In the middle of a frigid Minnesota winter it is not uncommon to see kids in shorts or at a bus stop without a coat, because they think it is somehow uncool to wear a coat.

My teenagers are notorious for this. I stand in the foyer and holler with my hands waving in the air, “Can’t you see it is WINTER outside? It is freezing! Put on your coat!” Before I know it they are out the door in only a sweatshirt and shorts, clueless and unwilling to accept the fact that it is winter and it is cold.

Have you ever been in a season of your life like this?

Where CLEARLY the season has changed, the leaves have fallen off, the snow is on the ground, and you refuse to admit it. You refuse to budge. You stay shivering in your shorts while the rest of the world realizes it is winter.

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This is exactly what has been happening in my own life (which is also why I took a month off from writing as I wrote about here).

My season for the last year has been changing, and I dug my heels in and pretended it wasn’t. The season of my career.

I have been at Melrose for almost nine years, and the season has changed. The winds were moving and the leaves were falling. I was receiving messages from every direction. From wise counsel, dear friends, and mostly from my body were signaling, It is time to move on. I tried to ignore it. Tried to pretend that I could stay where I was and be comfortable in my discomfort.

I have never lived my life like that, so why now?

Because I was afraid. I was comfortable. I was on autopilot.

But, autopilot is not what patients need and I increasingly became unable to offer my best self at my job. The message was clear.

It was time to step out of the boat.

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I was terrified. At the time, I wasn’t feeling God’s presence, I wasn’t feeling like he was with me.

So should I wait until I feel ready? No.

Everything was flashing a neon sign to step out of the boat. I trusted my body, I trusted my wise community and family telling me to step out, and I trusted…despite not feeling God, that as I stood on the water, Jesus would be there somewhere.

A sense of Jesus’ absence might be a sign of his presence – a sign that he is working already in your own life.” – Tim Keller 

So I tenderly and fearfully stepped out. And I felt scared. And I felt alone. And many nights in these past few months have been spent with me asking God this question, “Are you here?”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I couldn’t feel Him. I couldn’t see Him. But I trusted. And in other ways He made his presence known. Through music and people. I can’t even count the number of times Hillsong’s Ocean was suddenly playing out of seemingly nowhere.

I stepped out of the boat and with my knees shaking, I began walking.

It may seem like no big deal to leave a job, but this job has been my passion and my life. Walking in the trenches everyday with those struggling has been my calling.

My job is changing but my calling is not.

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Today is my last day at Melrose as a Mental Health Practitioner. For almost nine years I have been walking with patients struggling with eating disorders, and for the past four with those struggling with eating disorders and substance abuse.

And I will continue my passion to help people find freedom for the rest of my life.

More than anything, the patients have taught me. They have softened my heart. They have stretched and challenged me. They have made me a better person, a more vulnerable person, and a more tender person.

And it is with great and heavy sadness and excited anticipation that I close this chapter in my life and move on to another.

On Monday September 21st, I will begin a new chapter as a Business Develoment and Marketing Associate at a really cool new treatment center, Beauterre Institute. I will no longer be working in direct patient care.

It is my hope and prayer that it will allow me more time for speaking and writing as this is where I feel I want to devote more of my time and energy.

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My heart is aching today and my hands are shaking. I am filled with doubt and worry. But, I trust in God’s plan for my life and I trust that he will guide me in moving forward.

What about you?

Do you need to step out of the boat? Is fear holding you back? 

Fear isn’t enough of a reason not to do something.

Are you wearing shorts when it is CLEARLY winter?

Don’t let it dear friends, life is precious and the water will not drown you. Yes, many times it felt like it would, but it didn’t.

Take that step.

And won’t you hold my hand with me too as I take my next step? 

xo

Lee

 

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