Are you tired of just surviving day to day?
This is what “surviving” feels like: Things are okay. Not great. Could be worse. If someone asked you about your job, you would probably respond that it was “good,” even though deep down, you know things aren’t going the way you hoped.
You wonder to yourself, is this all there is? Is this what I’m going to have to do for the next (fill in the blank) years?
Sometimes we feel trapped in our job, thinking we can’t leave. Or, we don’t believe we can change ourselves or effect change around us. In short, we’re just getting by. Treading water. Surviving. I’ve had times like that in my life.
There is something much better than surviving. It’s called THRIVING.
I love that word because it’s about flourishing and prospering. Would you rather go through life flourishing and prospering, or merely surviving? I’ll take thriving any day of the week. That’s what I want for my life. That’s what I wish for my children and grandchildren.
In 2003, I told people life was “good,” though I knew I felt didn’t feel challenged or excited. I needed something to change but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d been in my job too long.
The longer we stay in one place, the harder it is to change. God provided the opportunity for me when my job was eliminated. (I don’t recommend getting unstuck that way!) When that happened, I wrestled with what to do next. I wanted to “figure it out” myself, but nothing happened.
Doors didn’t open for me. Then, as I considered a new path, I thought about going into consulting. At first, I listened to the lie of Satan, who said: “You can’t do it — you don’t know how!”
Eventually, I gave it all to God, put my trust in him, then stepped into the unknown. Once I put my trust in him, great things began to happen. I went into consulting, and my practice took off. In addition to providing me with enough work, the work was more challenging than what I’d been doing.
Those I served liked and affirmed my work. I met interesting people and went places I never imagined. In short, I was THRIVING. Life was what I hoped for.
Here’s the good news for us: God wants us to thrive in our lives, and not just for a short time. He doesn’t enjoy watching us struggle. He loves us and wants the best for us.
In scripture we’re told: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10 ESV).
Did you notice the last word? He wants us to have an abundant life. Is that not awesome? And if that’s the case, how do you move forward to THRIVE?
Start by assessing where you are. Look at your gifts and ask what gives you joy. Are those aligned with what you do as a vocation? Ask yourself some tough questions, like:
- “Am I really happy?”
- “What would I like to change?”
- “What am I afraid of?”
- “What can I do to make things better?”
- “Why won’t I make a change?”
Next, take what you’ve learned and spend some time in prayer. Follow it with quiet time, listening for God’s voice. He might help you see it’s time for youto change internally. He might help you adjust your attitude.
You might feel Him encourage you to do something different in your current organization. Or, it might be time to leave.
You might even realize you want to do something completely different. Whatever it is, if it’s time for a change, move forward with confidence, trusting that God will be with you and help you every step of the way. When we put our trust in him, he’ll pour out blessings we cannot imagine.
Dale Kreienkamp is a keynote speaker, Human Resources consultant, and the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.