Following God’s Call Even When It’s Risky – How a Leap of Faith Changed Everything
Here’s my story of following God’s call even when it’s risky. It’s not easy, but it is one of the most amazing things when we leap into the call that God has for us.
You must know – I was never the most spontaneous person.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of spontaneity, but when it comes down to it, I prefer to think things over for a while, ask others their opinions and spend time praying. Lots and lots of time.
You may wonder if I’m an over-thinker. I am. I consider every possibility of every decision before I make it.
I berate myself with the what-if’s and the fear of choosing wrong.
So let me tell you how I got to the point of quitting a Master’s program and diving into an unreliable, risky and uncertain job path.
The Confusing Juggle of Job Searching
I graduated college with a degree in Biopsychology. I loved it and it deepened my understanding of how people work and the science behind it. But this major does not set you up for a right-out-of-college job.
I loved psychology and I loved helping people. So naturally, I decided to pursue a Master’s in counseling.
I was quick to discover that counseling wasn’t for me. I love to counsel, mentor and support. But I love to do these things as a friend, not a professional. After discovering that, I moved back home and got a job-which I LOVED.
Starting to see the pattern? I love lots of things.
I worked in a Multiple Learning Needs program with children with autism, ADHD and other amazing kids. I had a knack for understanding these kids and helping them overcome their challenges and find success and I thrived in this job.
But it was really a temporary job because I was getting married and moving states. And so I continued to wrack my mind for what I wanted to do with my life.
I felt pressure on all sides to pursue something greater, something reliable, something that would be sure to provide for me no matter where my life took me.
So I juggled several ideas-teaching, research, psychology, nursing. I prayed and researched programs and tried to decide which would allow me the most freedom to do what I really wanted to do – write.
In the end, I decided on teaching. It would work, right? Summers off, snow days, no weekends. I’d have the life I wanted and I’d be able to use all those free times to write.
I dug into an online Master’s and with the program’s convenience and accessibility, I was breezing through the coursework. I love kids, I love helping kids learn and I love the idea of teaching.
But this all was put to the test when it was time for the student teaching portion.
My program was a mess. Online programs are great, but when it comes to placing you in a real school – they really fall short.
The staff treated me terribly for pushing for a closer location and I felt attacked on all sides.
Things weren’t going smoothly anymore. And it was a slap in the face to look at the situation a little more closely.
I tried SO hard to find a way to make it work. I spent hours researching every school within a reasonable radius, created spreadsheets, made phone calls, sent emails and filled out forms. I stressed day and night about finding something, anything.
And door after door was slammed shut.
What was I doing wrong? I’d prayed about this path. I thought God called me to it?
God put an option before me. A placement that had a con list triple the size of the pro. It would wear me thin and drain me. It would make for a terrible semester on every front in my life. But it was there.
It was as if God was saying, “If you really want to do this, here’s the option. But if you listen to Me, I have something so much greater.”
I couldn’t fight this feeling and so finally, I broke down and I started listening. I stopped forging ahead and trying to fit my ideas of what was best into God’s plan. Instead, I sought God’s will and boy, was I amazed.
God had been there all along, but my voice had drowned Him out over and over again.
I had listened to the pressure and sought the comfort of the world, the financial stability that only God could truly provide.
Slowly, the idea of writing began to take hold. I spent a lot of time talking through the options with my husband and those I trust and I realized that teaching was not what I had made it out to be.
I have friends that teach and I admire them deeply for it. They never stop. It’s a lot of work and it is SUCH an important job. But it was nothing like I had pictured. And it wasn’t fitting into the box I’d put God into.
All while this was happening, God was opening doors beyond belief in another direction. I started this blog and I was getting GREAT feedback. I was learning ways that I could actually make money writing. Something I never dreamed of becoming a reality.
So I had to decide. Do I forge into the difficult, draining and yet reliable path of becoming a teacher?
Or do I take a leap of faith and jump into the unknown of writing and follow the call that God placed before me?
I did it. I took the leap. My husband and I took a careful look at our budget, a part-time job fell into place, and my blog was growing-fast.
What seemed to be a crazy and stupid decision to most people, was actually working out.
And as I did this, I received support and affirmation in constant and overwhelming waves.
Responding to God’s call took something that most of us aren’t good at.
Most of us talk at God and not with Him. We come to God with our expectations and the perfect idea of what we want out of life.
I was doing just that. It wasn’t until I stepped back and realized God’s unfathomable power that I started to see that all along, He was calling me to simply listen.
