Monday, April 4, 2016

Right Fit, Not Right Now


I recently had a fantastic job opportunity. The pastor of the church we've been attending contacted me about applying for the Director of Children and Youth Ministry job at our church. I hadn't thought really about applying because I assumed you needed a religion degree for the position. I happily applied and interviewed a few weeks ago.

On paper it seemed like the perfect job for me. Part-time, work from home, and the times I needed to be in the office Landry could go with me. I love children and Jesus and I'm a pretty organized person so why not? The pay was decent too! It really seemed to be a good fit. In the interview our pastor asked me "Ok, you need to tell me if you are not interested because we are getting on the plane and taking off...". I told him I was interested because I really thought I was. We set up a time to have a brainstorming session with some people from the church (kind of like a second interview).

I was suppose to have that second interview last Wednesday. But the time leading up to the second interview I kept questioning my decision. I would toss and turn in bed at night worrying about a job I hadn't even officially gotten yet.

I cried because if I said no everyone would hate me. I cried because if I did the job and didn't live up to people's expectations everyone would hate me. I cried because some of the moms at the church intimidate the heck out of me. I cried because I am not even officially an Episcopalian (I can't even spell it without autocorrect) yet, how the heck am I going to help Episcopalians with their faith formation? I cried because I couldn't discern if all of this worry and anxiety was founded or simply self-doubt.

Finally two days before my second interview our pastor emailed me some forms to fill out and bring to the next interview. One was the letter of agreement that outlined my responsibilities, pay, leave, etc. As I read over the letter I realized that this just wasn't what I was suppose to do right now.

My worries and fears mentioned before were definitely rooted in self-doubt, but they masked my real reason for not wanting to pursue this opportunity. I have been out of church for around 6 years. Longer than that if you count my sporadic (at best) attendance in college. My freshmen year of college I got burnt pretty badly by the church and really carried a grudge. Since attending the Episcopal church we are at now, I finally feel those wounds healing. I finally find myself letting go of legalism, guilt, and the hurt. I am not in a place spirituality to deal with the pressures of working for the church.  I can't handle the criticism, bureaucracy, and church politics that come with it. I cannot handle HAVING to be at church every Sunday. Just writing those words out are enough to make me want to not step foot back in the church because it induces a lot of anxiety for me.

This season of my spiritual life is one where I have to be focused inwards. I am still trying to find my way and relearn what the church looks like in my life. This was not a decision I made easily. But I have had such peace since making my decision. Sometimes you have to say no in order to take care of yourself and realize just because something is a right fit it doesn't mean it is the right fit right now.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, your decision and the reasoning behind it are so mature and wise! I think you are absolutely correct. Working at a church is hard and it's easy to become disillusioned.

    Slightly related, but if you have time I'd love to hear more about your church! Ours is closing down (it was a church plant) so we are starting the process of looking for a new one. I am really attracted to the liturgy of an Episcopal church but I also love modern worship music and I don't know if I can get both!

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  2. WOW! Brittany, I am SO proud of you.....as a young Christian in my early 20's I said "yes" to 11 jobs in my church which resulted in a week in the hospital with a nervous breakdown....that was the term used then. If you did NOT have peace about this job, then I praise the Lord for the discernment which He gave you to say "NO" right now......wish I had had this so many years ago. I continue to be AMAZED at your level of maturity at your age. Love and miss you and again, kudos to you for your wise decision at this point in your life.

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