Life definitely holds twists, turns, and surprises. I’ve always known that I am a high-stress individual. “Overachiever” and “Workaholic” actually tend to sound like compliments to me. My husband finally met my extended family last summer, and he understands — very few of us actually take time off. That’s why running is how I relax. Everything I do has to have a purpose.
Well, the lifestyle has caught up with me, and I have contracted a stress-induced chronic condition. No problem, right? I’ll just back off on some of my extra activities and learn to be content with doing well on my job. After all, I’m decently good at it, and we still need the paycheck to pay off debts and things that divorce tends to cultivate.
Trying to be a good Mormon woman, I began praying about how to approach learning to relax and do less. At first, I thought I was having instrusive thoughts, “Quit your job.” Seriously? I began fasting. I’ve been to the temple. I look for answers every time I read my scriptures. So far, the answer has been the same.
Am I Nuts?
Of all the people I know, I can see how crazy this idea is — I feel pulled toward pursuing a career largely based on the internet — a bloated, over-hyped market that I truly know nothing about being a success in! The areas I feel to pursue are areas in which I am a beginner. This is a dream I’ve had forever, but the dream never included leaving a secure job for the possibility of losing my home!
As a single mother, I did receive help from time to time, but I wouldn’t even begin to think of asking for help if I made the choice to leave a good, secure job for this kind of insanity!
My husband has been praying and looking for some kind of career advancement to make up the difference, but nothing has turned up. As the deadline for quitting looms closer, we are both beginning to feel a sense of panic.
Where is my faith?
That is actually the critical question. Joseph Smith once said something to the effect that a religion that doesn’t require the sacrifice of all things can’t save you from anything. I always thought that would mean time, energy, and substance. It appears, however, that my sacrifices are to be psychological — I’ve already been wrestling with worry about how my integrity is perceived in my church and my community, and now I have to be ready to turn my back on financial security and a planned future.
So, I have to decide:
- Do I really believe that Jesus is King of Kings — the literal King and Ruler of the earth and all that is in it?
- Do I really believe that he loves me?
- Do I really believe that he is perfect?
- Do I really believe that he is guiding my life to give me the best in the eternities, and that he will also give me as much as is best for me now?
- Do I trust that he sees what I cannot and knows what I don’t?
- Am I willing to remember the other times in my life where I should have failed, but I was supported by his tender mercies?
As far as I can see, there really isn’t any net. Maybe there is. Maybe, as I think I felt the Holy Spirit whisper on a run one morning, there isn’t any net because the Lord is going to teach me how to fly.
I don’t know yet what my final decision will be. I will have to make one soon. There have been times in my life when I’ve choked, and there have been times in my life when I’ve walked in faith. Time will tell.