Change is not easy.
I made a decision this week to leave the first job that I've kept for more than a year and a few months... a job that has influenced my view of myself and of my worth to the world for the last 6 1/2 years. A job that has seen me from my mid-20s to my early 30s... that has been there as a constant through a lot of life changes, a lot of bad decisions, and a few good ones, too. A job that has given me friends from all over the world, and where I have learned that I can be respected for my full, gently eccentric self. A job where I have really loved some of my students --listened to, prayed for, worried about, cried with and for them, and helped whenever and however I could. This is not to say that I was always successful, but my efforts were nearly always appreciated, and I was thanked many times with great sincerity for simply doing my job.
It is not easy to leave such a job. It is not easy to leave my students. When you don't have children but you have as much maternal instinct as I do, it is hard to imagine not having 1,200 "kids" to fret over.
Recent events, though, have turned my attention towards the passion I have for seeing justice done... particularly when it comes to the sexual exploitation of children and young women. I don't think I'd realized exactly how important this is to me until the subject was thrown in my face and I found myself totally ready to fight back. I've really had to think about this, and about what it means for my vocation and my work. Having this sudden opportunity just fall into my lap --for a job that would pay enough for me to realistically begin thinking of paying off my debts-- has started me thinking of what being rid of my debt could mean for my future employment... about the sorts of things I could do to position myself to assist in the fight against exploitation of those women and children who are too beaten down to fight for themselves.
So I took the job with this goal in mind, knowing that this goal will fade into near-nothingness within a short amount of time if I don't forcibly keep it in front of me... and that money can be very seductive. And I'm scared. I'm an idealist, and I'm afraid that I won't believe in this job, and that I'll be miserable as a result. I'm treated with a lot of respect and love in my current job, and it will be difficult to be back in the position of having to earn equal treatment and the care of others. I've also gotten into a routine that has been thoroughly reinforced for several years, and I will have to get used to a lot of new expectations and unspoken/unwritten "rules".
I will also have a massive dry cleaning bill, and will have to get to work on time. These things are probably the worst of all. :^)
So. Here I am... having decided to make the first real career change of my life, and feeling as I usually do, like I'm on Candid Camera and someone's going to pop out from behind something and say "Smile!" and I'm going to be totally relieved and be like "oh good, this was a set-up. Can I go home now?" I woke up in the middle of the night last night, mind racing, thinking "are you CRAZY??" To which I thought "yes. and your point would be...?" but that didn't help me sleep.
LORD God, help me take it one day, one step, one breath and one prayer at a time. Don't let me freak myself out. Stand with me. Carry me. Hold me in Your arms and make me sure of Your presence. I fear my own weakness. Help me to be strong. Keep me honest, LORD. Keep me focused. I need You.