This is part 3 in the short story, Going For Her Noble Profession.
Cynthia is unsatisfied being a nurse; she wishes to quit her job and to do something she enjoys, but she’s scared of the possible outcome on her relationship with her boyfriend, Frank, the love of her life who always wanted a nurse for a wife.
Read part I and 2
Cynthia left the pastor’s office in a lighter mood. Even though she still doubted her convictions, she knew what decision her heart longed for. She would give it some time, while she continued in prayer and counseling.
As she descended the lonely path behind the church building, she silently prayed. “Lord, I find it easier taking the risk of failure than enduring the dissatisfaction of my present job. This is not the life I want to live when I’m thirty, forty or fifty. Lord, you know the sincerity of my heart. You know exactly how much I’ve tried to love where I am, yet the dissatisfaction grows daily. I actually dread going to work and I’m happy when the day is over. I’d do it for you if you want me to continue there, but I feel like this is not where you want me to be.
“Father, I’m also scared. Quitting a job is not an easy decision, especially when people who love you and whom you love think you are making a mistake. Their concern is genuine. I wish Frank will understand but I also fear he may not.”
When she reached her place, she went straight to lie on the bed. Imaginations play a great role in decision making, for it is with the power of this God-given tool that we can anticipate the consequences of our actions and evaluate our readiness to face them. When she visualized herself quitting her job, the imagined consequences of the decision were scary: Frank walked away, her parents got angry and turned their backs on her, friends thought she was crazy…and finally, she failed in her preferred venture.
Cynthia’s heart felt heavy. She wasn’t sure she was ready for such an adventure. Not until she imagined the alternative. She saw herself in her present job at age thirty five, a totally dispirited employee. That was scarier.
“Lord, this was never my choice,” she sobbed. “It was my parents’ counsel. Please, let me give change a try. If I fail, I will learn my lessons, plus I can always retract my steps. I’d still be a qualified nurse.”
It seemed like she could see God nodding to that arrangement. The doubts and heaviness in her heart began to give way as she believed change was the right thing to go for. There and then she mentally made the decision. Fear of the criticisms of those who mattered most to her would cause a delay in its implementation, but she was going to do it one day or another.
Getting up from bed, she went to a local grocery where she got herself treated to some ice cream and biscuits, happiness and joy radiating her entire being.
Two weeks later, Cynthia was in Pastor Wills’ office again. The visibly happy and excited young woman spared no details in narrating to the pastor what she had arrived at and how the constant frustration and dissatisfaction had disappeared even before the final decision had been taken.
The Reverend let her talk out her mind; then he proceeded to asking her pertinent questions.
“What about Frank?”
“Pastor, I’m still praying God to touch his heart to see with me.”
“What if he doesn’t see with you?”
Cynthia broke the knuckles on her fingers, even though her face expressed no sadness. After a long silence, she answered. “Pastor, I’ve been thinking. If tomorrow while I’m married to Frank, I’m frustrated in my job – which is likely to happen – I would tend to direct the frustration at him. Because I would feel like if it wasn’t for him, I’d have made a change. Being with him and remaining in my present job will be difficult. Quitting and losing him will also be difficult. I know which option to choose, but I’m not so bold to verbalize it. I’m like, ‘what’s in a particular career option, anyway? Does he want a wife or a nurse?’”
Pastor Wills smiled; he was used to counselees’ dilemmas. Without offering his assistance to help her make a choice between the mentioned options, he proceeded to the next question. “What about your parents?”
“Pastor, I love my parents, but for God’s sake, I’m a grown up! I’ve lived on my own for four years now. I know they will be disappointed, but I’m no longer dependent on them for sustenance. It hurts to know they aren’t proud of my choice, but I have to wake up to the fact that this is my life. I’m the one facing the frustration and dissatisfaction at my job, not my parents. I really feel like this is what God wants me to be.”
The pastor’s next question was not something Cynthia’s imagination hadn’t anticipated. “Are you really ready to face the challenges of venturing into new horizons?”
“Yes!” was the immediate reply that came. “To me, that’s easier to handle than remaining where I am.”
“Okay, Cindy. I’ll give you a DVD teaching series from a very trusted friend. You go watch and after that whatever decision you make, go for it. New horizons are always scary because we do not know exactly what might happen, but to experience more of God you may just need to get out of the boat and walk on the waters by faith, looking up to the Lord and following his guidance.”
