Maybe the fourth time would be a charm. I sure hoped so. Even though I was determined, I wasn’t sure I could take another disappointment. Was this the God-given “desire of my heart” spoken of in Psalm 37, or simply me pursuing something I wanted in my own strength?

I had been feeling a tug to return to a traditional nine-to-five job for a while. Now that my children were grown, my world had become too quiet. I craved more structure, interaction, and variety than weekly Bible study, volunteering, and church could provide. I also felt called to move beyond my comfortable Christian bubble.

It all felt so very “Prayer of Jabez.” Are you familiar? Years ago, Bruce Wilkenson popularized the Old Testament prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV) in his little book The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life:

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”

The verse ends by revealing how God answered Jabez’s audacious prayer: “So God granted him what he requested.”

Would God grant me what I requested? While all of the prayer’s petitions were relevant, the idea of “enlarging my territory” stood out. I longed to live out the gospel by serving others in meaningful ways.

I wanted to go back to work.

Friends and family thought I was crazy to give up the freedom and flexibility I enjoyed as a writer. Most of them had retirement on their minds, not launching a new career. Even my husband didn’t fully understand, thinking my desire was more about filling time and getting out of the house than God calling me to something different.

I listened to them and questioned myself. Would anyone see the value of a 50-something woman who hadn’t worked in a traditional job in decades? How do you communicate everything you do as a writer – content creation, speaking, marketing, networking – on a simple resume? Would my previous part-time marketing roles showcase my true drive and entrepreneurial spirit enough? Would my leadership qualities required in women’s ministry and volunteerism count for anything in today’s market?

Because I knew the application process was a breeding ground for self-doubt, I started reminding myself of my identity in Christ. I’ve learned that when life gets hard, it’s important to remember who you are because of who Jesus is and what He has done and will do.

As daughters of God, we are

We should never forget God is always and only for us, but there’s an enemy who’s always and only against us. (Romans 8:31)

Shored up spiritually, I updated my resume and started slinging spaghetti at the wall. Since the last full-time job I held – and absolutely loved – was at a retirement community, that was my target. Never mind it was 28 years ago.

There’s a lot more to this story, so I hope you’ll today!

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