Please meet my lovely friend, Meghan Walker.
Meghan and I have been friends for a long time, and even lived together as roommates right after college. Her story is incredible. Please enjoy!
From the Desk of Meghan ,
Grasping for peace
No one in current-day America (among most other countries) is a stranger to the constant demands expected of us all.
From incessant tasks and orders given at work, to relationships that need time and attention, to societal pressures beaten into our heads at every turn, we’re constantly bombarded from every direction with bids for our attention and time. We’re not accustomed to experiencing peace.
Peace is often a topic or word reserved for the Christmas season, Miss America pageants (“World peace!”), or flower-power hippies.
Peace can be a fleeting feeling of tranquility or an enveloping sense of calm, even amidst hardships. Unfortunately, peace is usually difficult to experience for longer than a few moments at a time.
As common of an experience as work-related anxiety, overworking and burnout is, I personally don’t think that’s what God is asking of us.
While working hard is commendable, and suffering is a part of the human experience, I don’t think God is calling us to fill our schedules end to end with constant busyness and distractions….
I don’t think we’re called to be superwomen who have to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. I don’t think it’s a requirement for every woman over 22 to be all things to everyone. And I don’t think God wants us to be self-reliant, burned out and cynical, which is what I’d been like since college.
Part of my constant overwhelm with life was immensely impacted by my chronic health problems.
For most of my life I’ve been dealing with several autoimmune and tickborne illnesses like Lyme disease, Bartonella, Babesia, and several other co-infections that often tag along with Lyme. For many years, my symptoms plagued me with constant torture. I felt like I was suffocating for 7 years straight. At the best of times, it’s still been a struggle.
One of the things that made my health even worse was working at unnecessarily stressful jobs, but I always battled through the workdays because I knew I had to pay the bills and there was no other option in sight. The longer I stayed, the more anxious and unhealthy I became.
Although I was extremely thankful I had work and a paycheck, I hated my job, only to start another job I hated, only to end up in another job I hated. From extreme workplace bullying to major disrespect, I had had enough.
Over the years, I’ve wanted to pour more intentionality and quality into my time with God and other relationships. I’ve wanted to read and travel more, take on new hobbies, create things, and enjoy the beauty of life more, but all of that takes time—something I didn’t feel like I had. I didn’t want to be so easily impatient, stressed out, frustrated and angry. I also really wanted more peace in my life, and peace with myself.
In a nutshell, I had a lot of goals and wanted to change, but I was tired—plain, ol’ tired, and I’m sure most of you can relate.
For years I thought I was just lazy; that the common denominator among all these jobs was that I was a sloth in human clothing. It didn’t matter that I was working full-time jobs, plus freelance work after hours and putting in 60-hour work weeks. I saw myself as lazy. I didn’t know if I’d like any job that actually paid a decent wage.
God had planted a desire in my heart years before to start my own business, but I’d always been too frightened to take the leap. I thought staying at these toxic jobs was being practical, prudent, wise and responsible, but if you peeled back those layers, it was really just me being too scared.
I was worried I wouldn’t make enough money to pay all my medical bills, rent, etc.; I didn’t trust that God would provide the clients I needed to survive; and I didn’t think I was good, smart, organized, hard-working or ambitious enough.
I didn’t think I was being complacent, but I was. It’s incredibly easy to become, even if you’re a high-performing person with a good title, decent paycheck and lots of responsibilities. But if you know you’re called to take a different path and you don’t do it because you’re comfortable where you are, even if you’re unhappy, that’s usually complacency. Complacency doesn’t lead to peace. I know this because I’ve lived it.
Making the switch
Sometimes you have to reach your limit (or close to it) before you finally shed that last layer of complacency and find your courage.
After several years, I decided to throw the fears, rationalizations and doubts out the window and start this endeavor. My husband, family, friends and new acquaintances also encouraged me to step out, and I’ll forever be grateful for their support and confidence.
Along the way, God sent me encouragement in so many other forms, too, but it was up to me to decide whether or not I was going to listen to those cues and take the trust fall.
While I still have many demands and deadlines to meet, there’s a type of joyful, grateful peace I now experience from knowing God put me on this path, that He’s providing the work I need, and that I’m relying on Him, not myself, to accomplish everything necessary throughout the week.
I no longer dread Mondays or waking up in the morning (that’s huge), and I’m no longer running around like Cathy the comic strip character screaming “Ack!” in my head.
While I still have a lot to learn, I have found a type of work that suits my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my health boundaries, and it still helps pay the bills.
God continues to give me the confidence I need when I put everything on His shoulders, instead of my own. I still can experience the teeter-tottering feelings of insecurity, but I’m getting in the habit of listening to Him instead of that inner voice of doubt.
It’s been five months since I quit my last “regular” job to turn FeirMe Writing & Editing into a full-time business. I can honestly say I’ve experienced the most satisfaction, happiness and peace in taking this risk than I ever had when I was held back by fear.
If you’ve earnestly prayed for direction and know God is directing you to do something, it’s always worth the risk.
I’d love to connect with you and talk with you about my story! Connect with me by clicking below!