Katie is a midtwenty year old who found herself struggling with the transition into adulthood. She has been in small town KS since graduating from college. She was excited to get a job as an elementary school teacher but then she found herself struggling with feeling stuck in a rut which made her feel unsuccessful in all areas, personal and professional.
What was the most difficult part about your transition?
At first I just thought this is what being a grown up is. Once I knew something had to it change it was identifying why I felt overwhelmed and like I was stuck in a box.
What did you do to get outside of the box?
I hired a coach, Rayna. I explored what needed to change. I began a plan of action to seek peace with God, developed a budget plan, sought new social opportunities and found a routine that lead to more sleep. Finding one problem helped me to go deeper and deeper and deeper to really get to the root of what I needed to find peace. I started reading the Bible more and even joined an online Bible study.
What do you think was most helpful for you to move into the hope and peace you were wanting?
Having a plan on paper to be able to see what I needed to do to move forward. Journaling was also a big help to me and something I have continued to do today.
Was there a special verse that the Lord used to encourage you during this time?
Yes, definitely. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
How did your faith grow from this transition time in your life?
I found a deeper and more real relationship with God. More of a reliance with Him in each moment of the day.
Do you think you would have found that without this period of time in your life?
No, with all the struggle there was growth. The environment and challenges really pushed me to grow. They helped me to realize that I can only rely on God for sure.
Katie has moved from being stuck in a box, feeling alone, and confused to hope, looking forward to change, with excitement about what is next.
Have you ever jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?
I loved my job.
It really was a job that had a lot of things I really loved. I knew that I was making a difference and that was so important to me.
But I felt frustrated, unappreciated, confused, and stuck. I had hit a glass ceiling where I was. I was told that I would not be promoted, I was too young. There was nothing I could do about that.
It was time to move on.
I started the job hunt. It didn’t take long to find another job. It seemed like a dream.
1 application, 1 job interview, 1 new job.
I jumped right out of that frying pan into my new job.
It started off great. I really liked being in charge. I was getting the hang of the new responsibilities and felt like I was making a difference.
Then the crazy started.
When I say crazy I mean crazy. I was the director of a national chain child care facility. After just 3 weeks on the job one of my employees hot lined another employee for child abuse.
It was a one day investigation in which I was told that they were not able to substantiate the charge. I had to tell the parents of 100 children what had happened that day. It went much better than I thought it would.
The next day the employee who made the call did not show up on time to work, I wrote her up. She did come in just in time for the news crew to show up.
I did not want to be on the News.
I have never dreamed of being on the news that was for sure. The parents withdrew their child and I was hoping it was going to settle down.
The next day I was contacted by a local detective. I had to go to the police station to make an offical statement.
Another thing I that was not on my bucket list. This is the point in which I began to think that I had jumped into the fire……
I also was accused for creating a hostile work environment. The story of the fire goes on and on.
Since school was a challenge for me never, never, never give up was deeply ingrained in my character. I was determined to make it work. I was the boss. I could make it right, I just knew I could.
I was so stressed……I could not sleep, I could not eat.
I prayed constantly, asking the Lord for wisdom. I wanted to do a good job. I wanted to be able to be the leader the staff needed. Both the stress and the Lord’s presence were intense during this time.
This intense period of time only lasted for 3 months. I finally heard the Lord clearly, not that He had not been talking I was just struggling to believe I was hearing Him right.
It was His will to step out in faith and walk away.
I resigned and trusted for the next job to come along. It did.
When I look back on this time I remember it as being a bitter sweet time with the Lord. The refining fire was intense but the dependence on my Lord brought me to the place I needed to take another leap of faith and make an even bigger change in my life.
Have you experienced the refiner’s fire? How did it grow your faith?
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.
Daniel 3: 28
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There is always a silver lining, right?
To me the silver linings are the blessings which the Lord gives us in exchange for the sadness, heartaches and concerns we experience in this fallen world.
Sometimes we make bad choices and experience consequences for those sins, other times we experience pain because of someone we love and their choices, and sometimes the heartache is just the result of this fallen world.
Below is a list of heartaches I have exchanged for the beauty of Hope given from the Lord.
Hope after my mom’s terminal diagnosis………..a closer relationship with my Dad.
Hope after being fired and run out of town…………God helped the church stand up and heal from people who were controlling it and were not listening to Him.
Hope after being a coach of a basketball team who never won a game all session long………..leading in character rather than competitiveness.
Hope after more debt than I ever imagined…………..paying it off one payment at a time.
Hope after my husband had an affair……………I am valuable and important to God, something I had totally forgotten.
Hope after leaving one job for another that was worse………….allowing God to help me discover how He created me and how that relates to my work.
Hope after a saddle pulmonary embolism (blood clot)……………realization that God saved me, (He was the only one who could have) He has more for me to do here on earth.
Hope after divorce……………God blessed me with a husband who loves and cherishes me, He also made me a (step) mom.
Hope after letting go of a business I loved…………finding coaching and a new way to minister to others.
There are many more complete statements I could share with you as I am sure you have a long list yourself.
BUT There are also others statements which I have not heard the Lord reveal the part after the ……s. yet.
Hope after infertility……………………..
Hope after miscarriage………………
Hope after watching my dad disappear with Alzheimer’s disease……….
I know God is faithful. I will be able to complete these statements someday because He Loves Me. As I walk with Him, I become more like Him, and I can see these things through His eyes. The silver linings. . . .
What silver linings have you seen in your life’s pain?
to provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” “Then people will call them “Oaks of Righteousness”, “The Planting of the LORD”, in order to display his splendor. Isaiah 61:3