Today, I start a new adventure. It will be different from one I’ve been on before.
In the past, I’ve started new adventures that meant more money, or an advancement in title, or even a new location.
This time is different for many reasons.
It’s been a change I’ve been sensing for several years. I wanted something more, but not in the traditional sense of how we often view our work. I wanted something new. I wanted an opportunity to invest in people in a more intentional way.
Sure, I’ve been learning to dream again and look at my life completely differently. I’ve been learning to forget finding a purpose, and live with purpose instead. I’ve been learning to make a difference right where you are. And those have all been necessary and important steps to guide me on this path.
I’ve learned to take steps forward while still being patient and not understanding this path that I felt God leading me on. It was often filled with frustration and unclear answers, yet through it all I had a sense of peace. I was leaning in and listening and growing in the process.
Last week, I said goodbye to Corporate America. It has been incredibly good to me, and I’ve been a faithful contributor for almost twenty years. Those years were my investment in me, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I have learned so much and my knowledge and skills learned have helped shape me into who I am today. I left it feeling bittersweet, as my coworkers and the organization I worked for were very special to me. But, I also left it knowing without a doubt that my passions and interests now lie in places that Corporate American cannot fulfill.
Today, I have the opportunity of investing in something that really matters to me. People. Specifically, an amazing tribe of people known as The Orchard Community. If you’ve followed my blog or social media, you’ve most likely heard me reference my church before. We’ve been blessed to call The Orchard our church home for almost eight years. For the last five years, I have been heavily involved in serving and leading volunteer teams. This past year I took on a new volunteer role to focus on serving activism, and helping connect our church to serving opportunities internally and within our local community. Something shifted in me during this new role, which led to our initial discussions about an expanded role on staff.
I’ll be honest. I resisted these discussions initially. While I am completely devoted to our awesome community, fear showed up quickly and in big ways. As my friend Jon Acuff says, “Fear only gets loud when you do something that matters.”
Luckily, I have awesome pastors (now bosses) who helped walk with me through this process, and explore every option and opportunity to make sure this was the right fit for all of us. I am incredibly blessed to have them in my life as leaders and friends. I also had a trusted group of people close to me who helped guide and encourage me.
The Orchard has impacted my life in incredible ways. I am so excited to be joining the staff as the Director of Connections and Growth. I will be able to invest full-time in something that matters greatly to me: people. I truly believe that God created us to be unique, and He wants us to grow into the people He designed us to be. A big part of this role will be walking with people and providing opportunities for them to take steps forward and invest in themselves and their faith.
A few years ago, I could have never imagined this would be the adventure I would explore. Isn’t that typically how God works? He often doesn’t show us the plan, so we don’t mess it up.
If you’re in the middle of learning who you are and who God designed you to be, keep taking steps forward. You never know where they will lead. I’d also love to encourage you. This journey has been one that has stretched me and challenged me, and I love helping others walk through their journeys. I’d love to connect with you.
I’m excited to start a new chapter, and I look forward to what 2014 will bring.
Have you ever taken a big step of faith? Share in the comments below.