A demotion in the world brought me a promotion in God’s kingdom.
I’ve never felt led to share my full testimony up until now. But this week, God is clearly telling me to “share it now.” I have learned over the years to simply be obedient. So here’s my story.
Since 1990, I’ve worked for a large law firm. I was 21 years old when I started as a legal secretary. I was also a full time student in college and was ready to take on the world. I have always loved clothes and shoes and I could not wait until I was out of college to get a full time job so I could afford the things I wanted. So I burned the candle at both ends.
Not long after I was hired in 1990, the firm hired a new executive director. He took me under his wing and off we went. Within a year, I received my first promotion. The next couple promotions came just as quickly. I had earned the favor of many because I was a hard worker and I went over and above what I was asked to do.
In 1992, I got married to my very best friend. In 1993, we had our first child. In 1995, our second child came along and in 1998 our third child was born.
Let me add another dimension to this story.
In 1995, we bought our first home. It was a small 2 bedroom home and we immediately went about remodeling it. We removed a wall with a full brick fireplace. My husband removed brick by brick of that fireplace including the chimney. CRAZY! As soon as we finished making that house beautiful, we sold it and bought an old farmhouse that had been built in the late 1800’s. We immediately set about remodeling this house as well.
Over the next few years, we ripped out just about everything we could in that house. We stripped it right down to the studs and re-wired, re-plumbed, hung drywall, and anything else you can think of. In the middle of this, we were both working full time with 3 babies. But I was determined to have a beautiful home. You know, a house that would be worthy of the magazine covers! So I kept pushing. We pulled many all-nighters to finish up last minute things to stay on schedule. We came very close to losing our marriage because of this frantic pace that we set for ourselves.
But I still didn’t stop pressing forward in this big world.
In 2002, I had 3 children ages 3 to 8 and I was promoted once again. In 2002, we also decided to sell our farmhouse so we could build a new home. So that’s what we did. We sold our home and rented for a couple years while we built our 4,000+ square foot home. We moved in to that home in November of 2004.
Our kids were getting a little older and were very active in many sports so our “crazy” just shifted from home remodel to multiple ballfields every night. We did baseball, softball, football and basketball. We did travelling leagues and all-star leagues. Every evening and every weekend were packed full. Through all of this, God is not in our lives other than maybe taking the kids to church on Easter and Christmas.
In 2008, I was promoted once again to the highest level within my department.
I was now the Director. We have offices in many different states so this position required lots of travel and long hours.
Ironically, 2008 is also when God started speaking to me and calling me towards Him.
Prior to 2008, I was aware of God but I had never accepted Him into my heart. From a young age, I remember being pulled toward Him. I would attempt to read the Bible but would get no further than Genesis chapter 1 (yes, that’s where I started each time because I didn’t know any better). Even though I had an awareness of God at a young age, I never gave Him too much of my time and certainly not my heart until 2008.
In February of 2008, I had a routine surgery and was supposed to be back to work within a week or less. Something happened during the surgery and my body did not recover as quickly as most so I was laid out on my couch for 3 weeks.
But God. During this time He gripped my heart.
Clicking through the TV on a weekday morning, I found an older gentleman who taught the Bible verse by verse. He was in Second Corinthians and he was explaining law and grace. God used his words to change my heart forever.
God made Romans 8:28 come alive in my life. You know, the part that reads “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.” He used a botched surgery to save my soul.
Why do I share all of this with you? Our testimony is what overcomes the enemy.
When we share our testimony with transparency and truth, God will use our words to set another free!
Don’t ever underestimate the power of your testimony.
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.
Over the next couple of years I learned more and more about the Word. I listened to many good teachers of the Word and I watched as many online courses that I could find. I made sure that the teaching was sound and that it lined up with the Word of God. I prayed and asked God to guide me and lead me as I learned.
In late 2011 and into 2012, I grew very dissatisfied in my job. Working long hours and carrying stress from the position weighed me down. That is when I knew I needed to make a change. God was gradually showing me that I needed to hop off the world-track.
In my heart, I knew I needed to be demoted.
It took me a couple of months to work up the courage to speak to my boss. The executive director who joined the firm at the same time that I did retired a few years before this. We had a new executive director who I worked with for several years by this point and I liked and respected him very much. One day, I had that discussion with him. I explained that I was in over my head and I needed relief that I felt would only come in the form of me stepping out of the lead role. At first, he told me he had confidence in me being able to continue doing the job.
I had to convince him I no longer wanted the job. This was scary because I could have been shown the door. But again, I work at a wonderful firm with wonderful leaders.
I received my demotion. And it saved my life.
I now report to the person who replaced me and I have a great relationship with him. The stress is gone and I can focus on the calling God has on my life – to teach and encourage other believers so they can rise up to their own calling. I’m also called, as we all are, to reach out to those who do not yet know Jesus to share our story. It is through the sharing of our stories when God can work wonders.
Another thing happened in 2012. In addition to knowing God was leading me toward a job change, I also knew He wanted us to make a physical move. So we sold our dream home. God brought us to a nice home but it is not something that I ever would have chosen on my own. In fact, when we first bought our home, I wasn’t crazy about the design. But God. Over the last few years, He has given me a fondness for our house and it is now our home. We are settled and very thankful.
I see now that in the past, I put my homes, my possessions and my positions above God. This is idolatry. Anything that comes before God is an idol in our lives. It’s not that He doesn’t want us to have nice things. It’s when these “things” are more important than Him in our lives that He gives us a choice.
Choose Him today over whatever He may be calling you away from in your life. You won’t regret it:).
Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that people do not want to hear your story.
That’s simply a lie from the master liar. God tells us just the opposite. Share your story. Be open and transparent. The things that you’ve walked through and the lessons you’ve learned along the way can be just what another person desperately needs to hear.
The verse below speaks about my life before Jesus. Before my demotion, I loved the world.
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
1 John 2:15-17
Below, the Scripture speaks of where my life is today. I am humbled by how far God has brought me in a short while. I stand in awe of His great love for me. I vow to spend the rest of my life sharing my story as He directs.
Friends, I encourage you to share your story as well.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,