It’s an unsettling feeling, when you feel God calling you out of your comfort zone so He can wrap you in the comfort of His love and protection.
In the pit of your stomach you know what you’re feeling is from God, it has to be, especially when what you’re experiencing is something you never would have thought of or dreamed of on your own. It makes you nauseous, uncomfortable and an emotional mess. You realize this is an answer to your relentless prayers but desperately want to believe there has to be a different option, another way.
But what I learned throughout the trials in my own life is that God’s way is the only way. God’s way is the perfect way. He has my best interests at heart. I should never want anything other than His best.
Even when things don’t make sense, even when I don’t want to enter through the open door that lies before me, even when and no matter what, I must choose to step out of what is comfortable and into what is unknown. Experience has taught me that when you choose to move ahead you’ll find yourself traveling on a paved road of God’s perfect promises. A road that was already in place long before you even began the journey.
I’ve questioned God’s direction a few times over the years but never have I doubted His plan. My faith has been strengthened each time I chose to step out in faith and fully surrender my trust to Him. I’ve been rewarded with wisdom that can only come from surviving and thriving through multiple trials and for that, I am eternally grateful. Yet, moving forward doesn’t come easily.
Several weeks ago, I felt God whispering an answer to a persistent prayer I’ve prayed over the last six months. At first, it shocked me to my core. Much like it did when I felt God leading my family to relocate from Arizona back home to Michigan. It caught me off guard but then I considered the big picture and how specific circumstances led to that exact moment.
I was driving when I felt God’s gentle tugs at my heart. He brought me back to the previous day and reminded me of the stirrings of restlessness. I wanted more for my life, mainly because I know God has more available, and that day He was offering me the gift to receive the more He planned for my life. (ref: Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 139:16)
Immediately, I was on the defense. Firing off a series of questions, He willingly received each one and without any hesitation responded back. It was almost as if He was prepared for my questions and concerns. Who am I kidding? Of course He knew how I would react because He knows the depths of my heart! Still, I was overcome. He was offering me everything I desired and everything I never knew I wanted or thought was possible. With tears in my eyes, I threw my hands in the air and submitted a big “YES” to my Maker even though there was so much I didn’t understand. So much that didn’t make sense. Instead of ignoring what I was feeling, I chose to pursue faith over fear.
“Silver and gold are tested by flames of fire; our thoughts are tested by the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 17:3 (CEV)
I used my past experiences of being tested to remind myself of God’s faithfulness and fruition. I could fearlessly enter into the unknown because I knew my God was with me.
“I praise You, Lord, for being my guide. Even in the darkest night, Your teachings fill my mind. I will always look to You, as You stand beside me and protect me from fear. With all my heart, I will celebrate, and I can safely rest.” ~ Psalm 16:7-9 (CEV)
I said “yes” before understanding the completeness of what I was saying “yes” to. All I knew was that I wanted what God was offering to me. I had no clue when or how I would receive it, but I had trust and faith that what God had for me was good, right and true.
So I did something bold to demonstrate my obedience. I took a took a big step outside of my comfort zone to signify I was ready to move forward. For two weeks, I prayed. But then something happened. A roadblock of sorts. The world was telling me “no” after I faithfully committed my “yes” to God. These weren’t “not yets” or “maybes” I was facing, these were hard “no’s” that challenged the road I was on.
I found myself at a crossroads where two paths intersected.
There was the clean, clear, and straight path on the right, the one that was full of the world’s “no’s” and offered a whole bunch of other options, possibilities, and what ifs. Then, there was the rugged, crooked, and “under-construction” path on the left. This one was a work in progress, not a fast return nor smooth sailing. It was far from an easy road to take, I could tell that just from looking at it. This one was full of God’s promises and many hopeful “yes’s.” It’s a road less traveled but one that paves the way for many more opportunities of experiencing God’s best. It’s a path that says, “Even if the world tells you ‘no,’ nothing can change what I declared to be ‘yes.’”
It’s a road that reminds me what is impossible with man is possible with God. (It is no coincidence that the word “possible” is tucked safely within the word “impossible!” It’s like God’s way of saying, “I’m possible.”)
“Nothing is impossible for God!” ~ Luke 1:37 (CEV)
My “yes” to God may have looked like a big, fat “N-O!” from the world but I knew in my heart that I needed to persist in obeying God’s call. My bold step forward was simply another test in my life’s journey – was I really “all in”? Saying “yes” was one thing, but was I willing to fully trust? To diligently do the work needed? To put in the time? To patiently wait for a promise that only God knows when it will occur?
Yes. Yes I was.
I mean, yes I am.
I am ALL IN.
Little steps at a time will move you forward but it is the leaps of faith that allow God to move mountains. Those leaps may have periods of rest in between, but they are preparing you for what is ahead. Selah. Some leaps may be bigger than others and we must not only be ready for them, but also have the endurance built up to take them.
Friend, what appears to be a “no” from the world may just be a roadblock on your journey. A difficult series of challenges that are merely stopping points to pause, reflect and consider what is next.
Maybe right now you’re supposed to catch your breath and wait. Maybe the road you are on is under “unanticipated” construction. Maybe you made a wrong turn and need to be redirected to a different course. Or maybe, just maybe, your road hasn’t even been created yet. Maybe you need to take life one step at a time. Allow God to prepare you for what’s to come. And wait.
Saying “yes” to God is always a step in the right direction. You may not always know the “why,” “where,” “what” or “how” of what God is calling you to do, but friend, you can certainly rest in knowing God is right there beside you. Choose faith over fear as you venture into the unknown. There is purpose in your patience and freedom when you give up control. It sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. I’ve been there before and I’m right there with you now. I don’t know what this roadblock means for my own life, but I will continue to say “yes” to whatever God has for me.
I say “yes” while I wait.