New beginnings- Guest blog by Chika Anajemba
On the 7th of February 2018 I walked away from a well-paid, high-flying job at a prestigious firm I’d worked in for almost 3 years. I handed in my resignation knowing I did not have another job waiting for me. It was the scariest and most liberating thing I’d done till date. In truth, my resignation was coming for some time. It was not a spur of the moment decision. If anything, I had wanted to quit more often than I’d thought about staying at my job in the nearly 3 years I’d been there. But there were many thoughts that stopped me from walking away such as “how would I pay my mortgage, what would people say, what would I do next if I quit and didn’t have another job to go to?”. The burden of trying to answer these questions and the accompanying fear that came with each thought was enough to stop me in my tracks and keep me from making any decision. In all of this, I hadn’t really sought the Lord for direction. These thoughts became burdens to my soul that robbed me of joy for a long time and would eventually also take its toll on my health, coupled with the daily stresses of the job.
I had always thought of my job in the financial services industry as training ground for what God wanted to do in and through me. I knew I did not want to retire in this industry so I was waiting and trusting the Lord to lead me to what He wanted for me in due course. But as the years went on and nothing seemed to be changing, doubts started to creep in. With doubts came a discontentment and longing for something more meaningful and purposeful. I went to work each day feeling like I was wasting away the gifts and talents I’d been given. I excelled at work to the best of my ability but still felt like it was not my calling. With time, I grew more resentful and disillusioned. In hindsight I’m not sure what I was resentful at. I thought it stemmed from the feeling that I was being treated unfairly and passed up on promotions and opportunities, but little did I know God was working something far bigger behind the scenes. Things eventually came to a head last year when my health began failing and I found myself dealing with doctors’ appointments every week and undergoing numerous tests. To make matters worse, I was working up to 13 hours on bad days, faced with looming deadlines and unrelenting pressure to deliver at work. It all began to take its toll on me and on advisement from my doctor; I was signed off work to recover. Part of me was relieved to finally get some much needed rest, but part of me also felt like I’d failed. After all, as children of God we shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the pressures of this world right? But God is gracious and in my moments of weakness, His strength was perfected as I learned to lean on Him and trust that somehow everything that was happening would one day make sense.
Eventually I came to the point where I realised something was going to have to change. My work life balance was practically non-existent and I was going from prolonged periods of working long hours, to prolonged periods of taking time off work for health reasons. Resigning seemed like the only viable option at that point, even if it meant resigning without another job in place yet due to the time of the year. I knew I was either going to have to radically trust that God would take care of me or not. This was a real turning point for me in my faith and walk with God. I’ve come to realise that as a Christian it is very easy to say we trust God when the going is good, until we are put in a position where we have to really trust Him, when it looks like nothing is going the way we expect it to. Letting go of my safety net was a scary process but one that in hindsight I wouldn’t change for anything. It was like I let go of fear and worry and took hold of trust and faith. Before I handed in my resignation, I made the decision that I was not going to let fear or worry about the future into my life whilst waiting for another job. I purposed that I was going to enjoy the time I had off and the season and make the most of it.
The last couple of months have been a season of joy, peace, rest and refreshing. I’ve learned to take each day as it comes, cast away fear or anxiety when it tries to make a comeback and just enjoy being alive and well. It has also been a time of rediscovery and venturing out into new territories and opportunities. I can honestly say that resigning was the best decision I’ve made in a while. A dear friend gave me a token gift which says “letting go of what makes you sad is the simplest way to make yourself happy”. As simple as it sounds, I have found these words to be true. Life is by no means perfect, but I have already seen the faithfulness and goodness of God displayed in the waiting. I am living expectantly and looking forward to the new things in store for me. But most of all, I am now certain that no matter what the future may bring, I can walk into it fearlessly and overcome without fear because of my recent experiences. In the words of the famous poet Maya Angelou “you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them’.
Chika Anajemba is a project manager working in markets technology within the financial services industry. She has a passion for writing, public speaking and serving the Lord in ministry. Her hobbies include travelling and blogging about living life with purpose. For more of Chika's writings, visit www.myscarletthread.wordpress.com. Instragam: myscarletthread.