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Around this time, a year ago (August 2017), God told me to do the hardest thing I ever had to do—quit my job as a full-time 1st grade teacher in the public- school system. God had been telling me for months prior to quitting my job that it was time to let go of my season as a school teacher and embark on the new season He had for me. It was difficult for me to obey right away because I felt secure as a teacher. I was working in my dream job, receiving benefits (health care, retirement, etc.), and earning income. God wanted me to quit my job without even having anything lined up for me to do after. I knew that the journey would be tough and that I would have to completely depend on God, and to be honest, that completely frightened me.

I wanted to know all the answers: How was I going to pay my bills and live? Why do I need to quit my job right now? What are the next steps?

With so many questions-- and so little answers-- I would often hear the Lord whisper in my heart: trust me.

Trust me” is so hard to hear when your mind is racing, your heart is pounding, and you feel like you are losing complete control over your life.

My full-time job was not just a job to me, it was my career, my means of provision, and it gave me purpose.

Prior to quitting my job, the Lord put ministry in my heart and led me to go back to school to study ministry. I knew that God was leading me in a new direction but I just felt like the timing was not right.

This journey has taught me very quickly that though God asks us to do seemingly crazy, outrageous things at times, He still knows what is best and His timing is perfect.

So, the day came and I summoned the courage to tell my boss that I would like to resign from my teaching position. My boss understood and I felt an overwhelming peace about it. I knew that I was in God’s will and I appreciated that God went before me. He gave me the words to say and He gave me the courage to do it.

Fast forward a year later and I can honestly say that this has been the most challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling time of my life.

God has done a deep work in and through me, He has moved in unexpected ways, and He has allowed me to see and experience His faithfulness.

He has provided all of my needs and is preparing me to be who He has called me to be and do what He has called me to do.

I discovered gifts/talents I never even knew I had, formed friendships, God has placed dreams and visions in my heart, and I have seen the Lord restore and redeem many areas in my life. I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am a lot stronger, wiser, and my faith and trust in God has grown. I also am becoming more and more fearless--- ready and willing to take leaps of faith and go wherever the Lord leads.

Before, God used to be Lord over certain areas of my life; now He is my Provider, my Redeemer, my Hope, my Strength, and my Rock. I depend on Him for everything.

Honestly, I still have bad days. I get discouraged. I get upset… and I will always be a work in progress; but, God has continuously been showing me that I can overcome any obstacle with Him by my side.

I still do not know all of the answers, but I do know that God’s plans are always good. He uses everything that we go through for His glory and divine purposes. Nothing is wasted-- and I am happy with the woman I am becoming.

If you are being stretched, pruned, and refined, just know that this is just a season and that God is preparing you for greater things to come. You are going to start doing things you thought you never could do and dreaming of things you thought you never could have.

God is good. He always has been and He always will be.

“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;

I will glorify your name forever.

For great is your love towards me.” –Psalm 86:12-13

Love, Nikki

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