Tag Archives: how to have faith

Why I Quit My Full-Time Job

  
As soon as you graduate, you are inundated with questions.

 “So what are your plans?”

 “What are you going to do next?”

 “Are you going to get a job?”

 “Are you going to do a Masters?” 

I knew I didn’t want to do a Masters and I knew I didn’t want get a full-time job either. I was so sure that working full time was NOT for me. I couldn’t see myself working day in, day out, doing a 9-5 or a Monday-Friday stint. I knew what I wanted to do; I wanted to start my own business. I felt I had skills, gifts and abilities that could be used to ‘do my own thing’. My heart was set on starting my own clothing line, a dream that had been birthed during my undergraduate degree.  

The plan was to get a part-time job (in something fashionny) and then work on my collection(s) on the side. That was the plan, and I did it. Although it was perfect at first, somewhere down the line I got dissatisfied, agitated, impatient, and most worryingly, envious. I didn’t like the questions concerning my  decision to work part-time and the general consensus amongst those asking that having a degree meant that I shouldn’t have a part-time job. I hated people asking why I was working in a shop which didn’t require a degree. Money was also steadily becoming an issue: I hated not having as much money as my friends. I began to have second thoughts about my original decision; perhaps designing was the thing I was to do in the future once I was more experienced and equipped.
A few months later, I gave into the pressure (external and internal) and got a full-time job. To be honest, it was great at first. I was finally fitting in. When I was asked those dreaded questions about what I was ‘up to’, I could finally answer like everybody else and tell people that I was doing something of value. Unfortunately, the feeling of dissatisfaction returned; I was miserable, unhappy and I eventually became depressed. Working a job that I brought me no joy while waking up at ridiculous hours to get to work made me realise that something was missing; I began to think that the time I was spending at work could be used more effectively elsewhere.  

After a year of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled, I decided to leave my job. Perhaps some would say that I cared too much about my happiness but my greatest concern was sanity. Although my mind was filled with various ‘what if’s’ – what if I ran out of money, what if I fell into a job that was even worse etc – I handed in my resignation. In amongst my doubts and fears, I knew I had to take a small step of faith

Upon handing in my notice, I didn’t have any job prospects; I just trusted that God would provide for me. It was a scary time and I was full of questions. However, just 2 weeks later, I managed to get myself a part -time job at a place that stress-free- a nice environment to work in. I can honestly say that decision was, by far, the BEST decision I’ve ever made and I’m thankful that I followed through with it. I now have the time to focus on what I have a passion for and I’m currently in the process of putting the finishing touches to my own clothing line, Lara Peters. 

I learnt a few things from this experience: 

1. If you have the passion and the desire to do something, or be at a certain place in your life, do what you can do get there. Don’t worry about how, or what people will think or if things end up not working. If you don’t try, you will never know. 

2. Money is usually the thing that prevents us from achieving our dreams but you can always start small. You might what to start a business or a project but don’t have the funds. Get creative! I’m sure there are ways around it. You can start off small: plant a seed it will grow! 

3. If you don’t want to be in the same place for the rest of your life, you need to take risks. I’m not the biggest risk-taker. In fact, I’m such a perfectionist, it’s ridiculous. I like everything to go according to plan and everything has to run the way I want it to. During this time, I learnt that in order to get to the level you’re aiming for, risks must be taken. 

No matter what it is, whether it is going into further education, or going for a position you don’t think you’ll get, or starting a business, chase after your dreams! I’m still in the process of getting to where I want to be but I’ve taken small steps of faith towards my dream. You should too- you don’t want to look back 10-15 years down the line full of regrets. 

I launch my collection this autumn. Check out http://www.larapeters.co.uk. Coming Soon!!!
 

Precious x

The Question Every Graduate Hates

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“So, what are you doing with yourself now?

This question is usually followed by a look of anticipation as the questioner waits, hoping to hear an elaborate tale which weaves your talents and current successes into a succinct answer.

Another painful substitute for this question is “What do you do?” or the even more unsettling and presumptuous, “How’s work?” These questions have become constants for me as I have moved from education into the real world, and from conversations I’ve had with friends, I know I’m not the only one.

By certain standards, at the age of twenty-two, I should be working a salary paying job, juggling multiple projects that will change the world in some way, and of course, building a solid foundation with a young man that will one day bring home the ‘good news’ (this may be a bit different if you’re a guy — for one, you’ll will be bringing the ‘good news’, amen?!) Unfortunately, not all graduates are able to tick all of the above boxes. For those of us that can’t, we tend to recite a list of achievements which somehow deflect the attention away from the above. My response often goes something like this:

“I’m currently studying my MSc at (insert university here) and doing work experience with (insert organization here). I’m also working on (insert project 1) and (insert project 2) over the summer” — not forgetting to add details and embellishment where necessary.

Of course, this isn’t my response to everyone but this is the likely structure I have come to use time and time again; one that seeks to validate my years in education while consolidating my talents, all in an attempt to meet people’s expectations. It’s exhausting and, quite frankly, conceited. No matter how humble you are, listing your accomplishments on command, outside of a networking opportunity, can be deemed a self-serving task.

Disclaimer: I am all for shameless plugging and sharing our achievements with others, it’s great, all glory to God! However, our responses often themed by ‘I’s’ and ‘I’m’s’, do not. I sometimes wonder how much of what we do is actually self-serving and self-advancing and how much is for the service and advance of others.

