Last January I quit my job . . . this is the story of how I was given the courage to do it.

My small church graciously held open my position as
associate pastor for six months after the twins were born.  As the time ticked by and the heavy heat of
summer turned into fall, then winter, my mind and heart danced anxiously around
the decision of whether or not I would return to work.  There were the usual pressures, finances and
a fear of losing ground professionally, as well as the fear of losing myself in
the incredible task of caring for four young children if I didn’t return to

In my heart, though, I knew I simply couldn’t do it.  At five months out my body was still worn-out
from the incredible pregnancy, the birth and the long-haul endurance race of
breastfeeding twins.  The answer was
simple, clear even, and I knew I couldn’t go back to work, couldn’t spin one
more plate even if I wanted to. 

Still, I waffled, circling the kitchen in the evening while
cooking dinner.  I peppered my wary husband with questions and arguments, offering
different angles to consider and repeating
again and again the questions, “I can’t do this, can I?” and “Am I crazy to
even think of going back to work?” 

My husband wisely kept to neutral ground while voicing his
support for “whatever I decided to do.”

I reached a decision, though I still could hardly speak of
it, and told our main pastor.  I
tearfully wrote a letter of resignation and headed to the board meeting where I
would make my big announcement.  I got
there early, my typed letters laying lightly in a bag at my side and sat down
directly across from my friend, the senior pastor, who asked one more time,
“Are you sure, you want to be done?”

It was a simple question, probably more for the sake of
conversation than real inquiry, but I felt its pull like gravity.  In that moment I felt my need to be needed,
my love of work, my desire to be important, all of those rose to meet the
question and I paused as any addict might when confronted with a whiff, a
glimpse of that which he or she has decided to renounce.

Then a vision came, brief and vibrantly
clear, like a flash in my mind.  I saw a
donkey standing in a field beside a heavy yoke that lay in the grass.  At the same time, while seeing the yoke and
feeling the familiar pull of my old job, I also saw the sunlit field, which lay
like a colorful quilt spread beneath a bright blue sky.  The field was filled with flowers, a joyful, chaotic display of beauty that stood like an invitation all around. 

clarity of the invitation – to set aside my “work” and simply explore that field in all it’s beauty – helped me find the freedom to choose.  T
here would be no condemnation if I chose to return to work, the
donkey after all is a beast of burden, gifted at getting the job done.  But suddenly I could see more than the work that
needed to be done.  I could see the field as more than a means to an end, more
than just furrow after furrow of earth to turn for productivity’s sake.  I saw the beauty and possibility; I saw it
could be a place for resting, a place for savoring and enjoying, a place worth
exploring rather than cultivating, if only for a season. 

“Yes,” I said, “I’m sure,” though the tears still threatened
to rise. 

I’ve cried many times since making that decision, felt
waves of grief rise up on Sunday mornings as I miss the pulpit and its power,
as I miss the role and the joy of getting behind the plow with a team and
getting things done.  Yet I realize now
that the work will always be there, but these precious beautiful flowers, oh
my, they fade so quickly, I can hardly take them in and I don’t think I could
live with myself if I missed even just one. 

I made my choice and wherever you see a field of wild
flowers, that’s where I’ll be, just wandering, waiting, breathing them in and,
oh my, if this is your season to work, may God bless you in it, but do stop by
from time to time and I’ll show you what I’ve found, what God keeps showing me out in
this field of beauty and wonder.      

Want to read more about the transition to being a mother of four?  You might enjoy, The Blessing or Impossible.  Follow this blog on facebook at A Field of Wild Flowers or on twitter @inthefieldswGod.

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