If you haven't watched the video on my faith journey, be sure to watch that first! You’ll learn about what led to me quitting my full time job with a salary, benefits, and retirement plan to be unemployed on November 10, 2016. Since that time, so much has happened and I promised I would do updates on my faith journey, so let’s get into it!
One of the things I was most excited about while being unemployed was being able to spend time with God! Before my last day of work, I had made up in my mind that I would spend every morning at the feet of Jesus. I was expecting to have a glow that was reflective of being in glory for hours at a time. I’m talking about to the point where people would think, “Angel you’re glowing! You got a boo or something?” in which I would respond with a slight chuckle before saying, “Nope, it’s that Jesus glow.” I was going to read my bible, worship, and pray, then go sit at some quaint coffee shop and write blogs or plan out my day. None of this happened…
The first month after I quit, I spent the majority of my days in bed and/or crying. I still had a lot of anxiety attached to work even though I was no longer there. I felt guilty because I wasn’t able to get as caught up as I wanted to before quitting, therefore I left a lot of things undone. The lesson I learned from this is to not slack off just because you’re at a place that you don’t want to be. Continue to work as though you’re working for the Lord and not bosses or people (Colossians 3:23). In addition to anxiety, I also had to deal with the silence in my apartment. It was already quiet because I live by myself but I had also disconnected the cable and internet in order to reduce my bills. Needless to say, the silence started to get very noisy after a while. I began questioning if God really told me to quit or if I jumped the gun. I felt irresponsible being an adult who was unemployed with no source of income in sight. The only money I had coming in were my last two paychecks and the payout for all the annual leave I never took. I had budgeted my bills around these checks for the next three months but that would quickly fall through as well.
My final paycheck, which I was expecting to be between $800 and $900 was $12.74. Yes, you read correctly. When I turned in my notice, I was told I would have to work until November 14th in order to get a full paycheck. I declined this as I was fine with my check being short for two days. My supervisor was actually incorrect about this because the pay period ended on November 9th and not the 14th. Since my last day was on November 10th, my final paycheck was for one day. My health insurance, retirement, taxes, and charitable donations were all taken from that one check leaving me with $12.74. I couldn’t do anything but laugh because the situation couldn’t be changed. I knew I could make it until I received my annual leave check a few weeks later so I didn’t worry too much about it. Well, they taxed the heck out of that check, so it ended up being a few hundred dollars less than what I had budgeted. To top it off, I forgot about a little thing called personal property tax that you have to pay in Virginia at the end of every year. When I received the bill in the mail, I had to look out the window to make sure my car hadn’t transformed into a Lexus or something nice. I just couldn’t understand why I had to pay almost $400 for the little Toyota Corolla that was sitting in the parking lot staring back at me. To say I was starting to get frustrated would be the understatement of the year.
In addition to all of my financial plans falling through, I had met someone over the summer who I thought I had a lot of potential with and in December that situation got completely shut down. The day this happened I wasn’t even upset or questioning anything anymore I just said, “Okay, God. What do You want to do? Whatever You need to do with me, do it.” I didn’t want to fight God and I wasn’t going to prolong my process by trying to hold onto the things that I was being stripped of. I just wanted to be completely opened to whatever He wanted and needed to do. From that day forward, I decided to be intentional about spending consistent time with God. I asked Him to reveal my heart to me and if there was anything that didn’t look like Him to uproot it. During this time, I developed such an intimate relationship with the Lord because I literally had nothing else to depend on. I had to believe Him to be my provider and I had to trust that He was enough for me. I already knew these things to be true but I was placed in a situation where I had to believe it while I was living it. This led me to draw near to God and be completely vulnerable and honest with Him about everything. If I was in a funk or just not feeling it, I couldn’t call one of my friends in the middle of the day because they had jobs. Instead, I got real chatty with the Lord about literally everything.
There were a lot of tears and brokenness as He took me through a healing process that I didn’t even know I needed. He dealt with a root of rejection that had been chillin’ in my heart for years and I didn’t even realize it until He brought it to the surface. He also showed Himself faithful as I was seeing prayers manifest before my eyes. An old friend had reached out to me with a prayer request and as I was praying, God showed me that within 3 days the situation would turn around. On the 3rd day, before I could even check on my friend, she messaged that the situation had changed. I was like, okay God! I see You are not playing around and I am all here for it! This season has seriously increased my faith to the point that I believe God for anything. I’m waiting to run up on a mountain to tell it to move. #WhoGoneCheckGod?
In addition to this, God has shown Himself faithful over my finances as well. I’m going to be 100% honest, my finances were depleted pretty quickly. I had made provision for myself and all of that dried up before the first of the year. I ended up having to pay my rent and car note on my credit card for a few months because I simply didn’t have the money. I didn’t want to max out my credit card because I just didn’t feel like that was part of the plan or purpose of me quitting my job. I didn’t want to ask my mom for money because I honestly wasn’t struggling and I truly believed that God would take care of me. I eventually started to receive emails from PayPal that multiple people, who didn’t even know me personally, were sending donations through the Changed Hearts website. I’m like God, are You serious right now???
A few weeks ago, my friend Jermia texted me one day and asked who I banked with so that she could put money in my account. Initially, I told her she didn’t have to but something told me to check my bank account. My account was at -$17.79! I was shocked because the last time I checked it, I at least had three figures. The problem was, I hadn’t factored in annual fees for multiple things, such as my gym membership, that were scheduled to be withdrawn in January. What she put in my account that day, took me out of the negative and left me with some extra money. Although I didn’t ask my mom to help me with anything financially, both her and my sister have helped during times that they didn’t even realize I needed it. God always came through and opened doors financially even when I was twiddling my thumbs wondering if I was supposed to start applying for jobs or not. On top of this, I haven’t had health insurance since I’ve been unemployed and I’m thankful to say that I have not been sick once. I’m still binding that flu spirit in Jesus Name because what I don’t have time for, is that.
This season has truly blown me away at how faithful God is and how He continues to show Himself faithful. I’ve learned so much about His character and myself throughout this process and it has increased my faith beyond what I imagined. Although I have felt very stripped and vulnerable, it definitely has been worth it. Now I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t been hard. I’ve had days where I checked my bank account and there was nothing but change listed. I can truly say, however, I have been able to understand what it means to have the joy of the Lord and peace that surpasses all understanding. I’ve had some of my most joy filled days during this season where I didn’t have much of anything. I’ve truly had more peace in the last two months while not having any income, then I’ve had in the last six years with a steady paycheck. I’ve been stretched to the point where I feel like the modern day Gumby but that stretching has birthed things that I couldn’t have even imagined prior to entering this season. I truly believe God is capable of doing anything because I’ve seen Him do some amazing things over the last few months.
As I’m writing this book in February 2017, I’m still unemployed and to be honest, I have no idea what is next. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that. I know God has great things in store and I just want to be wherever He wants me to be. I know it can be scary to take a leap of faith when you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. That’s part of the process, though! Don’t be afraid to step out on faith and trust that He will never lead you down a path that He hasn’t gone Himself. God is for you and when you give Him a yes, He will take it and give you a beautiful exchange of beauty for your ashes.
Hold up, wait a minute…did that say book instead of blog? Yup and it’s not a typo! One of the amazing things that God has allowed to be birthed over the last two months is my new book, Changed Heart, that will be released in March! This blog is actually a snippet from chapter 12 and I am beyond excited to share my heart with you through this book. More details will be coming in the very near future but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the cover!
P.S. Stay classy, keep it holy