It has been 9 years since God introduced me to “Total Surrender.” I didn’t know what those words meant, but I was being led to follow them. I surrendered everything in my life at the time. I had to trust God would lead me to safety. I took both of my hands off of my marriage, kids, church, friends, family, job and reputation.
When I trusted God with my deepest secrets of my addiction to sex, and shared them with Christi, He in turn gave me a peace and a real hope that my life would be different. Ever since the day I gave up control, He has continued to mold me into a new person. Many of the things I used to consider fearful, I now run to with excitement. I hear the still small voice. The times I pushed back from the voice, I was miserable. The times I obeyed the voice, He revealed His plan.
Last winter, I believed He was calling me to take Changing Lanes to a full time ministry in May 2013. By the end of May, only 10% of the required monthly support was raised.
10%? “God, I thought I heard your voice? I am ready to quit my job, but I can’t live on 10%.”
So, I stayed at my full time job.
In late July, Plumbline and Changing Lanes received an offer to be my host church’s “Ministry of the Month” (M.O.M). What an honor to have a place to spotlight Changing Lanes and ask for support. Unfortunately, we had less than two weeks to prepare. The church agreed to move both ministries to January of this year.
Around Christmas, I learned that the M.O.M had been pushed back to February. Plumbline would be showcased the first two Sundays and Changing Lanes would be the last two Sundays. No problem. The dates were setting up perfectly for me to have all my materials and promotional video in place. But, things changed…
On the second Sunday, Plumbline’s video time was reduced. Only half of their video was shown. The other half were to be shown the following week, my week. “Hey, wait a second. Why I am I being bumped?” I didn’t say it, but my thoughts raced with self-pity. Now I was to only have one week in February. I was mad, angry and frustrated at why should I be the one forced to lose time. What I didn’t realize, and God did, my next week would be one that could impact my life…
Tuesday morning, as I was waiting to board a plane to Salt Lake City, I received an email from my department’s VP. The email simply stated I would need to move to one of three locations across the USA and how soon could I move. What?! I forgot one small fact; I had to respond by the end of the week. Stunned, I read the email several times hoping it was a mistake.
The company has been asking several employees to move out of state to a new headquarters. However, we were not required to make a decision until later in the summer. The VP’s email has pushed up my decision date. If I tell them I will move, I move. If I tell them I am unable to move, an end date for my employment with the company will be determined.
My initial desire is to stall the decision as long as I can. If I ask a series of questions, maybe I can stall a month or longer. On Friday, I sent my first response, two questions. My plan was assuming I would not receive a response for several days. I received a response within 45 minutes! This long drawn out process now looks like it could take less than a week.
Anger, depression, anxiety, and fear should have taken over my weekend, but something different occurred. As it states in Philippians 4:7, I received a peace that goes beyond all understanding. During the last several weeks, God was starting to place on my heart that the time to move to fulltime ministry may be approaching. Now it appears it may be almost here.
On Sunday, as I shared my story of the email and how my speaking date had been changed, I mentioned that I don’t understand the timing of everything. Another member of the group very eloquently said “It is pretty obvious to me.” The Holy Spirit used the statement to hit me across the head.
Everything suddenly was in focus. God’s hand was directing everything. I was just too close to see it.
The date for me to speak at the church and ask for help was delayed to allow me to do something specific. I had to come back to a place I knew well, “Total Surrender!”
When I asked for people to support the ministry in the past, I used my job as my financial security blanket. If people did not provide support, I could trust in my job to meet my financial needs, “Who needs to trust God if you have a job.” But now, I have the opportunity to completely surrender my job before I ask for people to support the ministry.
On Monday, I sent an email to the VP stating I would not be able to relocate. Now, I wait for HR to contact me with an end date for my employment. I went from giving God one hand to hold onto and holding onto my job with the other, to giving Him both hands.
The following Sunday, I shared my original story of surrender and my new story of surrender. I was able to ask for help without a safety net. I will either survive or fail through God’s strength. Whatever happens going forward, He will get the glory!