Twenty years ago, I would have never believed that a career was not the reason I was put on this earth. As a secular Jew, I had pretty much left behind the notion that God had anything to do with my career or my reason for pursuing it. I never wanted to be a lawyer, that was until I decided that this was the only way to make sense of what happened to me.
How else could you possibly explain the reason that you are sexually abused?
At nineteen years old and a sophomore in college, I decided to try and get help for the first time. Every orifice of my body was teeming with nervousness and sweat, as I awaited an intake appointment with a stranger I did not know. I wasn’t sure how I was going to tell a perfect stranger my story, let alone a male stranger, who himself was a graduate student. But I decided that if I wanted a fighting chance at a normal life, it was time to talk.
He asked me questions, basic, and then asked me why I was there. I told him. He still wanted to start at the top and ask me about my childhood. I asked him if that’s what the textbook told him to do. It was evident that he was unwilling to go outside the box that housed his graduate textbooks, but I was insistent that I wanted to tell him my story so I could get help. He refused to do things “out of order” and I refused to comply.
I walked out of the appointment before it even started.
I found solace in a shade tree nearby. While the rest of the world was moving, I was stuck. A thought came to me in the middle of this headspin.
I will never let this happen to another child
This is how my career was born.
The thought was born out of anger and frustration and the notion that nobody wanted to listen to me. And this thought started to take on a life of its own. I had already given up on my dream to become a writer for other reasons. I thought, what better way to make this right than to become an attorney who helps children who have been abused? The deal was already done in my mind before the thought even completed itself. But I wasn’t alone, the tree heard it too.
Before I knew it, I was finishing my undergraduate studies and was off to law school. But what I thought would be a fulfilling and noble choice for my career, soon became difficult. Not everyone loved my aggressive style and truth-telling. At 25, I was all-in for better or for worse, and fear was certainly not going to stop me, I had lived the worst part of my life anyway.
As the years went by, the pain of trauma caught up with me. And rather than running with me it tripped me, blindsided me, did not give me the ability to get back up and finish the race I had started.
God had entered my life somewhere in the middle of this mess. But if you would have told me that God was going to get my attention by telling me to walk away when I was at the top of my career, I never would have believed you.
I’d like to think that I had some kind of control over when I left my law career which I knew and had prayed would happen. I wanted to pursue my dream of writing and helping people in a new and different way, in a way that allowed me to be who God intended me to be. But our hopes and dreams never come to pass in the way we expect in God’s economy, especially when we are not writing the script.
I have learned more in the four months that I have been gone from my job than I could have learned in a lifetime. That God loves me, that I am worthy of love and that I must work any job that I am given through the lens of my vocation to marriage and motherhood. That God cares about our human dignity, our emotions, and state of being, and has a plan to allow us to be able to live out that vocational calling in a way that brings glory to Him. And this lesson has made its way into my writing. I am writing again, in the most real and vulnerable way than I have in a long time
Martyrdom in the Kingdom of heaven is not just in death, but also in life when we choose to lose everything for the sake of following Christ and preaching the truth. We may not see the rewards right away, but we are not supposed to be looking for immediate gratification. Our Heavenly Father is looking for soldiers, for warriors who are willing to follow a God that they cannot see for something greater. In not seeing or knowing, we aim for heaven and the promise of eternity. These decisions that we make that not only affect us but those around us.
And everyone is watching
I didn’t lose my career, I gained my soul. And God was not preparing me for a career, He was preparing me for a calling, to win souls to Christ.