Do you believe that God is at work in your life?
I am not an overtly religious person, but I do believe in a higher power, an all-loving omniscient being (called God) who has a hand in orchestrating events from above. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.” How appropriate for this blog post!
I have recently gone through an example that I want to share. (Note: what does it say that I have gotten to the point with those of you reading my blog* – who have given me such support with your feedback- that in such a short time that I can talk about this? WOW!)
Timeline: Flashback to 2007
My family and I (one child, my daughter) were living in Austin, Texas. We owned a home and had our house on the market. We listed it August of 2007, right before the subprime meltdown. Fortunately there was a lag between when the time the crisis occurred nationally vs. in Texas and in Austin in particular.
My husband, who had worked for 20 years for the State of Texas, was at the pinnacle of his career with the State. He was at a very high level in the agency he worked for but could go no further. Because it was a government job, his pay was capped. At that point, I had owned my own training company (in my former career in GIS) for about 12 years. Like “The Perfect Storm,” in 2007 several events came together that caused me to reevaluate my business model. Two of the companies that I was “certified” to teach for simultaneously changed their training programs. These changes made it much more difficult for me, and one I had to drop. On top of that, my key contact – the Training Coordinator at the State – an icon, who had been my client for 10 years, announced his retirement. All of these things combined led to a sharp decrease in my business, and thus my income. Time to leave.
After waiting for 3 months, we finally received the much-awaited for offer on our house, and things lined up for us to move to Houston. We sold at the peak of the housing market in Austin, right before housing prices crashed. On top of that, I had secured a full-time job earlier that summer, my husband received an offer in the fall. Boom! Everything lined up. We sold our house, his job offer paid for our move, and my new employer gave me a significant signing bonus that would tide us over and that we could use to pay for deposits and such in our new temporary living quarters. We buy a much larger, nicer, house in Houston for the same amount we sold our smaller house for in Austin. Life was good.
Timeline: Flash Forward 2008 One year later.
Both of our jobs in Houston fell through. The company I went to work for decided not to pursue the GIS consulting that they had brought me in for, and moved my group under another company. Everybody they had hired in our group quit and left. My husband’s company had been awarded a large contract from the State. It was cancelled and he was laid off because he had been hired to manage that contract. On top of that, Hurricane Ike hit Houston hard in September. It wasn’t on the news very much, but most people were without electricity for at least 2 weeks. The City of Houston and all businesses basically shut down for 2 solid weeks, causing a virtual “hiccup” in the economy. My husband was without work and all of his warm job leads he had gathered during his job hunt went cold after the Hurricane. We regretted moving to Houston and felt we should’ve stayed in Austin.
Timeline: Flash Forward 2009
My husband is offered a great position with the company ranked number #1 to work for in Houston. He is challenged, valued and appreciated, works with some fine people, and they need his skills and abilities. I went to work part-time for a GIS Training firm, a firm that I had contracted for sometimes when I lived in Austin. I had a baby – a beautiful boy this time – YEA!
Today, as I am writing this, Texas is facing a severe budget shortfall, although we are better off than most states overall. The Legislature is considering deep cuts in the budgets, and may actually lay off state workers. This is the first time this has happened since the 1980s, except for one time in 2003 (at TEA). If we had stayed in Austin, my husband would’ve been impacted (probably laid off or offered early retirement), because of his tenure and salary level, etc. We would’ve had a slim chance to move to Houston at this point. At the time, the move from Austin was a difficult decision for us, but now looking back, it seems that everything fell into place for a reason. I have now officially launched my coaching business and the response has been incredible. Thank you so much to everyone for that. We are glad we live in Houston! A “feeling of calm*” has come over me so I know we made the right decisions, although it wasn’t easy at the time. I have met so many awesome people in this town, including Michele Scism (who ironically, doesn’t even live in Houston), and now here I am participating in this Blog Challenge! I have been truly blessed and I am grateful for everything in my life.
There are several lessons here so take what you will from this. Obviously we personally have been through a lot of changes and ups-and-downs. Change can be good. If opportunities come your way, take them! Don’t hesitate! It may be too late down the line after they pass you by, because nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. At the same time, it can take some practice to learn to recognize and respond to opportunities. God has a plan for your life. You can either embrace it or let fear hold you back. If things are not going well for you now, you must believe that your life will get better!
Do you believe that God was at work in my life? I do.
How about you?
What challenges or struggles are you facing right now? (Coaching can help with that, BTW)
Is God involved in your life?
Think about what could happen to you if he were . . . .
(*A special thank you to Joel Osteen’s book “It’s Your Time” as the inspiration for this post! It took a lot of courage for me to share this story, and I would like to thank my regular blog readers and commentators for their incredible support and feedback: Leslie, Denielle, Stacy Ryan, Martha Giffen, Carol Hess, Melanie Kissel, Roberta, Leona, Linda Carmichael, Hannah Montana – no Hannah Roi – sorry bad joke, Robert Young, Laura Townshend, and Steve O’Sullivan, who was the very first person to comment on my blog. Without your support, encouragement, and blog comments I would not still be writing. Thank you.)