There have been so many times that I have struggled and stressed in a full-time job that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing or around the people that would inspire or motivate me as a Christian or as a woman. I told myself that the only reason that I stayed was because I had no choice, the benefits were good, it’s too hard to find another job, or some other mundane reason. I know now that the real reason that I stayed locked in a dead end job that almost drove me to insanity and serious health issues wasn’t trusting in the Lord. Let’s break it down…
When my beloved mother passed away, I found myself lost for a little while. I had an Associate’s Degree and leadership skills, and four small children. Since some of my older siblings had a history of wanting to see me fall down and not get back up, I decided I wouldn’t let my mother or my children down by giving in to my siblings’ spite. Ironically with one of my sister’s help, I started my own dessert catering business. The business started to take off faster than my sister’s salon as more people loved the taste of my homemade desserts. Soon, I was getting requests for high end tea and garden parties. I was ecstatic and stupid. My prices were too low and my profit was too. I made a bad decision to get a part time job and leave a jobless family member in charge of some catering jobs. It didn’t take long before I had to dissolve the business due to bad customer service and tasteless product going to repeat customers. The family member had helped me in my greed and naivety to ruin a growing business. I swallowed my pride and disappointment and stayed on at the part-time retail job.
After awhile, I used my fast learning and leadership skills to promote to the low commission shoe department at the retailer. I was relieved because now, I had a more set schedule, but the majority of the staff were women who immediately felt intimidated by me. The drama began and ended finally when I was upgraded to the high commission of appliances. Older people, less drama, and more money; at least that is what I thought. The older people were sharks with sharp tongues and equally intimidated because I was Black and spoke Spanish. I persevered and lasted long enough to become a manager with stable hours and stable income. Little did I know that the demands of that position would lead me to want more for me and my children. I wanted more time with them and more time to really find myself, but I kept coming up with more excuses to not leave. Finally, I got a side job as a business consultant for a established business that needed exposure. I jumped at the chance even though I made up most of what I needed to do and it was largely successful. I helped them and they helped me. They took me and my children under their wing with more business knowledge and a generous salary with benefits. My life began to settle into a pattern, and I felt less like I was lost without my Mama.
It wasn’t long before a friend of mine reminded me that I had promised my mother that I would get my four-year degree and proceed to law or graduate school. I shrugged off the reminder until God gently nudged me until I stopped in to Dallas Baptist University one day and found out that I could finish my degree faster than I had thought because of my Associate Degree credits. I enrolled and proceeded to take classes with my demanding retail schedule. I kept this up until God opened up a door for me to leave the retail world behind and concentrate on just my studies. I still felt lost because I was an older college student without a job and trying to care for my four children. God laid His Mighty Hand on the situation again and sent me my wonderful and supportive husband who began shouldering my burdens and sharing my triumphs. I obtained a job as a home health administrator and lost it six months later to internal conflict and jealousy. Again, I felt lost, but God provided me with income, and I was able to walk with my head held high and tears flowing to receive my B.A.S in Criminal Justice and Business Administration. I felt so complete that it took me a week to come down from that natural high.
The problem began when I came down from the high to accept a job with the State of Texas that gave me the fulfillment of client service but didn’t value my skills and intellect. So many of my coworkers would be baffled as to why I stayed in the job when I was so smart and commanding. Some of them ridiculed me severely when I finished my first two books (www.breakingthelinebooks.com) and still remained employed. I got several puzzled looks from them when I founded the anti-bullying nonprofit (www.stoppingthemadness.org) because they couldn’t understand why I was about to kill myself with a nervous breakdown and heavy stress filled workloads as I remained employed as a caseworker. I would just shake my head because all those excuses were running through my head. Yes, the job was stressful to the point that I would sit in my car breathing heavily everyday because I just didn’t want to log into the system and see the workload. Panic attacks and stress pills filled my day until I knew that I couldn’t take it anymore. It was just too much for any human to try to do, so I prayed for peace. Well, that didn’t happen because I just got more cases, so I prayed for understanding. Yep, didn’t get that either. I was at a loss and started to feel myself drifting, so I prayed for guidance and wisdom. It was then that I felt the not-so-gentle nudge to trust and believe that My Father God had a different path for me. It was time for me to step out on faith. I talked to my husband, and we prayed that it was time. When I handed in my resignation, the weight that I had been feeling lifted, and the path that God had for me opened in so many ways.
Stepping out on faith is what drives me to be the best self-employed minority business owner and nonprofit founder this side of the Mississippi. Breaking the Line Books will publish several books in the next year including the last two of my Victoria’s Journey series. Stopping the Madness Antibullying Foundation will be a nonprofit that will bring an end to bullying and provide resources and tools for families that need it. I realize that now I have truly found my faith because all I had to do was trust in God.