Once upon a time…. That’s how all of the good stories start. The ones where the main character is about to have a significant part of their story told. One where there are trials and challenges for them to overcome, and they learn more about themselves and the strength that resides in them.
So I guess that I could start this new season of writing that way – “Once upon a time…” – since that’s when the new chapter of my journey began. Two years isn’t that long, but in some ways it can be an eternity.
Once upon two years ago, everything changed. Even as I pen these words, the song that accompanied the beginning of this new chapter has begun playing in the background, confirming how God has led me in this season.
I loved my ministry. I loved the people that I ministered with and to. Life was good. It was the place where God had brought me so much healing and where I had grown spiritually by leaps and bounds. Moving to Knoxville was the end of the long desert season that I had previously been in. This place was my oasis for more than three years.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was misaligned. So I began seeking if there was something that I needed to change or add to what I was already doing. Nothing fit. Yet I could still feel the tidal wave of change coming.
Then, in the solitude of a week in the countryside, it all came crashing in. God very clearly was asking me to give up Infusion Ministries and the STEPS Home in India. I was utterly heartbroken. Through anguish and many tears, I asked Him to confirm this, because I needed to be sure. And He did. In so many ways. It was undeniable.
God was asking me to step out in faith. To journey to a place I knew not of. To step out of the boat. He would not tell me what was next, simply to leave the old and trust Him to lead me to the new.
The song Oceans, by Hillsong United had been released only days before this revelation. It begins with the verse:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
He was calling me out of my comfort zone into a place where I could learn to trust Him even more deeply. I was scared, but I knew that I had to step into that place of faith. I had no idea where this new path would take me, but I knew I wanted on it. And it turned out to be the beginning of a very intense, crazy, fun, challenging season.
God desires growth for us, because it means that we are looking more like Jesus. But growth rarely happens when we’re comfortable. It almost always requires stretching. But that is usually painful, isn’t it? On my own, I never would have chosen that path. But God chose to give me more change that I could handle on my own, so that I would be forced to rely on Him. He’s good like that, though. How would we ever know how big He is if we never had to run to Him for help?
I know that He can handle the big crises of life because He has brought me through the previous ones. So I knew that even though everything was changing, I would be safe because I could look back and attest to how God had led me before. And I knew that He was square in the middle of all of what was changing, and that is a very safe place to be.
If He is calling you out of your comfort zone – be encouraged! He has far, far better things that lay ahead. Let Him take you on adventures. He is writing your story.
Once upon a time… He called me out upon the waters… to begin a new adventure in my story.