I pass a small white building that used to be a convenience store on my way to work every morning. The name on the side is ‘Crossroads’ and recently someone decided to decorate the peeling white painted walls with colorful graffiti.
“Follow your dreams. You can do it. Stand up for yourself. Never Back Down. Dream. Inspire.”
The building art piques my interest because I came to a Crossroads in my own journey and I decided to walk down a new path. I had no intention of switching careers at 51 years old, but when I look over my shoulder, I see a series of events that brought me to the place where it was time to do just that.
I loved my job at the weekly newspaper. I met incredible people and worked with a group of folks that were passionate and hardworking despite the many obstacles that management put in our way. I was writing every single day.
I was writing: great.
Every single day: not so great.
My ability to invest in anything else in my life became null and void. Once one story ended I was immediately pulled into the next. Days blurred together and I forgot what it felt like to truly have a day off. The more I did, the more I was expected to do. One day I looked up and noticed that the people I was supporting with my work ethic weren’t even reading my stories. I started feeling like I was walking down a dead-end road. My eyes were also opened to a few behind the scenes incidents that I could not ignore. God used these revelations to get my attention.
I began to pray more fervently. At first it was a cry to be recognized for all I was contributing. I wanted to stay. Then it was a request to help me be content in my circumstances and if not, that God would open a new door.
A month or so into my prayers, I got an invitation to lunch. Then four days later, I got another invitation to lunch, this time to explore a new job opportunity.
Then I heard God say, “Go.”
I resigned from the paper, worked a notice and started working for Greer Community Ministries as the media and marketing coordinator. We have four programs, the most well-known being Meals on Wheels. Mostly, we feed and clothe people in Greer. Working at a nonprofit was not on my bucket list but I can look back now and see how God was progressively changing my heart to be right here.
A few years ago I picked up a book from my mom’s stack and began to read it. “Take This Bread” by Sarah Miles opened my eyes to how I should put aside my way of seeing people in need for the way God sees them. It also showed me that God can use any of us if we are willing to be used.
The next year I read “Weight of Mercy” by Deb Richardson-Moore. I read it to interview her for a story, but God used it to remind me that everyone has a story and there are people with deep wounds that make bad decisions all around us and we are to first love them and then help lead them. Sometimes love starts with a warm coat and a hot meal.
The author is a former journalist that God called into ministry and when I interviewed her, I was fascinated by how her heart had changed.
Both books are bold in their message: We are called to serve – no matter what happens on the other end of it. I had too often focused on outcome when it came to the downtrodden. It is quite freeing to start consistently seeing people instead of their circumstances.
In my life, I have seen too many Christians become stagnant and immobile in their faith because they refuse to ask God to open their eyes to what’s next. I don’t want to be them. There is always more and wanting more brought me here.
Pray for me. Pray for Greer Community Ministries. Like us on Facebook to get a glimpse into what we are doing. (That’s part of my job, getting more likes!)
And don’t forget to listen for God’s whisper. He may want you to shake up your life as well and move into the next phase of your journey with Him.
Life’s a journey. Pay attention.