Minister Mama No More

Minister Mama No More September 21, 2012

Seems to me when we flip our lives right side up we move in fear and when we flip our lives upside down we move in foolishness.

In the last little while I’ve flipped in fear and foolishness.

Allow me please, to tell you how I’ve flipped life right side up in fear…

Many of my old readers know this, but for the sake of my new ones and the beauty of forthrightness I thought I’d finally blog about why I left my employment with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.

Leaving InterVarsity wasn’t just leaving my favorite job ever, it was leaving family.  InterVarsity practically raised me.  I still love InterVarsity with all my heart.

In the midst of leaving, I left my online identity, “Minister Mama” behind.  Remember her? <——————-

(Actually, the “Minister Mama” signature still lingers on many of my posts).

Most importantly, I left something that had been one of the most cherished things in my life for 16 years.

I left something that my identity had been all wrapped up in.

I left the place where my husband is also dutifully employed.

I left the place where…everybody knows my name.

I left an organization where I absolutely adored 99 out of every 100 people who work there.

I left my vocational calling, as I have known and recognized it for most of my adult life.

I left a job that I loved.

I left a group of college students who were so amazing.

I left a job where I was consistently called upon for leadership, asked to step up, had consistently advanced in line leadership every 2-3 years and where my thoughts, opinions and ideas were valued across the board.

I left a place where I could have potentially held a National leadership position.

I left InterVarsity with no replacement income.  The decision to leave was made in April.  My supervisor and I decided that I’d end my employment on July 15, 2012.

I left fearful about where my next paycheck was coming from.  Would I be able to find work after being in “Christian Ministry” for 12 years?!

I left terrified, but choosing to trust the Lord for this next stage of life.

I left because I was struggling with so many things.

I left because as long as Dave and I have been married, we have been working on InterVarsity staff together.  To put it bluntly, working together had become poison to us.  It felt like sitting in a bathtub of scorching hot acid.  Day after day after long, obnoxious day.

I left because the the travel was too much, too inconsistently.

I left because the workload was too much.

I left because the stress was too much.

I left because not having an office outside of our tragically and perpetually messy-beyond-imaging home was too much.

I left because of the stress of fundraising a six-figure budget each year.

Honestly, I’ve handled all of these stresses and more over the years and I probably could have stayed if in addition to all of that my inner world wasn’t absolutely falling apart.  Not due just to the major depression I’ve faced on and off for 6 years, but temptations and poor personal and financial choices as well.

So. With faith and trembling on July 15 I said goodbye.  I chose my sanity and family over ministry.

A month earlier a friend passed on my resume to a hiring organization.  Shockingly & remarkably they took me on.  I started a full-time position for a non-profit foundation on July 16.

I started on July 16. Exactly ONE DAY after my last paid day for IV.  I literally did not have one single unpaid day in July or in the job transition. Period.

I am still flabbergasted at God’s provision.

I gained empowerment.

I gained a better relationship with Dave.

I gained a consistent schedule.

I gained an office on the campus I’d been working at for 12 years —the irony!

I gained new students to interact with.

I gained courage over my fear.

I’ve gained the experience of stepping out of my comfort zone.  Invaluable.

I gained trust in me.

I needed to know that it was okay to trust my intuition that I needed to leave…

…and I did.

I trusted me.

I trusted God.

 

 

 


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  • Jess Fick

    and I am grateful for your courage. though I missed you like HECK at our meeting this past week.

    • i know…there are some sad parts for sure. =( missed you too!