“How are you?”
Cynthia would have given the casual, ‘I’m fine’ but the thought immediately came to her mind to seize the opportunity to tell Frank exactly how she was. It was a month after the day she took the decision against indecision.
“More dissatisfied in my job,” she replied, looking away from him.
A painful silence followed. One, because Frank hadn’t expected that kind of answer, and two, because he wasn’t sure what satisfactory comment to make about her complaint. Had he not done his best to convince her she was in the right place? In an enviable profession? A noble profession? But here she was, talking of more dissatisfaction.
Cynthia broke the silence, “I already talked with Pastor Wills, seeking his counsel. You know, it’s hard not to doubt oneself when you are considering major changes such as quitting a job. I don’t just want to be a fanatic. So I’ve been praying and asking God for wisdom and help.
“There’s been this growing dissatisfaction all these years; I don’t see it going away anytime. I keep asking myself if this is how it’s gonna be for the rest of my life. One is not growing any younger; if there are decisions to make, the earlier the better. Sometimes I’m confused, other times, I wished I could just make the decision and damn the consequences.
“I was just thinking that the next vacation could be a no-return time and…”
She went on talking and talking, trying to prevent a possible awful silence from ensuing, and also seeking to give him as much justification for her decision as to make him have nothing more to say to the contrary.
But you can only say as much; she finally stopped talking.
Seated by her side, Frank fixed his stare on his black-polished shoes, a sign he was in deep thought. Cynthia’s heart was pounding, the same time a tiny part of her mind was regretting the decision.
“It’s okay,” Frank finally said. “You shouldn’t be in a job you don’t like. You can’t live like that for the rest of your life.”
And? Won’t you say more? There was one more thing she desperately wanted to hear.
After a long silence he spoke again, “If Decorative Arts is what God wants you to do, I encourage you to go for it. Do what you find satisfaction and fulfillment in. We can’t always think things should be done the way our logic understands, right?”
Not yet right. I haven’t heard what you think about our relationship.
Probably, he was saying it, but Cynthia wanted speech that left no room for doubts and varied interpretations.
She decided to dismiss the doubts. “What becomes of our relationship then?”
Frank was shocked to the core. He had not expected she would think it possible that he could let her go because of a change in career path. He had not understood how his desire to marry a nurse had so much affected the particular nurse he had chosen to be with.
But before he could utter a word in reply, Cynthia was excited for the look of surprise on his face – it was all she needed to rest her anxious heart.
“Cindy, I love you,” he said, “and yes, I always wanted a nurse, but I love you enough to be happy with your happiness. I think I need to have a reshaping of my desires as to the kind of profession I want my wife in. After all, it’s you I want, not your profession.”
She wanted to jump on his neck, but his mouth gestures indicated he still had more to say.
“I’m taking you out tomorrow.”
She understood exactly what he meant. He had been planning for it for some time now.
Years later, a certain Cindy Frank stood at the entrance of her Decorative Arts shop one afternoon, amazed and feeling fulfilled. She had just closed for the day after a wonderful work day. Besides regular normal clients, a local NGO involved in the rehabilitation of destitute single mothers had contracted her to help train some of the women, seven in all. It was a golden opportunity to be part of the recovery process for the women, all of whom had had very traumatic experiences, which made many among them open to the gospel.
The Good News flowed so freely from her lips and genuinely from her heart. It was no longer an exercise done to add more value and reason to a job she hated.
Cynthia had found her place of fulfillment; her noble profession. She was grateful to the Lord for the way he had caused things to turn out for her. Almost stress-free. It was unlike other people’s success stories where the challenges were much more difficult than hers. Yet, she still told herself that finding fulfillment is worth the challenges, no matter the level of difficulty; and when God truly leads, success is inevitable even after a long period of apparent limbo.
And there remained yet another wonderful advantage to being at the place her heart had longed for. She couldn’t wait to have the active girl in her tummy come to the world. Great was the joy of knowing she would happily take care of the little lily herself, without the need for a nanny to fill her absent hours. It would be one of her much anticipated joys of motherhood.
She was truly amazed, silently thanking the Lord as she walked away.
Fiction for Teaching, Inspiration and Entertainment.
Fiction for Teaching, Inspiration and Entertainment.