My Passion = My Paycheck

3 years ago … I was going to become a Lawyer, and then a Judge. Rewind <<<


2011 was definitely one of those highs and lows type of years for me. I had a great job. My baby brother joined the military. I ended a relationship. I chopped all of my hair off. I turned 25. My grandfather died from lung cancer. I went sky diving (from 14,000 ft.) I resigned from that great job. I went to Vegas. You see what I’m saying, so much happened in just 12 months.

And then I entered 2012. And with all that had happened, good and bad in 2011, I was determined to make 2012 “My Year.” Turning 25, and entering into the summer stage of my life, I started to view things differently. And for those of you who are not quite 25 reading this, let me go ahead and tell you, turning 25 is a life changing experiencing. It’s different from 16, 18, or 21. At 25, the world looks different to you, and the world looks at you in a different way.

But anyway, back to 2012… My mom wanted to know what I was going to do next. She wanted to discuss my new game plan. Was I going to go to Graduate School? Was I going to start looking for a new job? And after much thought, I decided that I was going to go to Law School. I went to Books A Million and purchased the LSAT study guide, I went online and registered to take the test, and I began to research schools to attend. My mind was made up and I had mapped out a plan to meet all of my deadlines so that I could enter school in the fall.

And then…BOOM!

My mother, who is my biggest influence, looked at me as I sat on her bed and said, “Britney, I don’t think going to Law School is what you are supposed to do. That’s not your calling. I know you want to practice law and eventually become a Judge, but that’s not your path baby girl. God has something else for you. Just pray about it some more.”  I couldn’t have disagreed with her more. I wanted to be a Judge. I’m really into history and law and politics, so I knew that I would be great at it. And I also knew that I would make a whole bunch of money as Judge Brit James. After that conversation with my mom, I was hurt and disappointed because I really wanted her to agree with my decision 100%, I wanted her to just go along with it. I didn’t want her telling me talk to God, I just wanted her to go visit John Marshall’s School of Law with me.

Later that week, I begin to talk God, I asked Him for guidance and direction as to what I needed to do next. I got over my disappointment with my mom because I knew she just wanted what was best for me. And honestly, she gave me some great advice, “pray about it.” There was a probation officer position opening with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Sumter County, and I immediately thought “Ok, this has to be from God.” Not only did I meet the qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, 3 years of experience in probation, 85 or above on the state probation officer’s test, the job was in Americus, and on top of that the person that would be doing the hiring was a friend of my mom’s and she’s been knowing me since I was little girl. So, I was like YES, I’m so in there! So I called the state office and got my scores mailed to me, I went online and filled out the application, I got my friend to juice up my resume, I hand delivered my packet to the main office in Muscogee County the day before the deadline, and then I called the family friend to notify her that I completed everything. She then told me that she would check on my application, and that they should be doing interviews within the next week. The day after the deadline to have everything in, that same family friend called me around 7:30 am and said, “Brit I’m sorry, I won’t be able to interview you. You forgot to submit your scores with your application and resume.” I’m like what do you mean??? Ya’ll just can’t look up my stuff online, I passed the test, it was an honest mistake. At that point, there was nothing she could do. Feeling defeated, I called my mom to let her know what happened, and surprisingly she was very calm and she assured me that God had another plan for me.

One of my mom’s customers had given her the Tri-County Journal, and listed in it was a job opening for a Program Manager of a Teen Pregnancy Prevention program. She encouraged me to go ahead and send in my resume, I did, and a few weeks later, I got a call from Michael Ellison to come in for an interview. That interview lasted for about 2 hours, and a few days later I got another call to come in for a second interview with the Director of the program. That interview lasted about 15 minutes and I walked out with the job.

That was 3 years ago! On March 27, 2012, I became the Program Manager for the Marion County office of Swagga & Lace Initiative.

I LOVE what I do. I love the communities that I work in and with. I  LOVE the children that I empower! I would’ve never thought in a million years that I would be getting paid for something that I’m so passionate about. That I would be getting paid for something that I did for free at FMBC for years, actually this is something that I would do for free now. I love young people, and I love that I have the freedom to plant seeds and watch them grow. I enjoy getting to know them and building relationships that will last a lifetime. Over the past 3 years, I’ve had the pleasure of servicing over 300 children in this area. The past 3 years have been the most productive and rewarding years of my life. While working here, I’ve been able to travel to so many different places and network with so many people in this field. I even had the honor of being one of the presenters at the National Youth At-Risk Conference. I have grown so much as a person. These children have literally changed my life. I’ve been blessed to be a blessing. I honestly feel like jobs in the social service field are after God’s own heart, and every day I am grateful to Him for giving me this opportunity to make a positive impact and help change the lives of His children. I truly believe that I am serving Him every time I pour into these young people.

My friends joke me all the time, saying that I don’t work for real, and honestly they are so right, this doesn’t feel like work at all! My Gift made room for me. God is AWESOME; He made my Passion my Paycheck!

I took you through 2011 and the beginning of 2012 to encourage you to trust God and His timing. I honestly believe that I would’ve been successful working with the Department of Juvenile Justice, however I would not have been in the Perfect Will of God for my life. Our plans are not His plans. We have to trust and believe that He knows exactly what He is doing with what He created. He chose us. He set us apart. God loves His children, and He wants the absolute best for us. I truly believe that He will blow our minds if we let Him!

  • If you are feeling stuck, talk to God.
  • If you feel as though you are at a stand still, talk to God.
  • If you’re not quite sure of what it is you should be doing, talk to God.
  • If you know what you should be doing, however you don’t know how to make it happen, talk to God.

So many times when we are faced with tough situations, we like to turn to people for the answers. I’ll be the first to admit that even though I give pretty good advice, I am human and that means I don’t have all the answers. However, I know someone who does; God, and He makes no mistakes. So if you want to be in the Perfect Will of God, talk to Him. Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. We have to trust the timing of God in our lives. As my Bishop always says, “Rejection is just God’s Redirection.” Even when it seems like everything around you is getting out of hand, just remember whose Hand you’re in; He’s got it all under control.

Oh, and Mother knows Best!

~B.

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

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One thought on “My Passion = My Paycheck

  1. I am truly thankful that your gift made room for you! The BART program was great for my son…he still talks about the things he’s learned. It’s always great to be able to look back at your life and see how God redirected you when you felt rejection! Bishop gave me a new outlook on life with that lol!

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