A few Sundays ago, a youth speaker posed a question that kept me thinking the rest of the afternoon. “When the apostles threw down their nets to follow the Savior, were the fish biting?” The answer to that question gives meaning to the story. Were they having a bad day on the sea and it seemed nothing was going their way when a guy shows up and asks them to give it all up to try something else? Or, were they having an awesome and productive day, knowing they would make the money they needed and had done what they could to support their families when a guy shows up and asks them to give it all up to try something else?
Inconvenient Course Corrections
In my life, it is often when things are going well that I am asked to do a course correction. It rarely is a convenient time when I receive a prompting to do something. Our family went for a hike between sessions of General Conference last October. As we were driving to the trail head, with my mind full of the thoughts of how to do “home-centered” gospel study, I got the impression that I needed to quit my job in order to give more time and attention to things of eternal worth.
I mentioned it to my husband, Doug, with the side note of my opinion that it didn’t seem to make much sense. I only worked about 4 to 8 hours per week, the hours were 7-11 am and not disruptive to family life and the financial contribution was quite significant. In addition, I had spent a lot of time (and money) earning a doctorate and it seemed foolish to not use my education and skill set. We decided that we’d take some time to think and pray about it.
Putting Faith Into Action
As December started, the impression became stronger that it was time to quit. It was a difficult decision but, really, any logical reasoning could not trump an obvious prompting from the Holy Ghost. The fish were biting but I was being faced with my own “Come, Follow Me” moment. With my mind made up that I would put in my resignation at the hospital, I went to the temple to hopefully gain some insight into the “What next?” part of my decision.
As a side note, when I had decided to leave my job and was debating when I should do it, I had the thought of “I’m not asking for a sign but we’ve been trying to sell our house for 4 months and haven’t had any prospective buyers, even with many price reductions. I feel bad quitting my job and leaving Doug with the burden of two mortgages. If it be thy will, could that house sell sooner rather than later?” I submitted my resignation on a Saturday and I think you know the rest of the story – we received a full-price offer the following Tuesday. It was such a blessing to light this new path and to ease us into the financial sacrifice that comes with losing my income. I know that the Lord has our family in His care and things will work out as they should.
Temple Covenants Bring Reassurance and Perspective
As I pondered covenants of sacrifice and consecration, the words of Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 kept coming to my mind. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” It almost seemed like a challenge to see how near I could draw myself to the Lord.
I am still not sure how I will do that and I’m still trying to decide what the “what next” is with all of this. However, I know that it will involve more diligent gospel study so that I can better minister to my family, friends and community. The day following my last day at the hospital, I got a text from a friend that had a medical question. That helped me recognize/remember that my knowledge and skills from my career can help to serve those around me. I know that as I go and follow Him, I will be led down the path that He would have me take, become the person that He would have me become and serve those people who He would have me serve.
Lead image from LDS.org media library.