Sunday, September 28, 2014

Transition

For the last few years, I have felt more like I was following God's plan for my life than I ever have before.  My family and I have been spending our summers in Nicaragua working with our Ministry, Light and Life Missions.  We worked during the school year both in the school system.  We have had a great schedule with more flexibility and free time than I had ever had in my life.  Opportunities for ministry were coming our way on a pretty regular schedule and we were doing all that we knew and believed that God had called us to do. The thought had settled in my mind that we were finally settled.  We were finally in that place where we were living the dream of being in "ministry".

In February that all changed.  During my private prayer time God spoke the word transition to me.  It caught me off guard.  I wasn't really looking for it, for the most part I was very sure of the direction my life, (which includes my family, job, ministry, missions and so much more) and I was not seeking God to change things.  I was comfortable.  Balanced.  The last thing on my mind was "transition".

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he takes delight in his way.
Psalms 37:23
I spent the next few days asking Him about this word, transition, what did He mean, what was He doing, where was I going next?  He remained quite, only ever saying to me that one word, transition.  Never elaborating, no details.  Finally without what I could see as real answers, I shared this with my wife, Arellys.  We agreed to fast and pray and try to hear from Him.  Anytime that God speaks to me about change in our lives my first thought is that we are going to be selling everything and moving to Nicaragua.  After several days of seeking Him, we both came to an understanding that that was not what He intended.  The only clarity that we received is that we both heard form the Lord that this transition was going to be into an even greater role in ministry.  More full time, more missions oriented.

Having not heard much more than that, we decided to wait.  We would simply wait on Him to open a door.  No change, no planning or preparation.  Just wait on Him to open a door.  I hate waiting.

A few weeks later, without fail, the door opened.  I was approached by James Graham, my friend, a spiritual father, and the Director of International Gospel Outreach, IGO.  The missions organization that we are apart of.  James asked if I would pray about and consider coming on staff at the IGO offices in Semmes and become the Director of Missionary Training for IWM, Institute for World Ministry.  I knew immediately that God had opened a door.  I also knew immediately that transition was going to be a bigger change than I had considered.  I never considered that I would be asked to take on such a role in IGO.  I felt like it was over my head, out of my league, beyond my skill set. (I could go on).

Since the offer, I have started working in the IGO office a couple days a week as I make the transition into my new role.  By January, my plan is to be there full time.  In the last few weeks since this change had taken place I have been amazed daily by the people that I have met, the stories that I have heard and the opportunities that I am seeing to do even more in missions than I ever dreamed possible.

The whole journey started with one simple word.  No burning bush.  No light from heaven.  A simple still small voice in my heart that said one word "transition".  That moment has now set in place a chain of events that I could have never planned or asked for.  That one moment of direction without details, has changed my life, my future, my family, my forever.  It has not been easy at all times and through every step, but it has been and is worth it.

I struggle because I like to know what is going on.  I like to know the plan.  I like to take it one step at a time.  But in this, God has chosen to do it His way.  And as He always does, He knows best.

I want you to be challenged by this like I have been.  Faith is an amazing thing.  Ever changing, either growing or dying, Faith is crucial to our ability to follow Him.  Faith launches out in obedience without any tangible assurance.  Faith listens to the word transition and patiently follows as He orders our steps.  It is not random.  It is not coincidental.  Each step has been planned.  And each misstep on your part or mine had been prepared for.  We cannot catch Him off guard.  He is ready.  He knows. Too many times in my life I have missed out on opportunity to see and experience great things.  Too many times I have wanted to make my own decision, follow my own path.  This time, it is totally different.  But I am ready to see obedience as it's own reward and ready to see what God is up to in this.