I sat in my son’s room, rocking him to bed as I did every night. As he finished nursing and drifted off to sleep, I began to pray. Mostly I sat in the silence with God and listened, as had become my custom on these nights. Only this night, God broke through loud and clear.
“It’s time to go to work for me. I’ve been training you in your corporate job, but now it’s time to go to work for me.”
“But how, God?” I began to ask. “Shhh…. later… will you say yes?” “Of course, yes!”
The journey of a lifetime begins with a “yes”
I’d been reading through the Children’s Bible with my son and the stories of Abraham and Mary’s obedience had particularly caught my attention. How they could say “yes” so readily, without any hesitation, when God called them to such unknown and unclear callings. I was awed at how fast they were in trusting God’s plan for their lives. I’d begun to wish (and pray) for such an opportunity in my life. A call to something special that I could say “yes” to – quickly, without hesitation.
Of course, I thought it’d be something smaller. Not my career and livelihood, the way I supported our family. How was I supposed to walk away from a 15-year career to something completely unknown? How would I support our family, especially now with this 2nd child I was rocking to sleep? So many questions about trusting God’s plan for my own life…
Yet, here was God asking the very question I’d prayed he would. Here was my opportunity, so I gave a resounding “yes”, having no idea how it’d work out.
“What I am supposed to do? Do I have to quit my job?” “Shhh… not yet… just trust me.”
Take a step, take a step
With a thousand questions and concerns swirling in my head, I committed to keep saying “yes” to wherever God was leading me and to trust God to provide the path.
Step by step, God began to reveal the path. Some came quickly, others only after months and years of waiting.
- He took me to the highest mountaintops, experiencing pure unbridled joy.
- He also took me through the deepest valleys, the dark night of the soul, where God felt more distant than ever before.
- He took me through great trials where all I could do was lay prostrate on the floor in prayer.
- And, he took me through moments of great triumph, facing fears I thought I’d never overcome, but only because he showed up when I finally took that step forward.
In the highs and in the lows, I’m learning to trust God’s plans for my life. I’m learning I am nothing without him and can only do what he’s called me to with his help. I’m learning I’m not enough on my own.
God’s timeline is not ours, yet it’s always perfect
I’ve been on this journey of saying “yes” for 7 years so far, learning lessons and building new skills. Learning to trust God in all things. Working two jobs, reminding myself this is but a season on the road to where God’s calling me.
Now, I sense the winds shifting. Where once God had been telling me to be patient and continue blooming where I was planted, now I hear him telling me to step forward. I feel a pivot point coming. A time where all these years of preparation will shift and launch me into a new career, a new livelihood, a full stepping into the call God placed on my life many years ago.
It hasn’t been an easy road – trusting God never is. It hasn’t been quick – definitely not on any timeframe I’ve set over the years. The journey hasn’t looked anything like what I thought it would. Yet, God’s plan is always perfect and always right on time.
I finally feel ready – in my heart, in my soul, and in my mind. Maybe not so much in the pocketbook, but I’m trusting God there, too.
God makes all things new
God’s begun shifting the pieces into place for this next step and this weekend I took a big step toward the future. I began turning an extra room in the house into my office. I’ve had an office in the house all this time and never considered this step. But, my husband now has need of an office to work from home. God placed an image of this other room in my heart and it’s perfect for where he’s leading me. It had more space and can be configured to meet the special needs of this online ministry.
This room that’s been virtually unused for the 15 years we’ve lived in this house now has its purpose. The walls – the only ones in the whole house that are still the original builder beige – are being painted. New paint for a new life following where God leads.
He still hasn’t released me from my ‘day job’ but I feel closer than ever. This step to create a dedicated office feels monumental – and oh so exciting. I can hardly wait to get it set up and begin creating in this new space. Even more, I dream of working full time in this space.
7 Truths About Trusting God’s Plan for Your Life
1) The plan is not yours, but God’s.
I’m a planner by nature. Giving up control to someone else and following an unknown plan is uncomfortable to say the least. I want a map, a detailed plan for how I’ll get from here to there. But God simply says “trust me.”
