Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Today I turned down a great job offer.  The position offered a great salary, with great benefits (that my health-burdened family really needed), serving a population I love, that was a mile from my home.  I fell in love with the person who would be my boss and I know and love several individuals I would have been very happy and proud to work beside.  And it was a faith-based organization. 

It was an agonizing decision.  For the two days I was allowed to make the decision, I experienced a high level of anxiety and interrupted sleep.  Boy the money would have been great.  We could have made some much needed improvements on the house, pay the balance of my PhD tuition, and had some great travel experiences.  But when it came down to “pros vs. cons”, I realized that the vast majority of “pros” came down to money. 

While the biggest decider came down to the fact that I’ve made commitments to writing, teaching, and a larger private practice caseload that would prevent me from working 40 hours/week at least until the end of this year, another surprising revelation came from the last two days of decision-making. 

Since developing our local homeless outreach, Fortitude Canteen Outreach, I have had the absolute honor of meeting and partnering with so many individuals and organizations within my community who have all pitched in to serve our most needy.  I have recognized the need for community-led efforts for making a difference, and simply cannot believe the response from my community. 

Since starting Fortitude up in January, I’ve had a small nugget of desire to formalize the process of developing community missions so I can share the model with those who also desire to make a difference in their own communities.  Those of you who know me well know that I am a huge proponent of backyard missions.  While mission work overseas is needed, is a great growth opportunity, and some are certainly called to this type of ministry, I believe we do tend to ignore the mission field in our own backyards.  It is now very clear that God needs me to keep my schedule clear (well, clearer…it certainly isn’t clear!) to move in that direction.  I’m not sure yet exactly what that will look like, but I will say that in the process of making this decision about a future career, my mission has taken firm root in my mind, and I’m convinced God placed it there. 

Money can’t buy happiness.  It certainly helps, but I do believe God will provide.  Today I feel very much at peace about my decision, and I thank God for a husband who understands and supports wherever God leads me.  Thank you to all who helped me process over the last couple days!  It takes a village…and I’m excited about bringing our villagers together!  =)