...and how to finish it out? I’ve decided to share a personal story with you, and I hesitate because I don’t want to exalt myself by telling it. All praise to God for giving me this story, and I only want to share it if it might encourage some to stand strong in God’s Word and the convictions His Spirit leads you to. This will be long, so bear with me.
Fresh out of college with my TPC degree, I just wanted a job to gain experience and start paying off school bills. I figured it might take awhile to find my dream job as an editor for a Christian publishing company. My first “real” job was a marketing assistant for an accounting firm. I had little responsibility and was bored out of my mind, but I sure looked nice in my required business suits. :) I started looking for a new job after three weeks, and it took six months to find something worth quitting for. And boy was it worth quitting for! At 21 years old, I would be an associate editor for a well-established, successful Christian publishing company with plenty of room for career growth. The only drawback was that I’d have to move far away from my beloved home and family in Ohio.
But the process to get the offer had been grueling--a huge application, a couple of phone interviews, and then a flight to the company for a whole days’ worth of personal interviews. Having survived all that and receiving the offer made me sure that this was God’s plan for me. So I gave a two-week notice, said lots of goodbyes, packed up, and began the trip with my parents who would help me move and settle in.
I started the new job on a Monday morning with stars in my eyes, but by Wednesday afternoon I wanted to quit. Thursday morning I did quit. That makes it sound so simple, but it’s so hard to express the emotional and spiritual turmoil I went through to make that decision. I knew it would seem irresponsible, downright idiotic even! But what mattered more was this: In just three days’ time on the inside of the company, God showed me that I would be brought right up to the lines I had drawn for many of my biblical convictions. And if I stayed, I would likely have to cross them.
There’s more to the story that I can’t go into, but here was the hardest part: Once I realized I should quit, I kinda had it in my head that the moment I did, the moment I honored God by sticking to my convictions, He was instantly going to send me a jackpot of blessings. But it didn’t happen that way. I felt relief and peace, but I also had these huge, heavy question marks weighing on my mind. I knew deep down I had done the right thing, but I also felt so confused and so. . .low. I had just given up my dream job! The one I’d hoped for since middle school! Now what? And why in the world had God brought me through all this just to show me it wasn’t right?
But I thought maybe He was testing me, and I clung to the story of Abraham and Isaac during that time. First I felt like God had asked me to give up my home and family to follow Him and accept the dream job. Then in an unexpected twist, I felt like He asked me to stand for what I believe and give up the dream itself to follow Him somewhere new and uncertain. In that dark, low time right after I quit, I could just slightly feel God’s hand, but I trusted that if I held on tight He would lead me out of that darkness and into something more amazing—even if it took awhile to get there.
And it did take awhile, but over time God has blessed me in huge ways since that big test of faith. Here I am almost six years later with a loving husband, precious daughter, and a dream job I get to do from home for a company I am proud to work for. I am nowhere near perfect and I have failed God again and again. But I know I am blessed “immeasurably more…(Ephesians 3:20).” And I truly believe that those blessings have at least a little something to do with standing strong in my convictions. I pray that God helps me to continue to stand strong in Him because I’m sure there are plenty more tests to come.
Again, though, I don’t tell you all this to praise myself in any way, and I hate to think that some might take it that way regardless. I just felt led to share it as a real example of how standing strong for the convictions God has given you can result in much better blessings than you ever thought possible. I’d love to hear examples from your lives as well.
If you feel called by God to write, do it for His glory alone. Prayerfully determine what your convictions are in regard to your writing and the publishing world. Test those convictions over and over against God’s Word and constantly pray the words of David in Psalm 51.