The Cross Road
For those who have joined the US military you are pretty familiar with having to make that ever so important decision to stay in after you've fulfilled your commitment or to separate. It's definitely not a decision to take lightly. The course of your destiny is determined by what you decide.
Like so many others before me I arrived at a cross road and had to make the decision to stay in or separate after serving four years. In this blog post I will share how choosing to step out on faith changed my life forever.
My Last Year
The military is all about preparation and nearly 14 months leading up to the end of my four year commitment the military prepared me for a potential separation or re-enlistment (signing up to do more years in the service). There was paperwork to complete, classes to take, etc all geared to help me make an informed decision.
As helpful as the preparation may have been for some, it only made things more confusing for me. My heart wanted to separate, but my mind was telling me to stay in another four years. I began to stress out about the whole thing.
All I could think about was:
- If I get out where will I live?
- Will I find a job?
- What about re-applying for Officer School?
- What about missing my family?
- I have such a bright future in the military, why would I leave?
- Who will I disappoint if I separate?
- Aren't I tired of moving?
- Do I have enough money saved?
- But I love working with my co-workers.
During this time period I was suppose to be studying for my Staff Sergeant promotion examine all while working on my Master's degree and recovering from surgery after having a cyst removed from my fallopian tube. Talk about being overwhelmed.
Eventually, I decided to separate and move onto the next chapter in my life. Now, when I made my initial decision to leave the military months prior I didn't consult God, I was going off of emotion which can get you into trouble if you're not careful. Knowing I wouldn't stay in I decided to concentrate on my graduate classes and put studying for my promotion exam to the side.
The Turning Point
I want to go on to say that our adversary is a clever one I tell you. He knows how to put booby traps inside pretty little boxes. Remember how I told you I barely studied for my promotion examine? Well, I scored high enough to get selected for Staff Sergeant first time testing. This was a BIG accomplishment because out of all the Airmen in my competitive career field eligible to test only 40 made it and I was number 17.
This is when the enemy started to play mind tricks with me. I already said I was leaving, but who in their right mind would walk away from a promotion like that? More money, more seniority, job stability, a chance to decide what base I wanted to be reassigned to, etc.
Not only were the incentives alluring, but the enemy sent upper management and leadership my way to persuade me to stay in. Finally, I decided to lean on God for clarity and He told me what to do.
It didn't take rocket science to figure out that if I were to leave the military I needed a civilian job right after I got out. Sooo, I began an extensive job search. I had less than five months to find one before my four year commitment was up. After searching and searching I could not find a job back where my family lived nor where I currently was stationed.
The Job Application
It was a Monday when I checked for a cardiopulmonary position at one of the local Veteran's Affairs Medical Centers (VA) back home where my family lived. I kept scrolling and scrolling through the hospital's job announcements and found nothing under my career specialty.
That Wednesday I became so desperate I nearly applied for a job that ended up being a total scam. Thankfully, I do background checks on companies I'm interested in working for and learned it was a waste of time.
Having been disappointed yet again I was scared and doubtful and knew eventually I would burn through my hard earned savings if I didn't land a position. BUT, God showed up right on time.
After throwing in the towel of ever hoping to find a job back where my family lived, on Thursday God told me to check the job announcements at that VA Medical Center I told you about. In my obedience I scrolled through the open positions and what did I see? A cardiology technician position. Yes, just four days ago that position was not listed, but on Thursday the job was posted.
I had less than two weeks to submit my application. Now, if you've ever applied for a government position especially at a hospital then you know how overwhelming those applications can be. It wasn't enough for me to submit a standard resume, it was literally a package of personal information and military documents, 4 scenario essay questions to be answered, personal and professional references, etc. My actual resume was 4 pages in detail alone not counting all the other necessary attachments.
Did I tell you there is a specific format you're suppose to use for your government resume? Thankfully, I took a class during my military exit preparation months prior that explained how to write an effective government job resume. See, God was preparing me the entire time.
I was so determined to get that position I didn't care what Human Resources (HR) needed. I wanted to land an interview so I could win the decision makers over. I spent 3 days and countless hours writing and perfecting my application package, mailed it priority to HR and left it to God to have His way.
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How to Have Crazy Faith
She Thought I Was Crazy
That following week a Master Sergeant who thought very highly of me asked if I still wanted to separate. I told her that my plans hadn't changed. She then asked if I found a job because in her experience the subordinates she supervised often regretted leaving the military and had difficulty finding work. My answer to her was I applied for a job and I know I'm going to get it. She looked puzzled and said, you mean they haven't offered you the position yet? And I said not yet, but they will.
The Master Sergeant left the room confident I lost my mind and had made a big mistake turning down a Staff Sergeant promotion. You see, she didn't understand how faith in God worked. You can't step out on supernatural faith with a carnal mind, you'll be disappointed.
God clearly told me what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and to leave the rest for Him to finish. Despite the backlash I received from well meaning people, I trusted in God 200%.
An Offer I could not refuse
About a month later I got a call at work from HR asking if I would be available for a phone interview with the Cardiology Department Nurse Practitioner and the Department Chief from the VA Medical Center. At this point I knew the deal would be sealed once I had a chance to explain why I would be perfect for the position.
A few weeks later while at home on a vacation day I got the call. HR offered me the position, and I gladly accepted.
Put your faith in god
I'm sharing this story to encourage you and to remind you to NEVER bet on man, bet on God.
- Man tried to discourage me.
- Man tried to persuade me to believe their way was the best way.
- Man said I would fail.
Once I heard my Father's voice I no longer doubted the decision I made months prior to separate. I knew it was my Father's voice leading and instructing me because after not being able to sleep for weeks I finally got rest when I mailed out my job application package. Honestly, I praised God everyday for landing me the job BEFORE I even got the call for an interview.
Let me just say the Master Sergeant who didn't believe I would be okay got schooled on the importance of having faith in God.
God truly blessed me for my faith and obedience. 1.5 years after separating from the military I married my now husband – didn't see that one coming and a few years after that launched my online women's ministry. There is no way those blessings would have happened had I chickened out and re-enlisted into the Military.
Although, joining the military was definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made I have no regrets completing my four years and separating when God said it was time.
Never second guess what God has called you to do. You can not see the future, but He can and if you keep your faith and remain obedient He will guide you right into your destiny, your purpose, your calling.
Lastly, when God has called you to exercise your supernatural faith DON'T allow people to convince you otherwise.
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Has there ever been a time where you trusted God, but everyone else thought you were crazy for doing so. Please share in the comments.
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