I’ve shared that success can be born out of failure and even out of fear. But I would also say that great success can come from a place of faith. One of the reasons why I LOVE spending time with my #sistersupt, Dr. LaTonya Goffney is because when I spend time with her, I feel like I’ve been to church. Do you have someone in your life like that? Someone who speaks truth into your life?
I think sometimes we shy away from talking about faith in our professional work. I know for me, sometimes I feel like if I get too close; surrender too much, that God might call me to be a missionary in a far away land. But when I think of faith in the context of our professional journeys, I’m talking about much more mundane things – things like being faithful in taking the “next best step.”
Sometimes we have these grandiose ideas and think that we should or can move from where we are to where we want to be in one fell swoop. But really, what we need to do is just take the next best step. If you have a desire in your heart to write a book the first step isn’t to start your manuscript. Right? How about meet with someone who’s actually written a book and have a conversation about how they did that and what they learned along the way? Or… start sharing your thoughts about things you are passionate about on a blog or a series of articles. Or… (and clearly you’ve picked up that I am preaching to myself at this point…) How about just shift our activity on Twitter from being a consumer to a producer? Like, let’s just start with 140 characters – can we manage that first?
I went to TASA Midwinter early so that I could attend TCWSE (which was amazing ladies! If you did not attend this year I would highly encourage you to attend. Talk about being edified and uplifted in our work!). But I left early on Sunday morning to visit my home church in Austin and it was so good to be back home! Before I left, I was part of the group that helped bring in our new pastor and I so enjoyed seeing how God was at work in my church family before I left and now 7 years later. He didn’t know that I would be there, but yet he must have known, because his message was specifically for “Jill Siler.” Have you ever had a message just grab you by your soul? So many ideas, hopes and dreams that had been hiding in my deepest thoughts were given permission to come out and my mind was spinning.
I saw my pastor after that message and I told him how good it was to see him. And I shared that I couldn’t ever come to hear him again. He laughed. I told him I was serious. I shared that the last time I was under his teaching, I ended up moving to the other side of the state and taking this crazy awesome job as a superintendent. And one message with him again and I had all of these crazy awesome thoughts about what was to come.
I don’t know what that looks like for me. I don’t know how to get from my Point A to Point B in my head. I hope to remain the Superintendent of Gunter ISD for my entire career. But there are still things I hope to do and accomplish even while I’m serving in that role. But I knew in my heart that THIS was my “next best step”. I knew that I needed to be brave and submit a proposal to speak at the Region 4 TCWSE Spring Conference last month and begin sharing these thoughts on a broader scale – even without knowing why or what specifically I wanted to share. And so I did. Faith means “taking the next best step!”
What about you? In what areas are you finding frustration because you’re focused on the leap from where you are to where you want to be? Instead of intensely focusing on the end goal, think about what the “next best step” is for you and go for it!