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?