June 23, 2012

Decision Made, Steps Taken

It is the end of a good Saturday. I took half day on Thursday, splitting my shift with another girl so that I could work half day today (she did the same thing). This way, I got to have a good afternoon's rest, and then still have my sleep in this morning. I got home from work around 3 p.m., after another boring day at University of Phoenix (one call from a new student, the rest of the three hours -- nothing at all!) I took my IPAD with me, and while I was waiting for a call to be transferred over, I spent the majority of the time planning for my re-entry into the world of Website Design.

Yes, I made up my mind to go back to what I know how to do best, and to focus on using that career to provide for me and my son. I have tried to find other work, other jobs since I left my design business back in 2009. I left back then, not so much due to the economy, but for dissatisfaction over the way the business was being run (not by me, but with my name). I was fed up of the way the business was run, of the pressure to work too many hours, and for not enough pay. I wanted to home school full-time, but I didn't have that opportunity, so I worked 30 hours a week, sometimes more AND home schooled and helped in my then DH's consulting business.

I was beat. I was broke, and my life was going no where. I was miserable to say the least, but I focused on home schooling, and my life with my parents and church ministry. I made it through until the bottom fell out of my marriage and I was forced to take stock of what I actually held in my hand. I realized then that I had nothing, nothing to show for my life of sacrifice, and that I was a 40-something stay at home Mom facing a life of singlehood.

I took the only road I had in front of me, and that was to start looking for work so I could provide for myself. Of course, I trusted God to provide -- I just applied myself to job searching to find some position that would pay me a decent salary and provide good benefits to me. It took over 18 months to get hired at University of Phoenix, and while this job has not been perfect, it did do what the Lord said it would do -- establish me as a single parent.

In truth, the Lord never told me to quit website design. I begged, I pleaded, and I prayed without ceasing for the opportunity to quit that line of work. I was burnt out, and I didn't want to continue to support my husband with my hard earned dollars (especially when I didn't get a say in how that money was being spent). I asked the Lord to release me, and He did. I quit that work, which literally sunk my marriage (since my work was all that I was bringing to the table), and I walked away from everything related to it.

I worked at Macy's for a year before I found full-time work. I have been at UOPX for one year (July), and I am ready now to do my own thing again. I have come to this conclusion after two years of struggle with job hunting. It seems odd now, but it has taken this long for me to come back around to this line of work. Let me explain...

The Lord promised that He would provide for me throughout the ordeal of my marriage failing, and my eventual separation. I didn't need to find work outside the home, but I chose to do it because I was angry with my husband, and I wanted to move out of the house. I was putting up with a lot back then, a lot of sin, and a lot of oppression. I wanted out so badly that I started looking in every direction possible to get me an open door.

I knew in my heart that this line of work suited me, and that while the business had been mismanaged, it wasn't a total failure. I knew that if the business were managed by the Lord, then it would be successful, and I would be well provided for and kept secure. However, I wasn't willing to trust Him to do that for me -- I was scared about being without steady income, and without benefits (even though I have used nary a one since last year). I wanted to be established, secure, and well-provided for so that I never had to worry about collectors and utilities being shut off. I needed that pay check, twice a month direct deposited into my account. I need security, and I needed a company to provide for me.

Over the past two years, I have considered web design again. Each time, I feel the Spirit of God give me confidence and peace, but then I start to worry about it, and I recant and return back to "work." I spent 18 months applying for work, working PT at Macy's, and then FT at UOPX -- all without any new job offers on the horizon. I have applied, and I have been considered -- but nothing has happened for me. Not even teaching positions, which I so desperately wanted to try once my Masters was complete. No, there have been no jobs for me. No jobs but Macy's and UOPX.

I came to my senses last week. It was Thursday, and I was exhausted beyond function. I dragged myself out of bed, and I so wanted to chuck it all in. I didn't want to go to work, and I was trying to figure out how to stay at home. When I am home, I am happy. I am at rest. I am at peace. I love being home. I have used all my sick days, and my last two vacation days are scheduled for two weeks from now. I have no extra time available. I had to go to work, so I did.

Once there, I sat miserable all morning. I tried to do my best, but nothing worked for me. I took a break, walked with a friend over to our online cafe, and discussed my situation. She recommended I speak with someone, a counselor to help with my feelings.  I thanked her, but I knew that wouldn't help me. My problem was simply one of working in a job that was a poor fit for me. Moreover, the job is boring, and routine, and I sit all day in a cube and make dials to people who never answer or when they do, they hang up the phone. It is crushing, it is debilitating, and day after day, it is the same thing.

My boss and director have offered no help. In fact, I was told in not so many words to find another job if I was that dissatisfied with the work. This bothered me because I had been the "golden child," and once I stopped producing students, I was cast off. Really, as soon as I complained -- I was told to sit down and do the work or find another job. OK, I get it. But truthfully, that kind of support (no support) is not going to win any points in my book.

So I stewed at my desk until one of my teammates asked me to split her Saturday shift. At first, I said no, then I said yes, and I went home at noon. It was a good decision. I needed to go home. I needed to take stock of where I was, where I was going, and what needed to be changed to make fresh steps forward.

As I considered my options, I wrote down my choices: teaching English at the CC, working for another company or school, and working as a website designer (preferably from home). The only job that suits me besides web design is teaching, but I have had no luck getting hired. If I work for another company, then I belong to that company -- 40, 50 or 60 hours a week. No, I want to have time off, and I want to do my own thing. I want to work for myself, and earn what is rightfully mine to earn.

I prayed and asked the Lord if it was possible for me to do this again, and He said yes. I asked it this was His will, and again, He said yes. I went into work today with a new approach, with a new way of thinking -- that I preparing to leave UOPX in the next two weeks for my own business. I can do this, I know I can. The Lord must provide a job for me (contract work), but I can do this work, and I can do it really well.

So today, I made the decision to leave corporate America and return to my own home-based business. I know that I am able to be successful -- I was before -- and I can again. I need the Lord to provide clients to me, and I need some software for my computer. Other than that, I need Him to move and make this happen for me.

Dear Lord,

I am ready to do this work. I am committed to it, and I believe that this is your will for me. This way suits my natural abilities and my acquired skills. With your Spiritual Gifts, I know that I can be successful in this venture. You brought me students at UOPX, and I know you will bring me clients. I ask now that you will provide me with everything I need to setup my home office so I can start this work in two weeks time. I ask now that you will lead me through these next two weeks, and provide explicit instruction so I can be setup and ready to start this work. I ask this all now in the Matchless Name of Jesus, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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