I have been working from home for about seven years now. It's a blessing, and a curse in a way. But for several years, I have had my heart set on a career in law-enforcement. I've gone to college and obtained my associates in psychology, and I am currently finishing up my bachelors in business administration with a minor in criminal justice. Every class that I've taken towards criminal justice exuded such a passion in me and such excitement. I just love the field and I love what it stands for. So naturally, my thinking has been that my dream would be to have a career in that industry. So for years I have studied, researched, applied for positions. Well, just about a week ago I finally got the call! An interview for a position in our county law-enforcement office, in the probation department, no less. Dream job!
The big day came, I was dressed in my best, fully confident because I know I was more than qualified for the job, and I knew with the passionate love I have for the field that I was the perfect candidate. I went in there, checked in, and sat there – ready for the interview of my life. This was it, this was going to change my whole life if I got this job! However, it only took a few minutes of sitting there waiting for them to call me for the Holy Spirit to start speaking to me. I heard, "Okay, this is what you thought you've always wanted. This is what you been working towards. This is your dream, right? Here is step one to the life that you think you truly want." I looked around, the place was dirty, it's smelled not so great, it had a very cold aura to it, and some less than desirable characters came in and out as I was sitting there. Now, of course, this is a probation office and this was all to be expected and were things that I have had knowledge of for quite some time, in how these things work and what you have to experience and deal with on a daily basis in a job like this.
But I sat there taking everything in and realizing that this wouldn't just be a job, this would be a lifelong career and this would be one of the centers of my life. I would be at this job more than I would be with my children, I would be at this job more than I would be with my church or my fellow believers, I would be at this job more than I would be at my home practically. What kind of changes would that invoke in me, in my lifestyle, in my actions and deeds? So I needed to take it all in and instead of the dreamy episodes of Cops, Lockup Raw, or Jail that I am so intrigued by, I had to take in the reality for a moment of how it might change me, might change my life, might change my love of the field.
The interview went great and I walked out of there feeling good about it, still excited, but not quite as certain. The drive home left a lot of time for thought and it all comes back to this: we always think we know what we want, we can be dead set on it for weeks, months, or years. We can strive, stay up endless nights working hard towards our goal, in the end to only realize that it was never God's plan but our own. When it is our own plan it will never satisfy us, it will never fulfill us, it will never give us all of the beautiful illusions and circumstances that we have always pictured would be tied with that specific thing or position. Because if it is outside of God's will, if if it is something we are doing because it is our own passion and our own desire and we are controlling what we want and striving to make it happen ourselves – it will never be the right thing to do.
It was a hard pill to swallow that for several years while still following Christ, I was trying to control my outcome as far as where I would end up in a career, what I would be doing, the kind of money I would be making, and whom I would be serving. The thing is, only God can see far down the line. He can see what happens to us, what will make us happy, and what will spiral us downward. When we don't get something we want, or we get something we think we want and it's not all it's cracked up to be, I'm learning that it may not just be God saving us FOR something better, but maybe saving us FROM something much worse. Perhaps I would be miserable in that workplace, perhaps I would experience a hostile environment or people and situations that made me fearful. Perhaps I would develop a distaste for law-enforcement after seeing it from the inside, perhaps it would put out the fire of the passion I have for that industry. And whether I work in that field or not, I don't ever want to lose a passion for how I see our officers, sheriffs, patrolmen, prison guards, etc. I hold them in high esteem and I want to continue doing that.
So that evening as I came to my room and engaged in a time of thinking – I gave everything over to God, and told Him I would be happy to follow Him wherever He led me. Whichever path He chose, I was content that it would be the right one. I released anything that I wanted for me, any plans I have made for my life, any control I still had in my own grasp. I laid it all at the foot of the cross and allowed Christ to bear my burdens and make my decisions for me. You see, just a few days before this interview took place I was awarded a second job working at home. Only a couple of days after the interview took place, I was awarded additional hours from both my first and my second to home jobs. And at the same time one of my clients let other people go, and I was solely in charge of the department now.
God was giving me job security in what I already had. God was adding additional income where I was lacking. My view had been that I had to have a government job, a long-term brick-and-mortar career in order to have enough money to provide for my children, benefits to make things a little easier, and retirement to secure my future as I age. What God showed me was that I will be okay no matter which way it turns out. He ensured that I had the opportunity to chase my dream, and then get a reality check. He also provided the opportunity for me to open my eyes and see that the work I already have would provide for my family in abundance, if only I would embrace them and work at them joyfully, as we are supposed to do as if doing all things for the Lord. So instead of a cushy 40 hour a week job at a government agency with amazing benefits, retirement plan, and a fancy title – I was now finding myself quite peaceful, with an attitude of great gratitude and humbleness, and very joyful at the idea of staying right where I'm at. Working from home. It may be twice as many hours, no benefits, and no retirement plan - but then again, not all benefits come in monetary form.
I would be able to continue to be with my children 24/7, I would get to continue to have my own flexible schedule to take off when and how I need in order to attend Bible study groups, school events, and ministry conferences. With the double income from working over 75 hours a week, I can save my own money towards retirement, I can afford my own benefits, and I can secure the future I desire without punching a time clock for a government or corporation. I can punch a time clock for the Lord, for my kids, and for myself. See, the Bible tells us we are not to ask for our lives to be easier and without struggle, but instead are supposed to ask to simply be equipped with the strength and perseverance to walk through our trials and hard seasons victoriously.
I can now look around and see the blessings that are already in abundance around me. I can see I already have the perfect life, though it comes with much longer hours and much harder work…I don't think I'd have it any other way right now. My children are still young, there is so much I don't want to miss. Is this law-enforcement job the opportunity of a lifetime? I'm a mother, I'm a child of God - to me, those are the opportunities of a lifetime! So I'm choosing the long and narrow road of perseverance and trust in Jesus Christ, not the wide and easy path of financial gain and worldly recognition. Storing up treasures for Heaven, is there anything better?