Every time I had been faced with the “What do I do with my life?” question, God had been there with an answer. I can clearly remember writing being placed before me time and time again. But I had brushed it off every time. It wasn’t reliable, it wasn’t steady, it wasn’t possible.
My idea of God’s power was far from the truth.
I need to remember to listen to Him before I rush into my spiel of what I expect from life and what I think I need to get by.
I had to take God out of a box.
My faith has changed radically and because of this, so has my life.
God calls us to follow Him. He calls us to leave the comfort of the world, of backup plans and guarantees, because there is no true comfort in this world.
Things can change in an instant. God is the only true comfort we can hold onto. Our hope is not in this world, but in the next. Our hope is in Christ and our salvation.
And yet I am constantly comparing myself with those around me. What’s wrong with me that I’m not working a full-time, high-paying job with benefits? Who do I think I am, trusting God to provide?
And every time I fall to this thinking, my writing suffers. My heart leaves the call that God placed in my life and falls to wondering if I should turn back and run to something I can control.
But God does not call us to a place to leave us there.
No, I believe that when we have the courage to follow Him into the unknown, He will not only transform our lives, but He will transform our hearts.
Over the next two months, you will see posts from some of my favorite bloggers who took their own leap in following God’s call. These people, like me, are faced challenges on their way to leaping into the unknown. And God met them there. These stories have encouraged and inspired me and I hope that they will do the same for you!
Thank you for sharing!
When I got your email I was excited to see that we were from the same town. I look forward to reading more of your post.
That’s awesome! It’s so exciting to see the Lord open doors that we wouldn’t have expected! And you made a very good point about talking AT God, instead of with Him. If we just babble on about what we want and need, but never give Him the chance to respond or speak to us, it’s difficult to discern His will. When faced with big decisions, it’s always best to read His Word, pray, and actually wait on Him. Then take the leap, if He’s calling.
How exciting for you that God opened the doors for you to write!
So glad that you found you were able to just be still. Love that your husband has been so good at supporting you and what you want to do.
This was so encouraging for me! I’m in the middle of job hunting and needed this reminder of God’s faithfulness to us.
Congratulations for making the leap, Nicole! I did the same thing in May 2017 and I am SO much happier since making the change. Praying God’s blessings on you, friend!
Great story. I am glad you were vulnerable enough to share this with us. It is amazing how trusting God through the difficult times can make things better.
What a testimony! God is good!
Thanks for sharing your story. I still have trouble letting go of my fears! But, when I listen to Gods voice, my fear disappears!
Thanks for sharing your story! It is amazing how God can make things fall into place when we let go of our fears and preconceptions and step out in faith!
I glad you took the leap! It can be so scary, but so much more rewarding.
Listening to God can be challenging and a little scary! Glad you took the leap of faith and it’s working out so well!
“I felt pressure on all sides to pursue something greater, something reliable, something that would be sure to provide for me no matter where my life took me. ”
Thank you for reminding me that it is HIS voice I need to be listening to as my guide, not those around me.
Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve felt similar about my career path and only recently jumped into writing with both feet (while keeping my hands on my full-time job). I’d recommend you check out Dan Cumberland of The Meaning Movement, who also writes about finding your calling (and used to be a pastor!).
I look forward to reading the rest of this series. You said a lot in this post that I’ve been feeling but haven’t vocalized. Great encouragement. Thank you.
So glad to hear that you followed God’s calling even when it was risky and scary. Our careers don’t have to look like any certain thing to the world, as long as we are doing what God has for us.
I’m really excited to read this series! So glad you’re listening to God’s voice, I think we often forget that He’s there and available, we just have to ask for His wisdom and direction!
Your story is such an inspiration!!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I find great comfort in it, truly.
Such truth in this post. Comparison is really the comfort of the enemy and distracts us from God’s perfect will for our lives. Pinned this post to share with our Living Our Priorities community.
Thank you so much for this! I’m in the same spot and this is exactly what I needed to hear right now.
This piece was definitely for me! I find myself asking God what he wants me to do with my life and most times I feel God isn’t saying anything. I definitely must learn how to listen. Thanks darling, this was more than an inspiration for me, it was God speaking to me through this piece.
This is outstanding. It reminds me of a verse…
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
Proverbs 16:9 NLT
We tend to cling to things we can control or that seem safe. The truth is that everything is determined by God. This ministered to me today and I’m going to listen closer to what the Lord is saying. I see the fruit in what you are doing for the Lord 🙂
I love your story!It’s so inspiring!
This is amazing Nicole!! It is so amazing how God works to direct us to the place He wants us even when we seem to wander off in a different direction! He is always faithful to bring us back and set us right where we should be!!