The job opportunity felt like God’s will. My husband wasn’t happy with his current corporate position, even though there was security, a comfortable salary, and benefits. He’d dreamed of something better and Jim showed my husband how he could make lots of money, be his own boss, set his own hours. We were new parents, new Christians. Was this from God? Sure felt like it. Was it scary to step out on this new adventure? Yes, but we were sure God would take care of us.
Larry gave his notice and quit his job. We stepped out on faith; certain this was God’s will.
A week into this new opportunity and Larry knew he’d gone to work for someone who wasn’t honest. And the promised money was nothing but that, a promise. We’d stepped out on faith, but it was more like we’d jumped off a cliff. How could this have happened?
Looking back we realize we made several big mistakes. How can you tell if an opportunity is God’s will? Pray about it, yes, but then check it out. We knew someone who could’ve told us Jim was nothing but hot air—all we had to do was talk to him. Listen to those around you. If this is from God, trusted advisors and family members will confirm your decision. We skipped this step too. Ask if you’re confusing God’s voice with your emotions. We were attracted to Jim’s promises, his charisma, the idea of trading in a corporate job for something more creative. Take your time. If you aren’t sure, and someone is pressuring you to make a decision, then ask for more time. If this is from God, big breaks will be there the next day, six weeks, even six months from now.
These principles can be applied to just about any decision you’re facing—a new job, a move across the country, a potential spouse, or a puppy. Perhaps our painful experience can save you from making the mistake we did.
As a writer it can be hard to know God’s will for your career. Fiction? Nonfiction? Articles? Books? What topic should you concentrate on? Family, money, Bible studies, historical fiction, mysteries, children’s books? Should you follow your heart or what’s selling? Almost every writer I know struggles with this question at one time or another. Some things to take into consideration are:
1) Do you need to make money? If so then you may need to write articles and cover topics that you might not be interested in, in order to earn a paycheck.
2) What is your passion? If you don’t need to earn money, then follow your passion. If you love children’s books and this is what you’ve always wanted to write, then follow that dream. Become an expert in that genre. Your love will come through your words.
3) If you don’t know, then try different types of writing and genres until you discover the place that makes you happiest.
4) Above all, bathe everything in prayer and ask God to show you where he wants you to use your gift.