It had been building, the stress, at a level that seemed unstoppable. Then there was more, more work that was asked of me, more pressure, more sickness, more tears. It seemed to be snowballing the past few months, all the little things that got together and made it too much. "You can do anything but you can't do it all." My body suffered, with the stress breaking down my immune system so weak that it couldn't fight off the countless colds, flu, all types of infections. Literally each week that I went to work, the first day I would bring home some new bug.
However, the true breaking point was my family. Owning our own business also means countless hours and hours of work that needs to be done. There was so much stress on our marriage, as we just tried to survive each day. Then there was the kids...Ezra, as sweet as he is, needed his mommy more at night, which cut down my hours of available operations. Zoe is in school, always a stressful rush in the morning and lunches to pack. Then poor Shiloh, having the middle child syndrome in full gear, acting out as I just could not seem to fill her love tank enough.
So after a particular hurtful day at work, I was driving home decompressing with God when the thought of not working popped in. That had never been a real possibility for us, not with starting our own business and having a growing family. And I had been okay with that. Really, it is not even a finical possibility for us now....so I let the thought pass but picked it up in my quiet times the next few days. And I got clarity, very clear clarity, that it would be okay to quit working. That it would be a huge step of faith, but that God would take care of us (just as our ebeneezers of the past speak of so evidently), that the most important thing I could do was to minister to my family.
Just to be clear, as stressful as my job could be, I loved it. It had my invested heart for over 10 years. The Nurturing Center was a place I grew as a professional and as a person. It was a place that I was able to love those that may have never been loved. To encourage the broken hearted. To hopefully be a light. To rub shoulders and to be present with those that I may never have contact with otherwise. There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason I was on the staff end of things and not a client was the grace of God.
So leaving meant saying good-bye to a large part of my heart and life that I had known. Who's to say I won't find myself back there one day, but for now, I carry such peace in knowing that I am where the Lord graciously has me. I'm not scared, despite the money we currently make not matching out needs, but truly excited about seeing how the Lord is going to take care of us! Enjoying my new FREEDOM and loving on those that need me most!