Some time ago, after graduating, I caught myself being very selfish with my prayers. At the time I was not feeling content with where I was in life, I was dissatisfied with what I had achieved and generally unfulfilled. All very dramatic for a newly graduated twenty-something with multiple prospects (hindsight, ey?). I was asking God about my next career moves and life choices, I was asking what he had for me and what he wanted me to do, what field I should specialise in, whether I should travel or take a year out? The list, as you can imagine, went on. I rarely included anyone or anything else in my prayers.

It turns out that it became easier to be satisfied with where I was and contented with what God was doing when I stopped obsessing over myself and started looking outwardly. When we stop being consumed with every detail in our lives that we want God to tweak or fix, it frees up space to be happy where we are and frees up time to be present for others. It broadens our view of God and allows us to acknowledge the amazing things He is doing outside of what we have going on.

Central to being human is the sense of social responsibility and this duty is even more pertinent for us as Christians. Quite literally, the charge we have to love our neighbour, falls into this category and would include giving our time and even our possessions to others.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Acts 2:44-45

In a way, doing for others involves showing a selflessness that is achieved through a love that only God provides; doing for others is doing for God.

I’ve been reading Acts, trying to understand the work of the Holy Spirit and amidst the miraculous, we see Peter and John, and Paul and his compadres, moving from town to town simply doing God’s work. Paul’s encounter with God on the road to Damascus set him on a mission not for self-establishment or for the approval of others but for Gods name to be glorified.

The onus that was on Paul is on us too.

It seems somewhere between A-levels and the normalisation of fame and fortune, we as millennials have become more concerned with building our empires instead of building God’s kingdom. Sometimes we need to pray for others before we ask God about when our own job will come. Sometimes we need to help someone with their next steps forward before focusing on our own. We should habitually look at the responsibility we have to others instead of focusing on ourselves, for Christ’s sake and for the glory of God.

Is your response to “What do you do?” and “What do you do for others?” the same? If it isn’t, I challenge you to ask yourself why it is not. This isn’t to benchmark who is a ‘good Christian’ and who isn’t, but to get us to think about what we do in this life and whether it expands the Kingdom or whether it simply expands our egos and extends our curriculum vitae.

Lots of love,

Rachel xxx

The Problem I Had With Jesus

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This year, I have had major issues with Jesus.

This is usually the part where I start spewing some wild and outrageous tale of heartbreak, a job loss or an incurable disease. If you read the blog regularly, you will have noticed that (as with most people) when ish hits the fan, my faith is also impacted (until I put my big girl knickers on and fight the good fight). Sorry to disappoint you, there is no headline here, no major event, just a host of concerns and questions that I didn’t have the answer to. I woke up one morning and felt 2,000 years was far too recent for the Messiah to have come (via immaculate conception), died (by crucifixion) and risen again.

*cue laughter*

Yeah, I know those of you with unshakeable faith have no idea what I’m on about, but those who have wondered a similar thing, walk with me for a minute.

I wanted to believe, I did believe (kind of) but it was all too much for my small mind to comprehend. God had come in human form, died and risen in order to save my sins. It sounded like a fairy tale, a Disney classic, where the hero had saved the day and rescued us all. Except, the day hadn’t really been saved. A few weeks ago, a White terrorist thought it was acceptable to enter a Church and shoot its members. Last week, a handful of extremist Muslims went on a beach and shot 21 people to death.  People continue to die of Cancer, thousands of people are trafficked every year and Black lives still don’t matter. I wondered why the coming of the Messiah hadn’t brought about the happy ending that we needed.

As we get older, our childlike innocence fades and in its place remains questions, logic and cynicism to all the things we once accepted as true. Our belief in the tooth fairy and Santa disappear and for some of us, so does our belief in Jesus. They say that without faith it is impossible to please God (well, they don’t say, Hebrews 11:16 says) and it’s true. If you can’t even believe that God can truly do anything in and of Himself, how can you expect Him to do the seemingly impossible for you? Why would you give your all or try and stay on the straight and narrow when His mere existence is met with cynicism and rejection? How can we seek the One when we struggle to accept that there is One at all?

I often wonder how I’m still a Christian with my liberal views and my growing heap of questions. Want to know how I’m still here, in faith, striving towards Jesus? Ok, here are my secrets:

I never stop reading my Bible. I don’t close my Bible or turn away from God when I have questions, I delve deeper and I take my questions to Him (and Google). Neither has failed me yet. The scripture that reignited my faith this time around was:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:1-3

In other words, Jesus was always there.

I don’t expect for things to make sense any more. I think the moment you accept that a virgin had a baby without having sex, whose life you know very little about from the age of 0-30, who died and rose again, and dwells in you today through the presence of the Holy Spirit, you kinda have to stop using logic to navigate your Christianity; you have to use faith. And that’s not to say that faith is illogical or that you should cease to question elements of your Christianity that would be stupid. What I am saying is that every detail making sense to your human, limited mind shouldn’t be the highest thing on your agenda because you will never have all the answers. You weren’t there; you missed it, you will never have an eye-witness account concerning the life of Jesus. What you do have is that conviction in your heart and all those times where you were down to nothing and he came through for you.

I try to have childlike faith. I worked in a Primary school two weeks ago. While my Jesus crisis was at an all-time high, a 10-year old turned around, looked at me and exclaimed “Jesus ain’t real.” I responded, “Get behind me, Satan!” I joke, I joke. I put on my politically correct hat and asked him why he felt that way.  As he was about to tell me, his friend quipped “Jesus is real, ‘e was ‘ung up on a tree!” I highly doubt that this boy was actually a Christian; it’s more likely that he had heard the story and simply accepted it as truth. His belief made me smile, it challenged me and I felt something shift within me once again.

Of course Jesus was real. Of course Jesus is real. ‘E was ‘ung up on a tree, after all.

Lots of love,

Joy xx