April 28, 2017, was hands down one of the scariest days of my life. Earlier that month after much prayer, supplication, and wrestling I came to terms with the fact that God was leading to me leave my job; so, I gave senior management my notice. It was a difficult step. Considering I had been with my company for at least 5 years, was a model employee, and quite regularly received great reviews and compensation.
On my last day, the reality of my decision weighed its heaviest. “People leave jobs every day,” I said to myself, but leaving a job with no idea of what’s next for yourself? Was quite different.
My next job, my next check, my next opportunity; were all uncertain. I had no idea where God was leading me and to be honest I was petrified. What should’ve been a day of celebration, internally was one of panic. Co-workers and friends gathered to congratulate me for being “bold” and “adventurous”, while all the while I felt anything but.
While I should have been at ease knowing that I’d made the right decision, I couldn’t escape the daunting feeling I had. In retrospect, though I did have faith in God when I made the decision, I honestly didn’t have as much faith as I thought I had. Had I really been faith-full, that day wouldn’t have been nearly as scary as it was.
Ease started to seep in when a stranger on the elevator on my way out of the office for the last time struck up a conversation with me. She asked where in the building I worked, which followed by my sharing it was actually my last day. Her response was inquiring of my next step, and when I shared that I had no idea she responded by assuring me that I was in route to something greater and wished me well. Something about her tone and the timing of our conversation led me to believe that there was nothing coincidental about our meeting.
The very next day I headed to visit a friend in Chicago and had yet another “chance” meeting with a woman that I know and greatly admire. We both live in NY, but “bumped” into one another in Chicago with no idea that the other would be there despite speaking to each other almost daily. Upon seeing me she made sure to encourage me in my move and giving me the greatest motivational speech about getting past fear I didn’t even know I needed.
Little by little I was being fed all the nourishment I needed to give me a sense of security, and by Sunday morning I’d gotten my main course. Visiting Chicago Tabernacle (Sister church to NY’s Brooklyn Tabernacle) that morning the topic of the sermon was “Increase of Strength” and one of the things Pastor Reneau mentioned was that sometimes pressure is God’s way, and the importance of us having faith in our walks. My spirit was so moved. And I knew I was exactly at the right place at the right time.
To further convict me, while having tea the morning of my last day in Chicago at my friends I was visiting with, I crossed paths with her Mom which led to her ministering to me and driving home every single word of inspiration spoken to me over the last few days. By that Monday evening, any fear I had was wiped out due to these series of God-ordained experiences. Between that Saturday and Monday evening, God reminded me in ways that only he could of Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” By the end of that weekend, my faith was fortified ten-fold.
It’s now 8 weeks shy of a year since I left my job and I must say it’s been one heck of a year. And while I’ve had the occasional moment or two of weakness, (as I viewed things through human eyes rather than my spiritual lens), I’m often reminded of how faithful God is.
I’ve been strengthened and empowered simply by veering further and further from my comfort zone and listening to his direction. Taking heed to my spirit and leaping out of my comfort zone to the unknown has led me to places I couldn’t have imagined. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in recent years simply because I recognize that my security and happiness lies in Him. Leaving the familiar was only the beginning. My new perspective has empowered me to remove things, people and myself from situations that He was long prompting me to do. The more I obeyed the better life got, and I’ve learned: If there’s anything or anyone in complete opposition to God in your life, I promise you, once you remove it/ or them, God’s voice and your path will become clearer and brighter.
Theresa M. Clayton is a native New Yorker who loves to explore the world and all of its wonders through travel. She’s passionate about helping & connecting with others and strives to live by Philippians 4:8.
“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think on these things”*