Decisions, decisions – will it ever end?
I did not sign up for a roller coaster ride; I’m getting too old for roller coasters – haha, that’s what I thought!
Just over a year and one month since graduation, I had been blessed to be employed for three organizations, four roles, and am looking forward to what’s next!
The transition out of university has been one that could not be anticipated to pan out the way it did, nor predictable. I’m learning that that’s just the way the cookie crumbles; we go through the motions and our decisions help to determine whether or not the way the cookie crumbles, will also crumble us. *ooh go get ’em cookies*
Okay jokes aside, this post has been a really difficult one to write. I started writing it in September when my brother and I travelled out west to the rainy British Columbia and the picturesque Alberta. I have made revisions for weeks on end, and finally, I get why it took so long – I needed to experience the last 2 months for all of this to make sense. Both for you, my Beauts, and for me.
You see, making decisions will forever be a part of our lives, as long as we’re living. From the get-go, decisions were being made right, front, and centre. On the first Sabbath of our trip, the speaker pointed out a strong point: Making a decision is one of the most spiritual things you can ever do. This point stuck with me, and will forever be engrained in my head. If you’re in the process of making a decision – big, small, serious or not, this post is for you!
I was burning out, getting bored, and wanted to move forward in my career. Before graduating last year, I had anticipated either getting into some coordinator/management-type position or trying out Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Like most students preparing for graduation, I had my “line” rehearsed for the popular conversation of: So what are your plans after graduation?
The fact is, you can constantly plan, plan, and plan – but the reality of it all is that your plans have a 50/50 chance of failing and you need to be okay with that. My well-rehearsed lines paid off! I am blessed to say that I had fulfilled my destination of doing both – getting into an Intake Coordinator role as well as practicing as an Instructor Therapist in both a clinical and private school setting.
Notice how I said “had”?
It’s November 2019, one year and almost one months since university graduation and I have no idea where the next step will be. However, I’ve decided to fully lean into whatever comes next and choose wisely with an open mind.
Consider your options.
When I started to burn out in one role, I realized the cause came from the fact that I was stagnant in the role; there was a lack of growth, I’d developed a daily groove for myself, and got the job done. I started going to work every day, dragging my feet to get out of the house. In other words, the motivation to get to work dwindled and I found myself just going to work because there were bills to pay.
So, considering options meant – what jobs would I apply for? How long should I give myself before leaving? What is it that I really want to do?
It came down to staying and filling a role vs taking a leap elsewhere and starting fresh. If you’ve been following online, you’d know I went with the second option.
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6
Make a pros and cons chart.
While out west, Church in the Valley had just started a new sermon series called “Moving Forward”, which came at the best time for my journey. The speaker stated that it was time to pick up the stakes and move forward; there was no more time to dilly dally when there are opportunities to grow elsewhere. Since I had to decide what to do about my burning out and stagnation feeling at work, I made a pros and cons chart between my options and listed the obvious – the pros and cons.
I highly recommend going with the option that produces more pros; at the end of the day, you want to make a decision that will positively impact your life as well as others’. As a result, I went with the second option and submitted my resignation three days after returning from our trip.
Was I nervous? Absolutely. Was it an easy conversation? No way! Wait, so you resigned in person? You got it, dude.
Talk it out.
Of course making the decision did not happen over night. Every good decision takes time to hash out the options and consider every good and bad possibility. Choosing should never be done alone, unless you are completely certain the decision you are making is what it is.
Talk to someone who can speak wisdom and guide you through the decision-making process. Reach out to a co-worker, neighbour, friend or family member that you truly believe can help you decide. You want someone or a group of people who know you, understand where you’re at, and can help you see the bigger picture.
For me, it was a combination of many: my women’s’ group, mentors, family, friends, and neighbours… and at one point I did talk to my dog LOL. You get the point.
Once you’ve done the above steps, give it to God. God knows what’s before you and He knows exactly what’s best. It’s up to you to endure the process and take action.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord…” – Jeremiah 29:11-14
He knows the end from the beginning, and is our Alpha and Omega. He is the God of our in-between; He will work it out with us as we wrestle with the circumstances that test our faith to trust His ways versus ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” – Isaiah 55:8
Surrender the worries, fears and doubts because God has it all covered. The problem with us is that we struggle with letting go. We want control and need to be reminded that we aren’t in control. Our responsibility is to seek out the help we need to make an effective decision.
The spotlight on the decision I needed to make was very clear. There was so much clarity, no one or no thing could stop me from moving forward. So that’s exactly what I did.
You have to make a decision. The failure of making a decision is a decision you have chosen to make. Don’t linger in your indecision.
If you’ve considered your options, weighed out the pros and cons and have talked it out with a mentor and with God – you’re ready. Decide.
I chose to try something new. I left my comfortable, stagnant job and entered a new environment with a different role. There’s nothing that compares to learning from experience and experiencing new opportunities to grow.
The following is a prayer in the current book I’m reading with my women’s group, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. A prayer that reflected the cry of praise in my heart, with words I couldn’t think of yet spoke every honest thought I had no idea how to explain:
Lord, You are teaching me so much about trusting You. Fully. Completely. Without suggestions or projections I’m choosing to embrace the very next thing You show me. I’ll take the first step. And then I’ll take the next.
I finally understand I don’t have to fully understand each thing that happens for me to trust You. I don’t have to try to figure it out, control it, or even like it, for that matter. In the midst of uncertainties, I will just stand and say, “I trust You, Lord.”
I visualize me taking my fear of rejection from my incapable crutches and placing my trust in Your full capability. And as I do, I make this all less about me and more about You. I replace my fragile efforts to control with Your fortified realities.
You are the perfect match for my every need.
I am weak. You are strength.
I am unable. You are capability.
I am hesitant. You are assurance.
I am desperate. You are fulfillment.
I am confused. You are confidence.
I am tired. You are rejuvenation.
Though the long path is uncertain, You are so faithful to shed just enough light for me to see the very next step. I now understand this isn’t You being mysterious. This is a great demonstration of Your mercy.
Too much revelation and I’d pridefully run ahead of You. Too little and I’d be paralyzed with fear. So, I’m seeking slivers of light in Your Truth just for today and filling the gaps of my unknown with trust.
Tomorrow marks my last day of practicing as an Instructor Therapist (for now – maybe). My anticipated decision and transition from one workplace to another, one role to the next, ended much sooner than expected. Let’s just say things didn’t pan out the way I had hoped, but I am not leaving empty-handed.
I am leaving this role and opportunity with more knowledge in the ABA field, experience that cannot be replicated, and a broader scope of how to help students and families. There are some lessons in life that cannot be learned through a textbook or lecture, but the best lesson plan – your life!
I hope this post is able to push you in moving forward in making a decision. Just know that you are loved and regardless of the outcome of your decision, you will come out of the decision with lessons to carry on through the rest of your life!
What are you waiting for?