“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”
– Isaiah 43:19
“If you don’t mind my asking, are you still blogging and hosting your podcast? I get the sense you were going strong, but have let up.” Yikes. The questions asked and observations made by a new leadership coaching client of mine caught me totally off guard. While I did my best to answer his questions, I felt like I had a million thoughts swirling in my head and did not even know where to begin.
As I have had others ask me the same, as I mentioned in last week’s post, Choosing Faith in Uncertain Times, I want to provide a bit of an update on my current path as well as some backstory. This is going to take a few blog posts, so please hang with me.
Long story short, God has been teaching me many lessons over the last year (and even more in the last few weeks with everything going in our world) and I feel like I am finally getting my head around things enough to the point I can begin to sort through them and share. Hopefully the lessons I am learning will encourage you as well on your own journey. So here it goes…
So last March I shared that I was excited to start a new ministry, Called Up. With much prayer and the best of intentions I launched my podcast and started taking active steps to stand up the other areas of the ministry including speaking offerings and coaching groups geared for Christian women.
That said, in May I decided to participate in a group somewhat similar to what I had envisioned facilitating. I thought it would be great to experience something like it first hand not only to grow personally, but to also get a better sense of what I wanted to facilitate, how I wanted to structure my offerings, etc. While the coach facilitating the group was amazing and the other women in the group wonderful, I had an unexpected revelation during our time together. Rather than gaining excitement to move forward with my own vision, I walked away realizing that I did not feel remotely called to lead such groups on my own, it just was not the right fit.
Not only did my vision for my coaching groups seem to fall flat, but speaking engagements on this front were not exactly picking up steam either, and honestly, I had little motivation to promote them. My friend Maria Guy (who shared so many great insights in Episode #3 of the Called Up podcast) said something once that has stuck with me. She made a comment about how when it comes to her life and career she has learned to “ride the thermals” referring to how birds ride air currents and climb higher while expending little energy. From a Christian faith perspective, it is the idea of moving where God is giving you favor and producing fruit.
Now I want to be careful here, because there are many times when God calls us to hard things, but that is it still where we are supposed to be. So this certainly takes prayer and discernment, but as I reflected on my own path, I realized that while nothing about it had been, or was easy, God was blessing my work in the career and leadership areas and giving me a total peace about spending my time and energy there while also moving into a new space that I have been interested in for years (but more on that another time).
So why did I feel led to start Called Up? Why did my vison for my coaching groups for Christian women die before even starting? Honestly, I don’t know.
What I do know though is that if we are going to follow God in faith and ultimately make our highest contribution, we need to continually assess where we are, where He is calling us to go and what course corrections we need to make. We need to recognize that things do not always turn out how we first envisioned, that sometimes God’s ultimate plan looks different then what we thought it would. We need to realize and accept that changing course does not mean we have failed, rather, staying on a course we are not called to be on is the real tragedy.
With that in mind, let me leave you with this thought and challenge:
If you feel like you are floundering, like you are on a path you are no longer meant to be on, ask yourself the following questions and try to answer in 1 – 2 sentences:
What path are you currently on that you do not feel called to be on?
What is keeping you on this path?
What are you afraid of? What are trying to hide? What are you trying to prove, to whom?
Where do you believe God is calling you? What does His word say about this? (He will never lead us somewhere contrary to His Word.)
What course correction do you need to make?
What will your first step be?
For me, the answers to these questions are clear and I am doing the best I know how to take steps forward in faith. To be totally transparent, our current world reality with COVID-19 is making my way forward seem that much more unsure and challenging. I’m guessing many of your can relate. But I am confident that when God chooses to do something new and lead us on a new path, as Isaiah 43:19 says, He can make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. As you take steps forward, do what you can and then trust God for the rest.
I’m looking forward to sharing more in upcoming posts. For now, may we all be encouraged knowing God is with us, leading us every step of the way, making a way as only He can.