A New Season
Accepting that something (or someone) is only in your life for a season can be one of the greatest challenges we face. Whether it’s a break-up, the loss of a loved one or even moving to a different state—letting go is never easy.
You may be asking yourself, how could she possibly quit a job that was so conveniently placed in her life? Especially after she experienced so much doubt about finding a job?
Trust me; you’re not alone.
I was asking myself the same questions.
It was no secret when I started working that my real passion was to become a therapist. And thankfully I had a fair amount of counseling opportunities, but the bulk of the job focused on home health and case management.
I knew that eventually, I was going to have to let it go.
But how could I let it go? That job brought me such confidence and security (both financially and emotionally). It helped me to realize my strengths and gave me a purpose during times when I felt I had none.
It even helped my husband—knowing that if something did happen to me while I was receiving treatment, I was always around my doctors.
But initially, that job was not my safety net. In fact, working there was terrifying. It was my first job, and I knew nothing about oncology (other than what I was quickly learning about my health).
I feared that my coworkers would immediately realize that hiring me was a mistake. And I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be surrounded by patients battling brain cancer when I was dealing with my brain tumors.
Over time though, it became my home, which made leaving that much harder.
A few months ago, my husband and I were suddenly surrounded by heartbreak. Within 2-weeks, five people in our lives experienced tragic deaths—from a plane crash to being hit by a train, we were at a loss.
Could life be this fragile?
And if it is, are we doing everything we can to live it to the fullest?
We had already been toying with the idea of taking some time off to travel while I’m still healthy. But until those 2-weeks, we hadn’t taken it seriously. We knew that it would be nice to see the world, but assumed that it could never work.
While in Texas for a funeral, we decided to do the only thing we could…pray. We asked God that if he wanted us to take this leap, we needed Him to figure it out.
So, He did.
It started small, like receiving a guidebook to Portland along with travel accessories from my mother-in-law during our Texas trip.
Next concern on the list: our dog.
As we thanked our sweet friend for watching Rory while we were gone, she followed up our gratitude with the offer to watch Rory “as often as we need, as long as we want, and for free.” (Little did she know we were going to take her suggestion so literally!)
Keep in mind, neither of these women knew about our travel plans. So, travel gear and a free dog sitter may sound small, but the timing of their occurrence was undeniable.
Followed by figuring out our finances and insurance, it seemed like it might be possible for us to take the plunge. When my doctors decided to stop my treatment, we couldn’t ignore it any longer.
It was time.
Next was the hard part: breaking the news to our family, friends, and co-workers.
We knew that some would be supportive, but assumed that most would think we’re crazy (which apparently we are a little bit). We chose our audience strategically and informed the easy ones first. As we made our way down the list, it was finally time to quit our jobs.
Sharing our plan with our loved ones was scary, but telling our employers meant we hit the point of no return.
Once we quit, we couldn’t take it back.
If you know me at all, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a people pleaser. Disappointing people is one of my greatest fears, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was letting everyone down. After all, they so graciously hired me, how could I leave?
Faced with a lesson in letting go, (not only of my fears but also my safety net) I did it. I quit my job.
Despite the love and support I received, I couldn’t help it, I was sad.
That job meant so much to me and brought me so much joy. Letting it go was far from easy. Aside from the apparent comforts working offers, quitting also meant that I was suddenly right back where I started—living a life of complete uncertainty.
My unpredictable health condition was not my choice, but leaving work and traveling was something we decided to do. I had no one to blame but myself.
It’s easier to let go of the bad things. We have no problem throwing away our ripped t-shirt or saying goodbye to the class we hated in college. It’s leaving the good things that feel unnatural to forego that challenge us.
How do we know we’re making the right decision?
We don’t. And we won’t—until we do it.
Sometimes all we can do is hold onto our faith and hope that we’re making the right call. Eventually, we adjust to the new season of our life and the results of our choice.
We realize that we’re right where we belong.
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