Shaneisha Dodson: Let Go!
Submitted by Shaneisha Dodson
I was born and raised in the South. Therefore, getting an education was always my priority. I vowed that I would never leave the place that I called home. However, one day I was searching online for jobs and stumbled across an amazing opportunity in Virginia. So, I packed my bags and headed east. The first few years were great. I was making an impact on the world, and earning a six-figure salary. The money was good, but deep down inside I knew there was a higher calling on my life.
As the years went by, I started to have dreams. Every morning I would wake-up at 3:00 am. I realized that God was talking to me so I started to pray. His message was telling me to let go. I knew what I needed to do, but I wasn’t obedient. I was concerned about the people who needed me. I was skeptical because I didn’t want them to suffer because of my decision to walk away from a “good job”. As time passed, my dreams became more vivid. I started to pray and a sense of peace came over me. I knew that it was time to let go. I walked into my job, and wrote one sentence. I plan to resign effective October 15, 2015. My bosses began to scramble.
They were in shock. Everyone wanted to know who did something to me, and how could they fix it. It was difficult to explain that God told me that it was time to step out on faith. Many people couldn’t understand why I was walking away from a six-figure salary to step into the unknown. The moment I quit, God began to move. He exposed me to things that I could have never imagined. I felt that he was giving me a glimpse into my future because doors began to open before I had a chance to knock.
As I shared my story, many people told me that they wanted to do the same thing. I asked what was holding them back. Most people responded fear. It made me wonder how many people are not doing what they are called to do because of fear. I worked in my job long past my due date. I wasn’t scared to leave, but I put other people’s needs before my own. Sometimes I think about how different my life would be if I allowed fear to hold me back from the vision that God aligned for me.
Stepping out on faith can be scary, but you must have bold faith. It will come with ups and downs. Some days you may question did you make the right decision. No matter what obstacles are thrown your way, you must believe in your abilities and keep working at your craft. Never forget that faith without works is dead.
The moment I decided to make that leap I set a goal. I knew that I wanted to pay down my debt. Therefore, I started to down size. I sold one house and use the profits to purchase a second one. From that point, I started to save every free penny that I had. During the journey, I hit a few speed bumps, but I never gave up. Every morning I thank God for my life. Every experience both good and bad have shaped me into the woman I am today. By far, this has been one of the most rewarding seasons of my life. I’m excited about my future because I know great things are coming.
One on One with Shaneisha Dodson
When you wrote your one sentence resignation letter walking away from a six-figure job what were your thoughts and feelings in that moment?
In that moment, I was happy. I knew that chaos was going to follow because no one saw it coming. But, I was ready for it.
You mentioned selling your home to downsize and saving every extra penny you received, was this before or after you walked off your job?
This was before I quit. I knew I was going to do it months before I submitted my resignation. When I wrote the email, I had already laid a foundation. I was waiting until the time was right. The morning that I woke up, I was at peace. It felt like 10 pounds had been lifted off my chest.
What were some of the comments said to you when you walked off your job?
Some people asked if I needed to see a therapist. Others shared stories about their desire to step out on faith. One guy mentioned that God was talking to him, but he was scared because he had a family. I told him to pray about it because our situations were different. Another male told me he spent decades in a job that he didn’t like because that was all that he knew. People also asked how did I ignore the naysayers. I told them to pray about it and stay focused. The vision that God has for you is for you. Everyone may not see where he is taking you, and that’s ok.
After walking away, did you feel like you made a mistake? Did you ever want to go back?
When I walked away, I had no desire to go back. I knew that God was about to elevate me. That job was only for a season. I held on to it for almost 10 years. I still feel the same way today. I’m a busy body so sometimes I get anxious to see what’s going to happen next. But, God has instructed me to stand still.
You mentioned having dreams and waking up at 3 am every morning, which lead to seeking the Lord. Did He give you specific instructions regarding your resignation?
He said let go. This was directed toward my job and some people who were in my life for the wrong reasons. I used to have a hard time letting go because I always felt like I could fix everything. I had to learn how to stay in my lane, and put myself first.
Were you instructed to start a business or ministry?
I was already planting seeds into my business Black Girlz Productions. Once I quit my job, it gave me a chance to put my whole self into my business. I remember one of my cast members saying that she could see a difference in me. She was right. I guess that’s what peace looked like on the outside. God wanted me to focus on my company because it allowed me to entertain, spread the gospel, and bring awareness to social issues.
Now that you are living a life of purpose, how would you define your purpose?
My purpose is to entertain and educate through the arts. This allows me to reach people on different levels.
How has your life changed since you said yes to your purpose?
God has exposed me to things that I could have never imagined. I’ve won awards and walked red carpets. My faith is stronger. I understand what is meant for me is for me, and no one can ever take that away. I also thank God for closing doors that are not meant for me to walk through. A few years back, I may have questioned what I did wrong if something didn’t go my way. Now I get it. It just wasn’t my time. My life is much simpler now.
What does a typical day look like for you now?
My typical day consist of prayer, writing, researching, laughter, temp assignments, and studying screenwriting books.
How do you feel about walking off your six-figure job now verses when you first said yes? Was your obedience worth it?
My obedience was worth it. If I would have stayed, I would have missed out of some of the things that God wanted me to experience. Now, I get to spend more time doing the things that I love.