In about 2006 or 2007 I came to a decision.
I decided that I wanted my life to be going where God wanted me to be going. This was a huge step for me. Sadly, it took me being completely broken to see my need to rely on God. I vowed to make steps every day to move closer to Jesus and to put my life in His hands. I underestimated how hard that was going to be. The most immediate need was for my marriage. The change in my marriage has been nothing short of miraculous. I have also been challenged in my leadership of my family and in my personal walk. God brought us to a new church that calls men to lead and to be good stewards and not just abdicate their lives away. God has worked miracles in my home. Every day I get down on my knees and thank Him for the blessing of my wife and kids and how He has grown me.
Along with all of these changes my eyes have been opened to opportunities. Opportunities to share God’s love with others, to be the salt and light, and to disciple others. I’m not good at any of those things. In my selfishness and self-centered thoughts I see the opportunities, and I see myself bungle the whole situation. When I lean into Him and onto Him, things tend to go much better. Alas, I’m not so great at that either sometimes.
As I said, I had come to a decision: I did not want to do I.T. anymore. I had been a software engineer, a systems administrator, a desk-side technician, and everything in-between. I started to feel burned out on technology. I no longer had the passion for it that I once did. I used to stay up having all-night hackathons (nerd-speak for playing on the computer). I would devour any and all new technologies. I was writing software for fun and for profit. I reveled in the challenge of taking on new projects and seeing them to completion. I was all technology, all the time.
Coming out of those days I started to back away from technology. I started learning new things in my free time that were not related to computing. I was spending much more time with my wife and kids, and I was loving it. I started working on cars and learning about machines, reading more and taking on new projects.
I felt like I really started to become a more well-rounded person at this time. I was around 29 or 30 and felt like I was finally becoming myself, and also expanding into ministry. At the same time I felt a growing anxiety around my work. I was becoming more and more dissatisfied with my career choice. I prayed about it a lot. Each time I did, I felt like I was not to leave yet. God still had things in store for me. Aside from that I did not know what I would do besides I.T. I have no real marketable skills outside of keyboard-jockeying.
As one can imagine this was a very frustrating situation. I wanted to leave with every fiber of my being, yet felt that God would not allow me to abandon ship just yet. To further confirm my predicament, He just kept giving me jobs (as I mentioned before). Jobs that only could have come about due to divine intervention. For a few years I struggled to see anything of worth in any of my work.
I made a few good friends along the way. One in particular stands out to me. Since the start of my career I had failed to find a mentor figure. All the while I was encouraged to find one, but it never seemed to work out. This one particular friend was a great encouragement to me and a great mentor figure and remains so to this day. He would encourage me to find meaning in my work through the effects I could have on those around me. He was also instrumental in me getting into leadership positions. He believed in me, and honestly it was infectious. As a consequence, I did quite well in that position and I believe I was a competent leader. In the back of my mind, I reminded myself that I still was not sure where I wanted to be in five years.