Have you ever felt like you were being prompted to move in a direction but scared to death to step off the ledge of the unknown in faith? Well, the Winge family has stepped off that ledge and is moving to Houston, Texas. Those of you that have known our family are probably picking yourselves up off the floor. “What??? We thought you would be at Journey forever. Your family has been here since almost the beginning,” are some of the things you may be thinking. Let me assure you we thought the same thing. We thought we would be here forever. We have raised our kids here, our extended families live here, and our life was so neat, tidy, and comfortable. I guess that was the issue though… We were too comfortable. In the midst of the seemingly “right” world there was a sense of restlessness in Casey and I. This restlessness started small but over a year or so continued to grow. We prayed, we fasted, and we told God, “Whatever you want us to do or wherever you want us to go we will do it! Just drop it in our laps and speak to us in a burning bush and we will obey.
Then we heard a message preached about stepping off the ledge in faith. I read two books that both talked about stepping off a blind ledge in faith. Everywhere I went I kept hearing the same thing. The reality is that fear of the unknown and “what if’s” were controlling us. One day my husband said to me, “You need to stop talking yourself out of whatever God has planned for you and step out and do something. Let Him open and close doors, but you have to do your part by stepping out.” His words went off like a bell in my head. So I did. Through a series of events and a time frame of a couple of months I found myself accepting a position at Vanderbloemen Search Group as an Executive Search Consultant. I see how God put together years of ministry learning lessons and victories to prepare me for this. He opened doors and gave me continual confirmation along the way. I will now be working for the “Big C” Church to help churches navigate through staffing changes.
The last few weeks have been crazy, but this is what we have learned:
- The first step off the ledge is the hardest. To keep going down the path that God has allowed you to start walking becomes easier with each step, but that first step that has to be taken by us to get on the path is tough. It takes every bit of courage you can muster. At some point all of us have to engage in a moment of boldness, close our eyes and just step. Your step may not take you half way across the United States but it will take you to a place that isn’t comfortable, has a lot of “what if’s”, and makes you wonder of you are a little bit crazy. Proverbs 3:6 (NLT) tells us, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
- Saying goodbye is ALWAYS hard. Even when you know you are walking down a path God has shown you, leaving the old path is difficult. The old path is full of beautiful memories, deep relationships, and life-change moments. We are allowing ourselves to feel the emotions that come along with this. It is okay to shed some tears, to go down memory lane, and it is so important to tell the people you love how much they mean to you. There are many life-altering circumstances that don’t allow us the privilege of saying goodbye. When we have the opportunity we need to seize it and look at it as the blessing it truly is.
- God is sovereign all of the time. Throughout the entire process of transition there are many moving parts. We figure out, in our minds, our best-case scenario. What we need to always remember is that God has a big plan. He can always see the big picture that is for our best. Sometimes the steps along our path seem random or unorthodox, but we can rest assured that they are not. The same God that created the heavens and earth with great care and detail has created a plan for us with that same amount of care and detail. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
- It is time to enlarge our territory. Fifteen years ago, along with every Christian in North America, I read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, based on a prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4:10. I taught on this passage of scripture not very long ago and was reminded by a friend this week of the story I told of how I had prayed this prayer. As a stay at home mom of a toddler I had no idea how it could happen, but I prayed God would bless me and expand my territory. My friend looked at me and said, “God is enlarging your territory again.” If there had ever been a time when someone’s words washed over be as undeniable truth it was then. I had not even thought about it until that point, but it was truth. Whenever God walks us down a path our territory will increase. Our job is to bring Glory to God in a new territory.
As we embark on this new journey we are reminded of how it all starts with a sense of restlessness that created a catalyst moment into a leap of faith. Is there a God given sense of restlessness in you? Are you willing to take that first step of faith off the ledge? It is both the most terrifying and exhilarating step we can ever take, but so worth it!