Two weeks ago I started a new job as a project manager in the publications department at Logos Bible Software. I am very excited to start this new season in my life but I was surprised to feel a deep melancholy since then. For the past ten years, my focus has been teaching. It had become so deeply ingrained with my identity that the first thing people would ask me when I told them I was working at Logos was, “What about teaching?” Now, after living in this identity, striving after it, I find myself facing a very real and difficult transition. Identity is a difficult thing to establish, let alone change. When that transition happened so suddenly, it caused me to begin to second guess God. “Is this really what you want my life to be about, God?”
A few weeks ago I wrote about wrestling with God and the change that occurs afterwards. This season of transition is the result of my own wrestling with my purpose and future. I found that teaching was being pushed more and more aside in my life. For the last two years, I have struggled to make ends meet as a substitute teacher, office assistant and social worker. Some weeks I would work ten hours and others I would work forty. It was hard and frustrating and it felt like I was never moving forward–in fact it often felt like I was moving backwards. I found myself blowing in the wind, unsure of where I was going or how I was getting there.
What I loved the most about teaching was being able to partner with God in shaping the lives of the next generation of children. I dove headlong in to teaching because I knew advancing God’s Kingdom could be fully realized. The classroom isn’t the only place where God is working though. I was so focused on that one aspect of the Kingdom that I forgot about everything else He was doing. There are times when God calls us into a very specific role in His Kingdom and obedience means following His footsteps into that place. Most of the time, God doesn’t have a specific plan worked out for our lives. He is content with us making our own choices about how to advance His Kingdom on Earth. He delights in people who are able to creatively use their gifts for His glory.
When Jesus calls the first disciples, he calls them from their vocations and into his ministry. He does not tell them they will be with him for three years travelling all across the land. He does not tell them the gritty details of his coming ministry. He simply tells them to follow him. “Come with me and I will make you fishers of men.” None of the disciples he calls question this new identity–they boldly step out in faith.
Now, transitioning probably isn’t as easy as the disciples and Jesus make it out to be in Matthew. In fact, it is downright hard. But the same amount of trust and vulnerability that the disciples exhibited is still necessary. I may not know where I am going or how I am following in Jesus’ footsteps but I trust that he is guiding my steps. Not only am I stepping out of my comfort zone, I am stepping out of my understanding of advancing the kingdom. Yet, one of the objectives of the Publications department is to combat biblical illiteracy. I know that I am proud to be in a position where I am able to contribute to accomplishing that goal.