“Momma, I don’t want to grow up!”
“What, honey? Why don’t you want to grow up?” My heart raced with fear when I heard my six year old make such an emphatic declaration.
“I don’t want to work.”
“Why?” But I already knew somewhere inside me what he was about to say.
“You come home from work tired and grumpy every day. I don’t want to grow up and be like that.”
Straight through my heart. I knew I had to come clean. And it was more than coming clean and apologizing to my son – I knew I had to “say no to say yes”.
“Sweetie, I’m tired and grumpy because I’m not doing the work I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t like it. The people there have bad attitudes. Some of them are asking me to lie and do bad things. I’m not supposed to be there. But when I’m doing the stuff I’m supposed to do – like workshops for teens – I LOVE MY WORK. And someday, you will grow up and find something you love to do – something that makes you excited to go to work every day – something that gives you energy instead of making you feel tired and grumpy.”
“Okay, Mommy. You gonna quit tomorrow?”
“Yes, I am. Two more weeks, and then I’ll be doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” I winced with pain and fear more than excitement. You see, what I didn’t tell him was that I was making more money consistently than I had ever made in my life, and they had just offered me a promotion. It was tempting, but I knew that it was not where I was supposed to be. Knowing that I was really struggling with the decision between stability and my calling, God had clearly inspired this exchange between me and my little guy.
God knew that my first and truest intention in my life is to be a model for my son. I don’t want to just tell him it’s possible to love work and live abundantly; I want to show him.
So, I left the job. I said NO to say YES to doing the work I was meant to do – empowering teens with Motivating the Teen Spirit (MTS) workshops. All I had to do was get some signatures for the long-term contracts I’d been working so hard to secure, and then we’d be okay financially.
And then the market crashed…before I could get any of those signatures…
Oh my goodness. What am I going to do?
You’ve probably already read the story I shared in Unbreakable Spirit: Rising Above the Impossible about what it took for me to follow the inspiration to create True to Intention (If you haven’t, you can read it here: https://truetointention.com/archives/1040), but what I didn’t share in that story was how devastated I was to slow down my work with Motivating the Teen Spirit.
My work with Motivating the Teen Spirit had been the most inspiring work I had ever witnessed and facilitated in my life. Even after dozens of workshops, I was wowed by the deep transformation and empowerment that occurs predictably in the Safe Spaces we create for the teens. Plus, the master facilitators and my peers had become my closest and dearest friends – and I didn’t want to give any of them a reason to question my love, loyalty, and commitment to transformation. We were changing the world together – one teen at a time.
How can anything else be this fulfilling?
I got my answer to that question at my very first retreat. The first two days were unreal. It was so obvious that there had been no coincidences: It’s like we are all meant to work together. All of these messages are so powerful and so in alignment. They are feeling their purpose at a deeper level. It’s breakthrough after breakthrough, except for…
There was one who had been struggling to “see her message and her audience” all weekend, and it seemed that nothing I said could crack the confusion. She was so powerful, and it was easy for ME to see her message and how it could change the world, but she couldn’t seem to hear me. What am I going to do? And then someone else stood up and shared her story, and the confused author got exactly what she needed. What I witnessed in that moment was the same transformational experience I had witnessed in MTS rooms.
It was so powerful, we were all crying for several minutes, quietly allowing her to process her emotions while we did the same.
I remember looking around at all of the tears and smiles, and then I heard the Voice again, “This is your work. But you are standing by the door. You can still choose to go.”
But I knew…I had to SAY NO to SAY YES.