A little over two years ago I moved to the Central New Jersey shore area and God changed my life overnight; or at least that’s how it felt to me.
You see, prior to the move, I had spent the past three years working for myself. I loved the freedom that came with running my own business and having the ability to set my own schedule.
The type of clients that I had varied, and I knew that I was of value to them yet, something was missing.
As an extrovert I did not enjoy all the time I spent working alone. I missed that sense of community and collaboration with likeminded colleagues. I was also getting weary of the unpredictability that often comes during the first five years of starting a new business.
My income varied at times making it difficult to plan and to save money. Don’t get me wrong, as a single woman I was extremely blessed. After walking away from a full-time job with no type of strategic plan, God had provided me with clients that kept me self-employed for over three years. Yes, you heard me correctly, I became self-employed after God spoke to me and told me to quit my job. But that’s a faith story for another day.
Anyway, after three years of being self-employed I knew that something was missing. I began to question God, asking Him about my next career move. My specific question was, What am I supposed to do for the next phase of my life?
You see folks, your life isn’t an accident. You have a purpose that only you can fulfill. The Bible says, “All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was 1-day-old.” (Psalm 139:16 NCV).
Ephesians 2:10 declares “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” (NLT).
Before you were born, God gave you a unique mixture of spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personality, and experiences. There’s no one like you in the entire universe because, in part, there’s no one with your distinct blend of talents. It’s why your destiny is so individual. Before you were born, God wired you with certain ambitions, desires, and drives to play a role in history in expanding His Kingdom. It’s an assignment that only you can play. It’s your destiny; not your mother’s, not your father’s, not your husband’s or wife’s or even pastor’s destiny, it’s yours!
But here’s the painful part: You can miss God’s calling for your life. People do it all the time. In fact, you can go through your entire life and miss God’s purpose for your life — because getting to your destiny will require hard work and cause you to step into the field of the unknown. This means you often will be required to take a leap of faith without being able to predict or plan the outcome.
Don’t expect the process to be easy. I can guarantee you that it won’t. There will be lots of bumps throughout the process, but the trials are also a part of the journey as they help to strengthen your faith.
That journey begins with two crucial steps. (1) Saying “yes” to God and His plans for you and then (2) taking that first step. You see a key point is that Faith requires Action!
I recently read a book called “Extreme Prayer” by Greg Pruett. In the book the author explains that the Hebrew root word from which we get the biblical idea of faith means, “to consider something to be solid even though it is unseen.”
As far as God is concerned, your faith begins the moment that you take that first step. We show our faith in Him through our actions.
Moving into your destiny will require you to get off the boat like Peter did and do what God is telling you to do. Forget about what your friends are saying. Forget about what others may think about your decision. Again, we’re talking about your destiny, not theirs!
Think about Noah. If Noah had not obeyed God’s instructions to build the ark he would have drowned just like they did!
Also, when you take the step of faith, don’t expect God to give you the whole plan all at once; He rarely does. My own personal journey has taught me that God simply does not operate that way. He tends to give us just enough instruction to make that first step. He rarely gives us the whole plan because we couldn’t handle it. Our doubts, insecurities, and words that we speak would be in complete contrast of what he had planned for us because we aren’t capable of “seeing” the big picture. It happens time and time again. So many people abort the plans and calling for their life because of the words that they speak.
If you are unsure of whether you are making the correct move, ask Him! There have been times in that past where I wasn’t sure whether God or I was doing the directing. So, I would say, “God, I believe that you are leading me down this path so I will do what I think that you are telling me to do. If I am going down the wrong path, please correct me.”
Again, the key is not having the whole plan mapped out, the key is taking that first step to unlock the door.
So back to my story. After three years of being self-employed I began to think that it was time to do something different and I began to question God, asking him about my next career move.
You want to get God’s attention? Quote His words back to Him. I got real good at saying, “Lord, can you please share some of the thoughts and plans (Jeremiah 29:11) that you have for my life? What do you want me to do? What are my next steps as far as a career is concerned?”
Well, God answered me when, over two years ago, my favorite client offered me a full-time job with his company. It was a great offer. Truthfully, it was a God sized offer.
Being that it was such a great offer, you’d think that I would accept it, right? Well, that was far from the truth. I hesitated and wasn’t sure if I should accept the offer. Taking the job required that I move from Philadelphia to New Jersey.
Okay, so it’s not like I moved across country, but it was still a significant change. Plus, New Jersey was never on my top list of places where I could imagine living. You see, major changes, even the good ones, always evoke a range of emotions. At that time, I was in my early 50s and was quite settled in my daily routine. I’d have to leave my friends, family, and wonderful neighborhood. I hesitated thinking Who makes that kind of move at my age? It’s not like I was in my 20s or 30s. I wasn’t sure whether I should take the offer and I told my client that I would think about it during the weekend and get back to him.
