“You are never ready to be out on your own.”
“The road before you is a vast expanse of undiscovered opportunity, and it
can will be terrifying.”
“You’ve got talent, but it only takes you so far. What you’ll discover is whether or not you have a work ethic.”
These aren’t cheesy sayings you’ll find on beautifully designed images ready for social sharing. (Although I could do that if you needed me to.) The above sentiments are just a few of the things I wish people would have said to me when I took the jump from a full-time job to freelancing and consulting.
To be fair, the full impact of what was being communicated would have blown past me. I don’t know if bluntly spoken words would have provided a mental edge necessary to tackle the various mountains and valleys that stood in my path. But, like the sentiments of a Hallmark card, the thought would have counted for something.
The transition from one thing to another is rarely easy. Even rarer is a person entirely prepared for what life brings in the midst of change. Something is hidden, a layer that covers a layer that covers another layer.
I think that’s what I was most afraid of when I jumped into the great unknown. That I would peel away layers of myself and not like what I discovered. Or that I would be disappointed in who I found. While I think all of us have things that we want to change, or we wish were different about our personalities, I’ve come to embrace what I’ve discovered.
I used to be governed by intense fear of failure. I would lie awake at night and fret about the things I thought I’d done wrong. My high performing, willing to do whatever nature controlled me, and it stressed me out to the point where it impacted my health. I allowed people and circumstances to distort the truth about Jesus, His word and the talents He entrusted to me.
In the last four months, Jesus, in His faithfulness, has forced me to deal. Those layers that have peeled away are layers that made me self-focused. They are things that fed insecurity and doubt. They didn’t glorify the Lord. I’m thankful to be a driven individual. One who tries to pursue excellence in my work and relationships. But I can’t let it control me anymore.
I hope that a year down the road, I’ve shed more that hinders me from doing what God has called me to do. I hope I’m thankful. I hope I feel confident and bold in Him. This adventure is not something I ever planned for myself. It was a call from the Lord, and it has required faith and obedience every step of the way.
As I look to the future, I am overwhelmed by the present. There are people who have taken a chance and hired me. My family has supported me every step of the way. My mother deserves a medal of honor for wading into the mess of emotion I’ve displayed as I’ve processed and moved forward. Friends have offered listening ears, late night dinners and opportunities to talk through what this new life means for me. I am rich in every way that counts.
I am grateful.
And by the grace and discipline of Jesus, I’m free.