I’ve tried to create my own plans along the way, well-meaning attempts to speed up the journey and reach the destination. Each time, God has reminded that the only (best) plan is his. Not only is God’s plan always better, but it makes what was impossible to me, possible through him.
Have patience with the process and trust in God’s plans, not your own.
2) The goal isn’t getting to the finish line, but how you develop along the way.
I’ve spent much of this journey waiting and wishing to reach the finish line. I’ve set more timelines and deadlines than I can recall. Each time, God reminds me it’s not about the destination, but the journey. Each season is part of the process. God doesn’t call you to a destination, but a life of obedience. Along the way, he’ll be molding your heart and soul, all while you learn how you can best contribute to the Kingdom.
Part of following God and being obedient is trusting in his timing. Through these seven years, I can see that each step had lessons to learn. I’ve needed to grow and develop through each season.
3) God’s ways are beyond your timeline and your scope of opportunity, so trust in Him.
Time and again I’ve planned next steps and imagined how God would lead me to the next phase. Each time, he’s surprised me by leading in ways I couldn’t have even imagined. Like the time I thought I was out of options with my current job – working 80 hours a week and trying to follow God’s call to start writing on the side. I was burning out doing both, so I put a resume together, intending to go look for a new job. The very next day, a job in my department dropped in my lap, with a manager intent on helping me set boundaries and cut my work hours back to something more normal – and all with the same pay. Only God!
I’ve learned to trust that God has a plan. I still get anxious and impatient, but I know to wait for a clear sign from God before making big changes. I also know he’s big enough to keep me from veering too far off course.
4) Be prepared to walk through mountaintops and valleys alike. Following where God leads is never easy.
I’ve shed countless tears and wandered through dark seasons I thought would never end. I’ve also experienced pure, unbridled joy in worship. I’ve had big wins and big failures. I’ve felt in over my head, yet thrilled to try something new.
Through it all, though, God has been by my side. He never promised it would be an easy path, but only the best path.
5) Following where God leads will require sacrifice.
Following God means dying to self. It means giving up your own dreams and ambitions. It’s a realignment of your priorities and objectives. It’s allowing God to kill off some dreams while he brings new ones to life. You may be called to sacrifice time, money, friendships, careers, comfort, security, and more. You will learn to put God first, with everything else falling in step behind.
6) When God says “step,” trust that he’ll show up to equip you only after you’ve taken the first step.
One of the first things God called me to do was plan a women’s conference, something I was totally unqualified to do. I’d never been involved in a women’s conference and wasn’t even in a leadership position at my church. I wasn’t yet comfortable in my own faith, much less to talk about it with others. Yet the conference he wanted me to plan was about sharing our faith with others. Then, he called me to speak in the opening session.
I was so far out on a limb, way beyond my comfort level and capabilities. However, with each step I took, God showed up in big ways to equip and empower me. The conference was beautiful and I was able to share my story of faith before 100 women.
God will equip you to what he calls you to, if you’ll only take the first step.
7) Saying “yes” to God will always be worth it.
These seven years have been some of the hardest of my life, yet I wouldn’t trade this journey for all the world. Through all the dark and uncertain days, all the questions and doubts, all the early mornings and late nights, I’ve found a life I can’t believe I get to live. I’ve found purpose, passion, and big dreams. I can’t wait to see where he continues to take me.
“Is it time yet, God? When can I step into this dream you’ve planted in my heart? When can I finally go to work for you full-time?” “Shhh… Trust me…” “Yes, Lord. Wherever you lead, I’ll follow.”
Where Is God Calling You?
Maybe you’ve heard such a clear call. Maybe not… Yet, be sure that God is calling you. Your call won’t look the same as mine – or the same as your friend, relative, neighbor. God calls us each individually to the role he wants us to fill in his Kingdom. Most of all, God wants your whole heart and your total surrender to his lead.
Will you follow? Will you trust him with your life? Are you ready to say “yes”?