Redundancy & really good cake.
As I shared a slice of Black Forest Gateaux with a friend I’d not caught up with for a while over a mug of hot chocolate recently, I realised that I still hadn't gotten past that strange habit I must have picked up along the way, about six disappointments ago.
You see, at the moment, things look pretty exciting for me - I started my own business this year and I’ve just launched my first e-course. God is so good and faithful. But, it's not like getting to this point was pain-free.
However, I've realised recently that when I've ever pushed past something painful and found myself okay again, I've pretended that the painful part never existed.
And that's just not true. Pain is actually an important part of the process. Of any process.
I'm not saying we all must bare our souls to the world, but like BT used to, I am saying it's good to talk. So I'll go first...
This time a year ago I was just coming to the end of my 3 month redundancy package which I'd been given by the school I used to work at. I was leading a group in an alternative provision and (shortly after I'd been offered another job and was about to hand in my resignation) I was made redundant. I was going to leave anyway, yes. But being told that I was going whether I liked it or not didn't exactly soften the blow.
I know redundancy isn't a huge thing, but no one likes to be told their role isn't there anymore. No one likes to be made to feel as though they've done something wrong or that they're no longer invited (yes, even to a party they didn't want to go to in the first place.)
Because I started my part-time job at my new church straight after the summer break, it wasn't as though I was ever 'out of work' (thank you, Lord) but it also meant that I didn't process being made redundant either. In truth, some people probably don't need to process it... but the point where I realised that I did was when I recognised that my confidence had been knocked brutally... even when it came to things I used to do with relative ease. I no longer seemed to like socialising (in case I said the wrong thing or if someone asked ‘if I was still teaching’ – that happened a lot!), I didn't like public speaking (I no longer felt qualified) and I didn't like knuckling down and just getting stuff done (because what if I tried and failed...again?)
“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39)
That was me a year ago. Embarrased, awkward, frustrated and stuck. Knocked back in no mans land. Full of potential my pride was too bruised to walk into. So, I played it safe & watched loads of Netflix instead.
There I was, on my blog, writing about believing that the truths of the Bible were relevant today, and yet not fully walking in them myself. I had all of these ideas, hopes and dreams for my life – things I believe that God laid on my heart for me to do even years ago. But they were stuck at hope and dream status because I’d allowed myself to shrink back.
I had way more time than I used to have as I was now working part-time for a church as opposed to full time as a teacher. But I spent the time watching Netflix instead of working on those hopes and dreams.
There came a point, though, where I decided that enough was enough. I was no longer available to wallow in self pity, to settle for limiting beliefs or to live a ‘less than’ life.
In truth, I was the only person in my way. So I put in the work, later, I invested in myself (more on that another time) and slowly but surely, I began to walk in the words I was writing about.
But back to the black forest gateaux and where this all started… My friend, talking about me now running a business and launching my e-course, said “wow, I bet you’re pleased you made the decision to leave teaching, aren’t you?” I smiled in agreement and carried on drinking my hot chocolate.
Yes, I’d technically made the decision. But even if I hadn’t, someone else had made it for me anyway! That whole post-redundancy situation had cost me practically a year of my time, confidence, drive and passion. But, with my friend, I’d glossed over all of that with a nod and a smile.
I tell you all of this to say… own your story. Acknowledge where you are and where you want to go. Recognise that God sometimes uses difficult situations to remind you of something greater. It’s okay to share those parts. Those parts don’t define you any longer and by you sharing them, you might help someone else to step out of their stuck.
Maybe you are stuck right now. Don’t bottle it up and pretend it’s not there. When you feel ready, pray through it, work on it, reach out to someone, be real about where you’re at. Really try to keep moving forwards.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
If you're feeling stuck right now, about life, work, business and everything in between, I'd love to support you. As you might know, I've just launched Chosen. - Your online mindset journey to walking in your worth. Chosen. is an exclusive, members-only e-course, all about moving mindset mountains and walking in your worth. Because it's time to start living life on purpose!