Our Big News Part 1
Hi! It’s me, Payton. I hope you’ll pull up a chair and pretend we’re having this conversation over some really good coffee. I’ve contemplated sharing this story a million times and I truly believe it is because Satan doesn’t want it to be told. The reason I have been so hesitant to share is because I truly want myself to be removed from this story completely. I am not the hero of this story. So here is my prayer: through this story, you will see and hear the grace and abundant love of Jesus poured out over an undeserving soul. Period. Nothing else, nothing more. Deal?
The Pink Elephant in the Room
So let’s just talk about the pink elephant in the room (I think that’s the saying?). I will not be returning to teaching next school year. I have been called to Casual Friday full time. Whew. It seemed real when I signed those resignation papers, but now it feels official. Before you stop reading, I need you to hear the whole story because that is where the beauty is- the journey to that decision. Might I add, one of the most difficult and emotional decisions I have ever made. If you have ever heard me talk about my babies or the wonderful school I teach at, then you know my passion for teaching and being exactly where I’m at.
Back in early March, I started back Prayer Walks for my business as the weather started to become prettier. If you’re not familiar with prayer walks, its basically just a 5 minute walk outside praying intentionally for Casual Friday. Well, one day, my prayer just came out, “Lord, if You need me to quit teaching and go full time with Casual Friday, will you please make that so clear to me?” Talk about intercessions. I know Jesus intercedes for us, but for it to just come right out of my mouth unconsciously was earth shattering for me. I began to pray this prayer on every prayer walk from then out. Not telling anyone- I’m the type that I must be sure before ever uttering a word. Shortly after, my husband randomly stopped in the middle of conversation one night and said, “I believe it is time for you to think about going full time with your business”. Cue all the tears and the spilling of how the Lord had already been talking to me through my prayer walks. I begged for his prayers as I said, “I just don’t think I’m ready to leave teaching; I absolutely love it.”
The prayer walks continued. The bargaining and pleading with God about how I thought I could continue to do both well continued. I was fairly certain in my heart that I knew what I had to do, but I just had to be sure. A phone call with several friends asking- how in the world do you know you hear God telling you what you need to do?! Why can’t he just write me a letter?! And this response was earth shattering (praise the Lord for truth-spitting friends, even if they are all the way in Texas ;))- “If He wrote you a letter, You would be robbed of the joy of exercising faith and being obedient. Faith wouldn’t exist if it were all written out for you.” Drop the mic there.
Then came sermons about using our talents to truly grow the kingdom. Were we trying to use a butter knife to unscrew a light socket when we were given an actual screwdriver? And calls to action of being called to “deeper waters”. There were multiple instances where I felt like it was me and the Lord over some good coffee. Another instance was the retelling of the rich young ruler who had done everything he thought was possible and Jesus told him to go sell all his possessions and follow me. I truly felt like Jesus was saying, “go sell all you know and are good at and follow me”. Another instance was through a devotion when it so beautifully depicted Noah’s story. Noah didn’t have all the details. He probably was perceived as absolutely crazy for building a ginormous boat when others didn’t even know the great flood was coming. But he obeyed. He kept building. Even with his lack of details. He trusted God and think about where we would be without Noah’s obedience?! Mind blowing, right?!
Now, here’s where the crazy part starts. If all of that wasn’t enough, He sealed the deal for me in the checkout line at TJMaxx. I could say that God works in mysterious places or it might just be that I am found there a little too often. We will just go with both. 😉 My heart was super tender at this point. The Lord had truly been working on me. I had a day out by myself and I was found scavenging in the checkout section of TJMaxx when I got to the notebook section. I was sorting through them when I found a light pink and gold notebook (Casual Friday brand colors) in the very back that said “His Will. His Way. My Faith. Jeremiah 29:11”. Jeremiah 29:11 was the verse that I had been clinging to in this season. And it was just as if I heard God’s voice right out loud right there in the TJMaxx checkout line- “Payton, are you going to be obedient and trust me?” So here I am, standing there with this notebook in one hand gripping my cart in the other with giant tears rolling down my face whispering “YES, LORD”.
The rest is history. We would be here all day if I shared all of the small details of God’s hand in this decision from the actual day that I told my administration to the present day. Honestly, it makes absolutely no worldly sense, but perfect sense all at the same time. A complete step out on faith. Satan has been burning my trails ever since- I’d be lying if I didn’t include that. BUT my God is greater and if this story isn’t just the most beautiful depiction of His love and protection and guidance for His children then I don’t know what is.
Thank you so much for following my journey. The Lord is just getting started here and I can’t wait to see where He takes it. I’ll be sharing part 2 of what the Lord is doing in our life so soon so stay tuned.
All the love,