November 17, 2011 Under: Faith
Often when God nudges us to take an action, I think our tendency is to hesitate and request that He make the first move or perhaps first show us the full plan, on paper, laid out, so we have no doubt about where this will lead. But, in my experience, no matter how much I ask for it, this is not how God works. I could definitely use examples from our refugee ministry work to support this theory, but I’d like to share about my work life in this blog entry….

In early August, I left my well-paying job to return to the world of freelance work (marketing and writing). I do believe God was in that decision, but can also own that I knew the job wasn’t a healthy position for me and I needed to leave. However, I felt very blessed that my company valued my work and wanted me to stay on in a contract position – fewer hours and a bit less money, but a pretty secure gig none-the-less. What I didn’t count on was the nudging God would deliver on my first day of this contract work.

A day into my contract, I was comfortably working from home, all set up to have on-going income and I got a sense that I needed to spend some time with God. The next morning I blocked out time and prayed/talked with God. In that time, it became clear that God asked me to walk away from this secure contract work. There are reasons that I won’t go into, but I became convinced that I was to walk away. I extended my prayer time, studied scripture and talked with a trusted friend. Yup, I was to walk away.

God did not first deliver a job that would provide other income. He didn’t send me an email with the full plan for my career path. He just told me to “walk away” and trusted me to trust Him with the rest. So, what else could I do? I contacted my company and told them I could no longer work with them. And I sat with God in the hopes that I would sense what was next.

The interesting thing about this is that when God asks us to do something for the first time, it feels pretty huge. But, once you obey and see how He comes through, it becomes more and more of a habit to hear His guidance, step out and reap the benefits of obedience. This isn’t to say it becomes easy – sometimes the first step off the cliff is terrifying. But, it does become easier and the discernment also becomes more finely tuned, which makes the whole process easier.

The next impression I had was to spend time with a friend who had walked away from a solid job years earlier when she sensed God call her to the mission field – I figured she’d get “it”. But what I didn’t expect was that the same day that I walked away from my contract job, she got approval from the publisher of the faith-based magazine she works for to hire a sales team. Right there at coffee, she offered me a part-time role in ad sales with them. So, the day after I said “no” to something God did not intend for me, I got to say “yes” to something I believe He did intend.

Then, the next day – just 2 days after walking away from the contract work – I got a call from someone a friend had referred to me for marketing work. Within a few days, I had contract work with her business and was beginning to bring in an income to help cover our bills. And, I was enjoying the work.

I find that the somewhat challenging thing about following God’s path is that it isn’t a straight line. I would have liked for all this to be clear cut; for my role with the magazine to have been a great fit and for my contract work to have grown to cover all my bills. But that’s not what happened. However, what happened was even better (God just has a way of messing up our expectations and amazing us with His plans).

The role with the magazine wasn’t a great fit as I just wasn’t good at ad sales. But, the editor gave me the opportunity to interview my favorite Christian musician and get published again (it had been a while since I wrote for publication and having fresh clips will be key to my publishing articles about the refugee situation). What’s more, to me this was the most important piece I’d ever been blessed to write because I got to tell the story of this musician’s walk with Christ to an audience of 25,000 readers!

But, after just 2 months, I had to come to terms with walking away again from a paying position. I knew that my efforts at ad sales were not benefiting the publication. Unfortunately, at this point my contract work had not expanded beyond the one client and the hours with her were projected to shrink in December. Therefore, to do what was right also meant not being able to predict how we’d pay our bills in another month. Still, the only choice, as John and I saw it, was to let the publication know I could not stay on in the sales role.

What happened next, I could not have predicted (only God can pull all this together). The day after I said “no” to the sales job, I got a call out of the blue from someone I had never met about a marketing job. A former client had been on a women’s retreat with her that weekend and bragged about the marketing work I’d done for her over the years. As a result, this woman wanted to meet with me to talk about a role with her company.

The downside to this opportunity, in my opinion, was that I really enjoyed the work I was doing with my existing client and I really believe in her and her business. However, the hours were just not enough to cover my expenses. So, I was up front with her about this potential new opportunity and we decided the only thing we could do was transition me out of my contract work with her over the next month and set her up to handle things on her own. Neither of us felt good about it – but it seemed like the only option.

Two days later, my client contacted me. She said she just really didn’t want to lose me, so she talked with her business consultant and accountant and they figured out how to bring me on staff in a role that would use my marketing skills to grow the business so that she could afford me! Truly, only God can pull all this together. I couldn’t have if I’d spent months planning.

So, at the end of this 3-month journey of following God’s lead without knowing the full plan, I have a job that I am so excited about – a job where my employer and I work really well together and I’m in a role with a lot of variety (anyone who knows my personality knows why this matters) that won’t keep me sitting at a desk all day (I’d been praying for a role where I didn’t have to be at my desk all day because I have a lot of muscle pain), and allows me to use both my relational and marketing skills in a positive environment. I am so excited I could spin around and piddle all over like my childhood dog used to! But, instead, I will just share this story with you so that God can get the glory for all He has done.

Action/reaction: Through lessons like this, I realize that it really is not that we need God to act first or show us the full plan, because He has been acting on our behalf since He knit us together in our mother’s womb. What we truly need is to respond to His nudges with a trust that He has already taken action on our behalf, and then sit back and be amazed by His work. I truly believe all He asks for is a heart that trusts Him and is willing to follow His lead.

In : Faith 

Tags: faith  god 

Blog Authors

John and Kaylee Kolditz Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.

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