This may be the year where I surprised myself most. I made decisions I felt strongly about, shared them, then went back on them – which is something I try to avoid at all costs. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, right?
This actually happened (at least) three times this year.
- I turned down the job I currently hold…then accepted it a couple weeks later.
This one is perhaps the wildest of all. I was working as a Sales and Service Coordinator at Closet Factory and frankly, was having a great time. I felt valued in my workplace. They wanted more hours out of me. I had many workplace friendships. I felt a sense of belonging and I was knowledgeable. When my current position at my church came into view, I hadn’t applied for it. I actually applied for the open position of Music Director. That application was only half-serious, because I said – I loved my job at Closet Factory. In March, I was asked to come in to discuss the Worship Coordinator position, as well as the future of my responsibilities building Ableton sets for the campuses. I did a lot of listening and answered interview questions then boldly announced I was only interested in continuing to build Ableton sets. I think I shocked the whole room. I certainly shocked myself. The truth was that I wanted the Worship Coordinator job but I just didn’t feel ready to take on another ministry position (having had such a painful experience before) and I also wanted to complete the pastoral care training group my pastor was leading me through throughout the year. Right job, wrong time. Right? A couple weeks went by and I was following up with my Campus Pastor and friend, and I began to believe I may have made a mistake and may have acted out of fear. She let me know that if I seriously wanted to revisit the possibility, I had to be sure, and that she would “go to bat” for me. Ultimately, I did ask to revisit it, and I was welcomed into my current position. I left Closet Factory well. I left with a positive legacy, but with deep uncertainty that this was going to be a good call on my part. Now, months later, I can say with absolute certainty that I made the right call ultimately. My previous workplace has greatly evolved and I don’t believe I would have the same fulfillment that I do at my church. I can see myself working with this organization for a very long time. This job has given me so much more than I gave up, including the opportunity to be a part of original music, which has always been a desire of mine. I’ve become a writer of at least half-decent worship music, which I wasn’t confident I was capable of. That’s been a fun little surprise.
- I left the band I was in, months earlier than I planned to.
I was in a band with some musician friends of mine from early fall 2021 to the end of May 2022. I knew it was not a longterm gig for me. I really just wanted to make music with my two friends, even though the music itself was very much not my style. Once I took on my church job, it was clear to me that I was not going to be able to pull off Saturday night gigs. Additionally, another female vocalist came into the picture, and she seemed very interested in playing a larger role in the band. After realizing she was entirely capable and really jived with the others, I felt that it was a good time to step away and that I would not be leaving them “stranded” by any means. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to leave well and communicate clearly, I did lose a friend through this departure.
- I left a side hustle after about 90 days.
When I came back from my vacation in mid-September, I began working at a local gluten-free bakery that I have been a customer of for a few years now. They were accommodating of my church schedule and my need for Fridays off, so I decided why not? After spending much of the summer in my apartment on my couch, I decided I could and should be doing more. I quickly became discontent. I didn’t feel like I connected well enough with my coworkers, which made sense because I was gone a lot. I did a lot more washing dishes than I did actual baking. When I finally approached the owner about leaving, it was clear that she agreed that this was really not my “thing.” Initially, I was a little hurt by it, but she had attended my previous church a few times and had actually seen me living out my calling, so I know she meant well. I wrapped up my time at the bakery the week before Christmas.
I guess something I have gained through all of this is the ability to go through life not concerned with being perceived as consistent, but rather having the courage to pivot when needed and to go where God calls me, even if he chooses to lead me down a jagged path. People who went through these events with me were confused, alienated, and even furious. However, I stand today with peace that I made decisions that were ultimately best for my health, my future, and my happiness. I knew I wanted to end up as an employee of my church, so it’s wonderful that the opportunity arose so quickly. I knew I wasn’t going to be in an 80’s band into my 80’s, so how great is it that God lined up such a wonderful female vocalist to help the band as they regrouped and proceeded? I went into my bakery job with the mindset of wanting to learn something new, and it has given me the confidence to try things in the kitchen that I never had before. I’m a better baker because of it.
I pray that this courage serves me just as well in the coming year.