“..We are going to have to cut our budget by $300,000.00..” My heart began racing as I watched fear come to life in the face of each of my co-workers in the room. We all knew what was coming. In fact we’d been anticipating it for quite some time. With all the change and transition that had taken place and our new team of executive leaders (some of which were very new to their positions and even the human services field) it was only a matter of time. Still we sat there, awestruck, as our executive director delivered the terrifying news.
The longer she talked the more angst crowded my body. To put it simply, things had gotten so out of hand that in order for the company to pull itself out of “the red” the budget would need to be cut by a minimum of $300,000. As much as we tried to float around it, the fact of the matter was unavoidable now.
Things were about to change. For someone this would be the end of a long-awaited, tightly gripped, diligently pursued dream. If you haven’t guessed by now, that dream was mine. I love people. I’ve always been people person. My friends used to joke about the fact that I could walk into a room, not know anybody, and by the time I left it was like we had been best friends for years. People are my passion.
What I loved most about this company was that I got to meet and work with some really incredible families. I got to build relationships with them, advocate for them, and invest in their growth. I had been with the company for 5 years and had held 4 different positions. I worked my way from the “bottom” into mid level management and high hopes of joining the executive team within the next few years.
Ultimately my goal was to become the executive director; if not there, than for a similar non-profit. That all felt so attainable.. up until that moment.
My Last Day At The Office – How God pulled me away from my dream for the purpose of pursuing a dream with Him.— RosevineCottageGirls (@RoseCottageGirl) May 7, 2016
I was laid off the next week. Part of me was bitter, part of me was relieved. On the plus side, no more politics. No more battling to keep my integrity, no more drama. That was nice; but a part of me began to feel lost. My work had been my identity. I felt cheated. I felt afraid. I wasn’t sure how to handle it. So like most self-proclaimed writers would do in a time of uncertainty, I took my thoughts to pen and paper (actually, I took them to my blog).
Enter: my new beginning. I’ve been a writer since the day I could write my name. I grew up writing stories, poems, and songs. I was always way to excited about essay assignments, and writing research papers was my guilty pleasure. Even then I never anticipated that God would open the doors that He did.
When I woke up the next morning and went to check my email (mostly out of habit) I was stunned at the amount of feedback I had gotten from sharing my story of where I was at in that moment. I even had a mom and her young daughter find me on Facebook and email me to tell them how sharing my struggle ministered to them in their situation. I think that’s the point where writing became something I couldn’t just keep for myself anymore.
God used that mom and her daughter to ignite a spark in me. He placed a new dream in my heart. Now here I am almost two years later and I am so in love with where God has me. I have the blessing of using my passion people and writing and my love for God to encourage other women. It’s been incredible meeting the ladies that I have and building relationships with readers and other bloggers.
I can’t say that it’s been the easiest thing. God pulled off more than a handful of miracles to keep me and place me where I am at. We went through a year of serious financial struggles, major medical issues, a high risk pregnancy, I battled through some crazy anxiety and even some depression. But in the end; God was (and is) still God and He had a plan. And His plan was greater than I would have ever imagined.
Regardless of where you are at right now, God is still God and He has a plan.— RosevineCottageGirls (@RoseCottageGirl) May 7, 2016
Sometimes it just takes us stepping back and trusting Him; allowing Him to truly be the author of our lives. God can use your circumstances to plant dreams in your heart, and He can use people (or circumstances) to propel you towards them. I think sometimes we want to believe that our initial dreams are the best it’s going to get. But let me tell you, dreaming with God is infinitely better than trying to live a dream without Him at the forefront of it.
One thing I know for sure is God is never stagnant. He is always in motion, always working on your behalf. Imagine the things you could dream and all you could accomplish when you learn to align yourself with God and his dream for you. Talk about incredible.– Alonda Tanner (excerpt from When Seasons Change)