The Lord has led me to pivot from working in public higher education to serving as a chaplain at a large medical center in Omaha. On November 22, I posted an update on my LinkedIn page to share this news with colleagues and friends. I have copied this note below so that a wider audience will be able to understand why I made this decision. Ultimately, I hope it will encourage you to consider if God is calling you to something new.
"I am happy to announce that I have taken a new position as a staff chaplain at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. Today was my first day of a new beginning.
This was a big step for me as my career this far has been in public higher education. However, being unemployed during the pandemic was both a challenge and a blessing. It was a challenge because it was difficult to get back into the higher education workforce (so many universities had paused their hiring processes and few openings were available.) But ultimately this was also a blessing, because it gave me the time to really think about what I wanted to do with the "rest of my life."
Going for a walk one sunny afternoon, I reflected on how my father changed careers in his forties. He decided at the age of 46 to go to college for the first time and become a registered nurse. After three years of challenging coursework and grueling exams he achieved his dream. At the age of 49 he became a licensed RN. What's insightful about this story is that at the time he made the decision to pivot several of his friends told him that he was too old to reinvent himself. They said it would be wiser for him to simply stay where he was and look forward to retirement. Thankfully dad didn't listen to them. And so his life had a new purpose--he served, encouraged, and comforted patients of all ages and of various life situations. He loved that job.
Well, today I'm following in dad's footsteps. I'm leaving a successful career in higher ed. to begin a new one in a hospital setting. And while my dad is not here to see me embark on this new journey (he passed away from COVID-19 in January), I'm sure he would be delighted to see me set out on a similar path of service in my late forties.
Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed my work in higher education. It is meaningful service. Over the years, I have learned so much from my students, staff members, and fellow faculty (and you may be one of them). But it has been on my heart for quite some time to serve others in a new way and in a new role. And I think this is where God called my dad; and this is where God is calling me as well."