Life happens. Sometimes it disturbs our groove. It shatters our confidence, if you will. We’re moving along and everything is falling into place and going according to OUR plans. Then BAM! We run into a roadblock and we doubt ourselves and whether or not we heard God. Well, this recently happened to me. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I thought I was moving in God’s will. Maybe I was. Maybe everything that happened, happened the way it was supposed to. I resigned my job in Texas; sold my house; and accepted a job in Tallahassee at a private school. The first week in, I knew I was in trouble in that it…the city…the school…was not a good fit. I had walked into a hornets’ nest. The staff didn’t meet my “standards” and I personally did not want to train non-librarians how to be librarians. That is what I believed was expected of me. Now to a librarian who has obtained her masters’ degree, nothing is more offensive than a non-degree person referring to herself as a librarian. This was the case at that place of employment and I was vexed by it everyday! Not only that, there was some house keeping that needed to be done and who better than me to do it, or so I thought. I went all commando, barking orders, but not valuing the skills they had or the work they had accomplished. (I need to pause here and tell you that if you are reading this and are perfect, you should probably stop here. This is a tale of my imperfection.)
In any event, my pitbull approach only hurt me in the end and I was released from that job. According to them, I resigned, but technically I didn’t have a choice. “What the hell happened?” is what I thought to myself. How did I get here? I just uprooted myself and belongings across country. I purchased a home. I know I heard God! I ALWAYS hear God! Much to my dismay, my confidence was shaken, and shattered. I reached out to those closest to me and shared what happen. My friends allowed me to cry and process this situation. Needless to say, I just needed a J-O-B! As much as I love working with teens, I didn’t really want to return back to a school to work.
It just so happens that an acquaintance I made before leaving Texas happened to be a career coach. In April, she reached out to me. I shared with her what happened and she has since be coaching me. Here I was sending out all these resumes out of sheer desperation, even to K-12 schools, which I did not want to return to. In any event, the coach felt that I needed to stop what I was doing and re-evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. Once I did that, the right job opportunity came. It meant another relocation, but it was still in Florida. I always say, “THIS is the Florida I thought I was moving to when I moved to Tallahassee!” It’s a much better fit and I see so much potential at my job, not just myself, but for the program, my team, and the customers I serve. I’m excited about this second chance that God has given me. While I feel like I failed, God had another plan…a ram in the bush. It is true what Jeremiah 29:11 says. “For I know the plans I have for Angie,“ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper her and not harm her, plans to give Angie hope and a future.” What God has for me is for me! My journey is not your journey; our paths are not the same.
As much as I hate to admit this, I was arrogant and prideful. There had to be a breaking so I could learn some very important lessons. I began to think about the kind of leader I really wanted to be and what the role would entail. My role as a leader was to develop other leaders. I’m still learning how to be a better leader, but I also focus on how I want my new team to be empowered. Empower. That is a word my new manager uses every day and I like it. I see her vision for our library clearly and from that first moment I met them, I knew.
I cried many days and the love God demonstrated for me through my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece, my aunt, and my friends was unbelievable. All I can tell you is prayer works and God has strategically placed some prayer warriors in my life. Sometimes when I would cry out to God, He would answer the prayer, almost word for word, using my brother-in-law as a vessel and I would cry even harder. It was the comfort and confirmation that I needed. My family has never been so awesome! That is when my brother-in-law told me, “I love you even more in your valley.” Each time I recall that statement, I tear up from the inside out.
After the Tallahassee incident, I lost my confidence. I doubted myself and my decisions-making ability…always second guessing myself. I can tell you this. God IS faithful even when I mess something up. He provided and never missed a beat. My well never ran dry; I never missed a mortgage payment; car payment; or any payment. Everything was still paid on time! In fact, my credit score went up and I always had groceries! It was three months before God opened the right door. I can tell you that I was afraid every day and that I doubted. Even in that doubt…in that unbelief, I kept believing. I know that may not make sense to some of you. Sometimes hope is all you have to hang on to. I was determined to not let go. I had enough sense to know to keep calling on God even if I could not see it. I kept believing Him and knew this had to be working for my good! Soon, the shift in my mindset came. I can’t tell you the exact moment, but I sensed the restoration of my confidence in Him, and perhaps even in myself.
God opened the right door and placed me somewhere I never thought I’d work. I am happily relocated in my new city, in my new job, with an amazing team! Not only did the Lord allow me to relocate, but He allowed me to rent my house in Tallahassee. I didn’t have to lose material things, but I did have to trust God. I made, and still make, the choice everyday to trust Him even when I don’t see the end result. He’s just that kind of God. My confidence was shaken, but HE has restored me…..AGAIN! God never ceases to amaze me!
If you are reading this, it is not by accident. If you have hit that rough patch that shook your confidence, God can turn it around! It was not an accident; it had to happen. He can restore you. He can turn your situation around. Lay down your foolish pride and shame. In the midst of my situation, part of getting through it was to share it; to not bear this cross by myself. When things happen you can’t tell everybody. There are just some people…the naysayers…the “Debbie Downers”….who are ecstatic when you fall. That’s okay because they do not have the last word! They are not the authors or finishers of my faith.
BUT God! Let God be God. Keep trusting. Keep believing.