When I left full-time work in July 2011 to focus on life at home with my kids, it was not an easy decision. At the time, I was making a lot of money working in a field where I was successful, appreciated, and able to boldly share the message of Jesus.
Other than a miscarriage in December 1989, we had not been able to conceive a baby. After 20 years of gigantic ups and downs, God had in 2007 and then again in 2008 blessed us with two sons. We knew our marriage had survived through those painful years of infertility only by the grace of God. So now my life seemed amazingly on track: my marriage was healed, we had sons, and I was working intensely in the ministry I believe God called me to back in 1990.
Then during the summer of 2010, I began to have panic attacks. I sought out a counselor and worked through the issues I thought were at the root of my physical manifestations of intense stress. My counselor helped me immensely. I started exercising, eating better, managing my stress better, and the attacks went away. Then in the spring of 2011, they came back with a vengeance. Relatively insignificant stress would set me off with panic and I also began stuttering.
Prayer, long talks with friends, and deep pondering led me to this statement of my truth: My current lifestyle was no longer sustainable. That statement helped me seek the next step. Something needed to change. In the end, I knew others could fill my role as a morning radio host, but I was the only one called to be Jon David and Jesse’s mom.
Once my decision went public, I was very surprised by how many people said to me, “You’ll never regret this decision.” I thought I’d hear, “You can’t leave such a great job” or “How will you make it” or “This may not be the right decision.” But instead, nearly everyone affirmed me.
Understandably, I was concerned that leaving my job would leave us in financial peril. My husband had left corporate America to serve as a children’s pastor, so my salary had become vital. Only the Lord knew how much I didn’t want to let my family down, and by leaving a well-paying job I was concerned that I would make our life very difficult.
To find the clarity to make this decision, I needed time alone with God – time away from all my responsibilities and all the noise. So I accepted an invitation from Samaritan’s Purse to join the wonderful Operation Christmas Child team in Panama to distribute gift and Gospel-stuffed shoeboxes to children in the mountains and jungles. One thing I know for sure: If we seek Him, we will find Him. He met me several times on the bus as it bounced through Panama. On that bus, I began to share my heart with trusted friends who prayed for me, right there on the bus.
On Thursday morning April 28, 2011, Amy Lowrey from Operation Christmas Child shared a devotion with our entire group on the bus as we bounced towards the mountains. I remember Amy apologizing for not being more prepared for our devotion. She just wanted to read us what she had read in her quiet time that morning. It was a divine moment for me because she shared these words: “Jesus will meet your need as your need arises.”
It spoke so deeply to me. It was what my heart was waiting to hear and it seemed to tattoo on my soul. Later that day, when we had divided into two groups and were riding in trucks up the mountain, our truck got stuck in the mud on a remote road. We were laughing and praying and singing and waiting. Then a truck hauling potatoes came by, picked us up, and got us to the village where we could give gifts to the children who had gathered, waiting for us. My heart whispered, “See, Lisa? He will provide what you need just when you need it.”
It has been over a year since I left full-time radio and I have no regrets. There are some wonderful friends I miss working with and living near, but the depth of my dependence and trust has taken on a new spiritual richness I never knew existed.
Whatever decision you might face today or in the weeks to come – a move, a job change, seeing a counselor, being honest about a difficult relationship, leaving home to re-join the work force, leaving work to stay-at-home – remember this: Jesus will meet your need as the need arises. You can trust Him. He will never, ever leave you or let you down.
Lamentations 3:22-26 (NKJV) Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.