On the drive back to Philly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I had been praying for a change. God was 100 percent continuing to direct my path just as he had done three years ago when the owner of the company became my first client after I walked away from my job.
So, almost two years ago I packed up my home and moved to the Jersey shore area. I’m now working full-time in as the Director of Operations & Organization Development for a family owned manufacturing company.
I continue to see God’s favor all over my life. I enjoy my job, work with wonderful people, and get to wear jeans to work! The icing on the cake is that I live eight short blocks from the beach. As I said earlier, living by the shore is the fulfilment of a childhood fantasy that I have had since grade school. As a young girl I would tell anyone that would listen that I was going to live at the shore one day.
Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I know first-hand how true this is. I am living the reality today because I always believed that it would happen and spoke it into existence. Even when I had no money I continued to believe that my dream would come true.
My friend Stephanie can attest to this. Years ago, we were driving to the shore in Brigantine New Jersey. Stephanie was busy looking for a parking space. I was no help at all because I was preoccupied looking at houses that were for sale. The funny thing was, at that time the thought of living by the shore was just a pipe dream. There was nothing happening in my current state that would even begin to suggest that I would one day soon be living by the beach. To make matters worse, I had recently become self-employed had no money for the down payment for a beach house. I couldn’t have bought it even if I had found one at a bargain price! Despite my temporary status of having limited funds, I never forgot who my Heavenly Father was. I knew then as I have always known, that I was God’s child and that My Father specialized in making the impossible possible.
I’m now in what I call Phase Three of this season of my faith walk. Phase 1 involved leaving my full-time job and chartering into the space of the unknown while Phase 2 was centered on my move from Philly to the Jersey Shore area and closing my consulting business to go to work as a full-time employee with my former client.
Phase 3 is still a mystery to me. I am enjoying my life tremendously and have minimal, if any, stress. The summers are particularly nice because I live by the beach. Every day in the summer feels like a vacation day. Plus, I get to offer a free vacation to friends, family and women that need a place to retreat.
God continues to bless me tremendously, yet deep down inside I know that there is more. I’ve started to ask God what my ultimate purpose is for being here at the Jersey Shore.
What I’m trying to say is that I am clear that God (1) did not take away my financial concerns, (2) have me pack up my world, (3) leave my family and friends all for my pleasure! I am 100 percent sure that this move is so not about me.
God gave each of us a unique purpose in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
We all have a part to play in advancing his Kingdom.
Do I have the rest of the answers? No!
Am I 100 percent sure of what God wants me to do? The answer is again, “No!”
Do I have any fear about my ability to be successful? Absolutely!
Some of the projects and areas that I am beginning to walk in are scary to me. I feel uncomfortable and out of my element. The vision is too big and is way over my head. Just the mere thought makes me want to run back and continue to make excuses like I have been doing for the past several years.
However, I will no longer make excuses, ignoring the soft voice that constantly whispers “move” in my ear.
But I trust God that as I remain faithful he will continue to direct me. So, while I wait for more directions from Him, I’m busy acclimating myself to the new area and remaining committed to the projects that He has me working on, and praising Him throughout the day.
Remember, don’t think that you must have the whole plan mapped out before you begin to move. The key to break through to your divine purpose requires action on your part. Your role is to say “yes” to God, pray for His direction and begin to move! I promise you that He will provide you with direction. He’s done it for me time and time again and He’ll do it for you.
Just began to move!!!
Whatever task, assignment project that you are supposed to be doing, it’s time to begin now. Have faith. Trust Him. And believe that He keeps His promises!!
When you are praying for guidance in what He has planned for your life, He will absolutely provide you with direction. The Bible clearly states this over and over again and we all know that God isn’t like us, He doesn’t lie or break His promises!
As I end this blog, I’d like us to take a look at a portion of Hebrews 11, vs 1-11.
The message translation states:
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.”
It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference.
That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous.
By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know because of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.
Wow, I just have to pause here for a minute. Did you really get deep down in your spirit what was written?
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith, he lived in the country promised him; lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the city designed and built by God.
By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant; old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what He said!
So, now I’m turning the attention on you. I’ve shared examples of my own faith walk and we looked at some biblical examples of faith stories.
My question to you is: What has God placed in your heart? What dreams are you holding on to but have been too afraid to act on because of a lack of money, family commitments, fear, or any other type of excuse?
Just like Peter had to, it’s time for you to get off the boat.
Pray to God. Ask Him to lead you and I promise that he will be there with you every step of the way!
It’s faith and action that He wants from you! Stop doubting and second guessing; it’s time to move!
In the section below, write one or two steps that you are going to take. Make sure that you include a target date to have that action completed by.
Remember, Psalm 23. God promised that He would guide you just as the shepherd guides his sheep. You make the first move, Believe, and hold Him to His promises! He’ll do it for you just as He has done it for me, time and time again!