Conntecting the Dots

Facing Change with Confidence

"The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life...'" (Psalm 32:8)

Nearly two years have passed since a stranger’s phone call added a new dimension to my writing and speaking career. The stranger was a man from Toronto, a recent university graduate seeking to establish a marketing firm. He was exploring the possibility of promoting Canadian authors as experts in their field.

“I found you online,” he said. “Your work interests me and I want to talk further. Please send me a copy of your last book and several magazine articles that you’ve written. I want to get inside your head.”

That call came within two weeks of my receiving the disappointing news that Moving from Fear to Freedom was going to be remaindered (aka “axed”) for low sales. Thankfully that news later proved to be mistaken, but, in the meantime, it forced me to face the painful death of my vision for that book’s message. I’d also just received a letter from a major player in my writing career, stating that she was moving on to other pursuits.

In tears I’d phoned a trusted friend. “I don’t know what to do,” I said. “Maybe I’m done as a writer, or maybe this is God’s way of changing my direction.”

My friend listened. Then, in her wise way, she said, “I’m going to pray that God will show you the next step.” And that’s what she did.

The stranger’s phone call arrived two weeks later. One thing led to another—a mentoring course with a woman who trains corporate speakers, the joining of a local business women’s network, the winning of a 3-day business management course, and the birth of a new vision that will take me far beyond my church-based comfort zone.

I’ve deliberately moved s-l-o-w-l-y because I want to be sure that I’m not misreading divine cues or rushing ahead of God. I’ve felt no need to move quickly, rather, I’m compelled to lay a strong foundation and build on it with excellence.

Truth be told, I think fear has also contributed to my turtle pace. What if my new pursuit fails? What if I make a fool of myself? What if no one buys into my vision? Moving forward means releasing or revamping present commitments. It means taking a hard look at my schedule, time investments, and more. It means a lot of hard work.

I’m facing change, and change is not comfortable. God knows that. He also knows my misgivings and weaknesses. That’s why, I believe, He prompted me to open a particular book this morning. This book has been sitting in a basket beside my loveseat for who-knows-how-long, ignored ‘til now due to my busy schedule, but ignored no longer. I picked up the book and flipped through its pages. These are the words that caught my attention:

“Many of us need reinvented lives. We are living a rerun, and we need fresh stories, maybe some new characters to enter our story. If you’re going to engage in a journey with God, if you are going to follow the God who created you, if you’re going to explore mysterious, dangerous, unknown, uncertain places—then you need to know how to reinvent yourself. You have to learn how to adapt…

“Because if you’re going to dare to imagine and pursue the dreams God has for your life, if you’re going to create the life of your dreams, you have to be willing and ready to change. The skills and competencies and experiences you’ve had in the past will not be enough for every challenge you will face in the future. They are enough to prepare you, but not enough to sustain you. You must build on the past but live for the future.” (Wide Awake, Erwin Raphael McManus)

Are you facing change today? If so, take heart. Change is sometimes uncomfortable, but you and I can face it with confidence knowing that God directs our steps. He created us, He has a plan and purpose for our lives. He’s perfectly able to communicate with us when our hearts are intent on honoring Him. Besides, He’s promised to lead: “The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’” (Psalm 32:8).

With that knowledge in mind, I plan to spend the next three days with God, my Bible, my journal, and Wide Awake. I anticipate asking God to advise me and to guide me through the changes ahead. And I choose to face them with confidence.

How about you? Are you facing changes? If so, what are they, and how are you navigating them?

Photo courtesy: ChristianPhotos.Net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

4 Responses to “Facing Change with Confidence”

  1. Marji Laine

    Grace,
    I feel like you’re speaking directly to me. One of your other recent blog articles so affected me I couldn’t even respond, which is really odd for me!

    I know God is being gentle in His leading, yet insistent that I leave behind the familiarities that I cling to and move on to a new place of service to Him. The unknown will be made known in His time.

    Thanks for the confirmation!

    Reply
    • Grace

      I often wish that His timing agreed with my timing! I want the unknown to be known to me NOW, thank you. If that was understood, then it would be much easier to leave the familiarities behind and move to that new place of service.

      Reply
  2. Gwen

    I too have been wondering what next steps I should take. My speaking engagements have all but dried up in mew places and so my route is reruns. I’m slowly dying of inertia. I don’t feel I have it in me to write a book anymore. I had great plans a few years ago but have also let that one die.
    This past winter I struggled with depression if you can imagine me down. I was like the ever ready bunny for years and now I feel like I’ve had a slow plunging plateau. I have seen the doctor and have bee nput on meds but wondered how I should pray these days.

    Perhaps it’s time to stop and re-evaluate where my life is going. Maybe it’s because I turned sixty this year-who knows?
    Reading your blog gave me new hope for another pathway.Thanks for being so upfront and real. I do so appreciate you and your ministry to my own heart.

    Reply
    • Grace

      Gwen, I like your thot re: stopping and re-evaluating where your life is going. Sometimes, I believe, God re-directs. That means making changes that aren’t always feel-good. Sometimes He prunes us to produce more fruit, and that’s often a painful process. A good book to read is “The Secret of the Vine” by Bruce Wilkinson. He has some really good insights re: what God wants to do in our lives.

      Reply

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