Two and a half years ago, my girlfriend Lucia called me and said, "I quit my job today." I knew that the stress of her landscape architecture job had been hard and that she found herself spending her lunch break praying for the strength to make it through the second half of her day, but I was still surprised that she left the stability. "I'm going to pursue what I really want," she said. Lucia is a spiritual woman who had spent her vacations doing missionary work around the world. Her dream was to travel to Romania to work in a foster home. The work was hard, unpaid, yet Lucia found a passion for working with these beautiful children who needed love and understanding.
She returned after a month to pursue her dream of opening her own business, but found her heart longing to return to the children. As the year passed, and she was able to go to Romania once again, her heart didn't feel as if it belonged in California. When she returned work was scarce with the downturn in the economy, and her heart wasn't finding her way in building her own business. She decided to return to China, where she was born, to spend time with her mother and search for her next step. In China, she found work as an English teacher for students who couldn't afford classes.
At the end of the six months, no longer a citizen of China, she had to leave. Romania still called to her heart and the children's home offered her a stipend to come and work. For many months, she was able to travel, work with the children, and help bring confidence and love to children who'd been left behind. And then it was time to leave.
My friend returned to the states with no idea what would come next. After two years of living her dreams, she was ready for a new goal, to pursue her career as a landscape architect in a firm that would be able to utilize her talents. People told her the economy would make it hard to find work. She began interviewing on the east coast and immediately received an offer in Boston. But the offer wasn't what she really desired and so with some trepidation she passed.
Then a friend asked her to move to Southern California to help his parents for two months. Not having any idea what would happen, she got on a plane and moved into their home. As her time with the family progressed, she knew she needed to find the perfect job. She sent applications, but hundreds of people were also sending applications to each job posting. As she explored her area, she found a large architecture firm and decided to go visit though they hadn't posted any job openings. The woman who greeted her was the human resources director and was filling in for the secretary while she was on her lunch break. Lucia asked the woman if there were any job openings and it turned out that they were just about to open up a position and they needed someone who could speak Chinese.
A month passed. Lucia went for an interview, but hadn't heard back. With her savings dwindled, and her time with the family coming to a close, she began to worry and fear crept into her heart. She took out her journal and wrote:"Nothing will steal the peace God has given me!" She waited with a joyful heart as she had done throughout her journey. While window shopping the next day with a friend visiting from out of town she received the call that she got the job. She treated her friend to lunch to celebrate the good news. She said to me, "See, God is good, He even sent me a friend to share the joy!
Lucia found her perfect job, a beautiful place to live, and everything fell into place days before she needed to move. Today, after two years of following her bliss, she has found a place where she can pursue her career dreams. As I spoke with her on the phone, I could feel her glowing.
My friend reminded me of the magic of life. Many times we don't know where life will lead us. We stay in in comfort even if we are unhappy for fear of what might happen. When we do step out of our comfort zone we live with anxiety when we can't see that things will work in our favor. But somehow when you pursue your dreams, breadcrumbs are dropped in front of your path. If you follow them you end up where you are meant to go.
Thank you Lucia for your inspiration, friendship, and the glow you bring to the world.