A Bittersweet Goodbye: Loving work, but loving God more

ACS Great West Leadership Team Meeting – January 2010

After six and a half years of bleeding purple and pouring myself into helping Relay For Life succeed in the Great West, I said goodbye to the American Cancer Society yesterday. 

It still feels surreal…I think I’m somewhat in denial.  You see, I loved my job.  I loved working with amazing volunteers who are so passionate about fighting cancer.  I loved getting the opportunity to be creative and affect meaningful change within the Great West Division.  I loved training staff to do Relay well and writing Relay curriculum.  I loved leading our volunteer training program and being responsible for our amazing Regional Summits.  I loved working with talented colleagues and sharing fun memories with them.
But I love God more.  And what He has been teaching me is that when a good thing, like my job, becomes an ultimate thing in my life, it is no longer a good thing…in fact, it is what God calls “idolatry”.  That when I find myself defining my life and my identity through my job, that my priorities are out of place.  That I need to let go and follow Him, placing my identity solely in Christ. 
As God has been calling Nate and I into full-time ministry, He has been making my pride and my idolatry more and more obvious to me.  The amazing thing is that He has been so loving and gentle as He strips away the things that I have placed too much value in, slowly and surely drawing me to complete reliance on Him. 
I know He is equipping me for the work He has prepared for me in Florida.  And an important step in that process was leading me to let go of my job and follow Him.  Even when it seems scary, risky, or even foolish. 
God made it very clear to me that following Him meant giving this up first, and trusting Him to provide – not only financially, but trusting Him to provide my complete sense of worth and significance as well.
So thank you, American Cancer Society, for giving me many years of challenging, engaging and fulfilling work.  Thank you for introducing me to many truly amazing people.  And thank you for the opportunity to grow professionally and personally while working on some incredible projects.  I know the fight against cancer will continue strong in the hands of your capable staff and volunteers.
And thank you Lord, for loving me enough to help me change.  To learn how to face my pride and my idolatry and choose you instead.  To find my significance solely in you.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 
        – Colossians 3:1-4, NLT

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