I Quit My Job
A year and a half ago, I had my first panic attack. After months of laying on floors, doubting the love of God and the validity of the Christian faith, not being able to answer the constant what’s wrong? questions, fear erupted deep in my soul and something dark grabbed ahold of my lungs and squeezed. I’d never before felt such blinding, white-hot fear flooding and drowning everything, all at once.
It all stemmed from work. Or, more appropriately, from the haunting question of purpose and society’s tendency to attach an individual’s existential purpose to his/her work.
See, I couldn't seem to find any eternal purpose in my day-job work at the time. Some mornings I’d sit in my car and stare at the building, crying, praying for something, anything, to happen so that I wouldn’t have to go inside. I wasn’t born with workaholic tendencies, and I’d never lived to work the way some people do. But I did desire purpose and an ache inside was proof enough to me that something different, something more was out there somewhere, waiting for me to discover it.
It just had to be.
So I exhausted all my energy trying to figure out what that “something more” was on my own. And disappointment after disappointment, closed door after closed door left me defeated, on the floor, numbing my being toward God.
My vision became so clouded that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life anymore. All I knew was that I wanted to feel that I had some kind of purpose and meaning.
That first panic attack shook me awake. Before then, I hadn’t told any of my friends or family of my depression. My husband, Joshua, was my sole companion through the desert of sadness. So after a long walk and an even longer conversation with Joshua, I called my dad, my mom, and my sister. I FaceTimed my best friend. I sat across cups of coffee with countless others, and I opened up about the darkness I couldn’t seem to beat.
And I realized that, in sharing, through inviting others into my struggle, by sitting raw and ragged and imperfect before those I loved deepest, the power my depression held over me loosened its grip one finger at a time.
Now a year and a half later, God has opened the door for me to step into a dream and a purpose that I didn’t even think possible. This month, I’m officially out of the workplace and working for myself full-time as a freelance/contract writer. It used to be something that I only mentioned in passing when people asked about my five or ten-year plan, and even then, I didn’t think this little dream of mine would ever happen.
But here I am, and it’s only by the grace and provision of God.
Earlier this year, just a few days into January, I was fresh into faith again, stepping gingerly around God, trying to figure out what I believed about His goodness, attempting to admonish my soul to believe and trust in His great timing. A mentor sat across from me and told me, “Angelina, something big is going to happen to you this year. It might not be now, it might not be in six weeks, but it’ll happen. And in the meantime, you need to prepare.”
At the time, I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t fathom "something big" happening. But the faith of the people around me stood firm like giants, carrying me on their shoulders until my soul found footing to stand on faith once again.
So, when God blew open doors that only He could open, I tried to summon up some bravery and step into His miraculous provision. Now I’m taking one step of faith at a time, clapping my hands at heaven, sitting at the edge of my seat to see what He does next.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and I see so clearly now all the steps of preparation that God led me through to reach this point in my career. What seemed in the moment to be a waste of time or a period of lacking was really a sharpening of skills, a gathering of knowledge, a preparing of faith.
If today you’re in a season of waiting or wondering, know that the waiting and wondering really do exist just for a season. Truly, He works all things together for our good in ways unimaginable.
Grab ahold of courage and prepare your heart, for greater things are coming, my friend.
With much love,