When your Life’s Work Gets the Dreaded Pink Slip – Job 1:21

Does God fire people who work for him? I don’t know about being fired, but I received a pink slip terminating me from my life’s calling several years ago.

When I attended a staff meeting at church, I observed the discussion about how the different ministries should be managed. It was insightful.

The first to give a report was a youth pastor who passionately shared his plans for reaching teens before they graduate from high school. He asked the other leaders to support him.

Another pastor, whose focus was on adult education (helping people move on from their past) brought up how family trees could be changed if everyone took his class. A third, the leader of the worship ministry, was just as convinced worshiping God with music should be the church’s priority.

Each leader felt his was the most valuable part of the church’s work, and it soon turned into a lively discussion. The temperature seemed to rise in the room when they were unsuccessful getting the others to agree with their point of view.

How do we let go?

I listened and inwardly criticized. Couldn’t they see they were holding on to their ministries too tightly? If God gave them their particular “callings” then he might also reorder things or even take them away. It’s all his business, after all.

But when it happened to me it wasn’t so easy.

My life’s work

Following the birth of our first child I threw myself wholly into parenting and managing our home. By the time my third arrived, I was sailing in my mothering ministry.

I’d never been more confident of God’s direction and blessing on my efforts. Wasn’t I doing the most important work–teaching others by example to be followers of Jesus, giving them the love and instruction they needed to navigate their lives?

And I was good at it.

I had a list of excellent reasons why my fruitful ministry should continue indefinitely. I volunteered to drive my friends’ children to Christian school, had a childcare business in my home, oversaw children’s ministries at church, sponsored orphans in other countries. I even home schooled three of our foster children.

Accepting the pink slip

Can you imagine my shock when I got my pink slip? Yeah, I thought about stalling the termination of my work with children by taking in more foster kids, but even then I wouldn’t be able to escape the truth. My cup was running dry. My Lord was inviting me to willingly move on from a vibrant, productive ministry, and to follow him in new ways.

Eventually, after a time of prayer and soul searching, I clutched my pink slip and watched it change into a boarding pass for my next adventure with God.

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:21 ESV

We can skip along in our blessings and say the Lord did this or the Lord did that, but what will we say when those good things come to an end?

Hopefully, it’s blessed be the name of the Lord!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis