Today it hit me. The reality of this recent life-change hit me. All my friends set alarms this morning and went back to work. Summer break is over. I woke up, made my way to the back yard swing and sat in the flower garden talking to Jesus. This is blessing. Blessing that makes my heart well up and brings tears to my eyes.
Two years ago I was headed back to my teaching job leaving my 5 month old with a full time sitter for the first time and feeling so much anxiety it was hard to breathe. With my husband in school full time, I had no choice but to work after my son was born. The demands of being the main income provider, juggling work with a family and the needs of 15 special education students was weighing heavily. Thoughts swirled around in my mind to the point of chaos and I was physically exhausted from the stress and anxiety. I had no idea how I would “get by”. That was my goal. To maintain. To just get through each day.
John 10:10 says the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy but Christ came that we would have abundant life. Abundant life isn’t just getting by. It’s not maintaining. Abundance does not equal mediocrity. An abundant life is fruitful, overflowing, full of hope, a well-spring of joy. I was not living an abundant life. From the outside all looked well; A house, a car, a husband, a beautiful baby boy and a big furry dog. On the inside I was full of fear, shame, regret, discouragement and this striving to please everyone else. Such a desire to please everyone that I kept my feelings to myself so not to be a burden. I was a hot mess to say the least.
6 weeks of pastoral counseling and discovering centering prayer helped me refocus my eyes on Jesus and away from my feelings which were growing to monstrous proportions the more I worried over them. Slowly and daily the more I focused on the Lord, the less fear I felt. I began to deal with the rot that was at the root of my feelings. The stressors in my life had triggered the anxiety but there were deep places of hurt that needed healing before I could move on. Time was a healing balm and rest was what I needed. I started spending time each day with the Lord. In quiet. Just focusing on his presence and listening. As I moved from fear to freedom I felt like there was more God had in store, I just didn’t know what.
8 months later God brought It Works into our lives. God brings the opportunity. It’s when you meet it with determination and perseverance that the possibilities are endless. We needed this. We needed it financially and I was desperate for a change. I discovered a product called Confianza. I had been against taking prescription medication for anxiety and liked the idea of something all natural. It was perfect for me. It calmed those swirling thoughts so I could fully focus on God’s presence. I felt like I could finally “be still” enough to know that He is God. I poured myself into time with the Lord every morning and poured all the energy he gave me into my family and this business. Within 3 months, I realized what we had our hands on and knew this could be my ticket home.
Less than 16 months after starting this business, I was able to call my principal and say, “I will not be returning this school year”. This is abundant life. Not because of the income, but because of what it brings. There is nothing greater than complete freedom! This is life lived outside the box and a greater potential to be led wherever God chooses. We no longer limit ourselves to the idea of one job, one location or one path. Anything is possible!
John 10:10 Psalm 46:10