It's a new year and it brings fresh starts, renewed commitments, and revitalized focus. Most people, including myself spend New Years Eve, New Years Day or both, reflecting, planning, journaling and thinking about the year coming to a close, and the new one about to begin. For some there is regret, others, celebration. Maybe there are success stories or maybe mourning's over things not done...again in the past year. On December 1st, 2016 after 6 months of mentally and emotionally wrestling with God, I ended one journey and started another. I left the safety and dependency of doing contract work for another company to stepping out to walk solely dependent on God. This wasn't a get another job kind of ending and beginning. It was a complete walk away with no clue what was next dependency journey. One that required not only trusting Him to keep me afloat financially but to not let me drown in a feared level of despair with a lack of purpose. I was terrified to take such a huge step into the absolute unknown. I had taken similar steps before when God prompted me, but this time felt entirely like stepping out of a boat and onto the water with no land or flotation devices in sight.
For the following 30 days after that decision was finalized, a myriad of emotions, doubts, fears (and periodic I can do this elation's) poured over me. Yes, He called me out of the boat. I did that. So, why was I just standing there looking at it (and many times seriously thinking about getting back in)? I am pretty sure I was supposed to start walking, but to where, I had no idea! So I did what most of us do...I started working out what to do next, (all the while hanging onto the side of the boat). I started sketching out ideas and creating some pretty awesome things. I was writing again and feeling inspired! Some days it felt awesome, and others, it felt all wrong. So I'd rethink and tweak the plans, add and take away ideas, and then some days, I would just plop down in a fearful blubbering mass of confusion and wonder what on earth am I doing? Questioning did I hear God right? If so how come I cant get my thoughts together? What about income? PANIC!! Was I going to drown?
I kept forgetting the most fundamentally important thing; To ask God what my next step was. Most of us will hear God to a point. We usually don't have the full picture or we have pieces of it before we take action on our own. So like me, you probably learn the hard way.. On December 31st, I stumbled across the movie, "God's Not Dead" at a point where the main actor was being challenged to do a hard thing most would avoid and walk away from. That 1 minute point in the movie, knocked me on my ear. I shut off the TV and closed my eyes and said what's next God? What do you really want me to do now that I am outside of the boat? He answered..and well, I did not like the answer.
If any of you reading this post have heard or read the story about Jonah, then you will have an inkling to how I felt in that moment. Actually, it strongly occurred to me that I knew all along what He wanted me to do. In fact, in that moment, I realized that I hadn't "not" asked Him what was next. He hadn't "not" spoken to me the answer. The truth is, I just didn't like what He told me. So I, much like Jonah, had been running (or rather treading water) those past 30 days..not just 3 like Jonah. Thinking back I think it felt much like I was in the belly of a fish!
Yes, God said get out of the boat. So I did. I'd done that before. I'd stepped outside my comfort zone many times when He would call me outside the boat. But this time, He was not only asking me to trust Him to provide and guide, but He was asking me to do something that was way...way out of my comfort zone, just like He had asked Jonah. So like Jonah, I dismissed it with lots of great ideas until I could not avoid Him any longer.
This time what He is asking, requires much more faith. Much more trust. Much more dependancy. That's really how it goes doesnt it? We cant go deeper, higher or further with God and stay the same or in the comfort of the boat. God always calls us to step outside. But what happens on the water is where the real growth happens. The deeper we want to go with God, the deeper He requires us to go. When God calls us to get out of the boat and walk on water with Him, sometimes the water will be calm, and sometimes it will be tumultuous. But nonetheless, He is calling. What will you do? Stay in the boat, get out and stand next to it, or with one step at a time, start walking as He leads you? Jonah finally listened and did what God was asking him to do. On New Years Day, I said YES and started walking into the unknown and into my greatest fear. And wow! Once again, He is blowing my mind with what He is showing me and where He is, and will be taking me!
The comfort zone of our boats is deceptive. Yes, we can have a good life staying in it. But how much more awaits us if we step out? If God is calling you to walk on water with Him, oh my friend, don't be like how Jonah started... be like how he ended. God's got you and you will be blown away at what will happen next!
Don't forget to pick up a copy of my book, "Confessions of a Feel Good Addict"
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