My Faith Background:
I decided I believed in God around age 15 with some influence from my parents. It seemed like a good thing at the time and it felt right. When I went to college, I started to feel overwhelmed when I learned about many other beliefs. It made me doubt my own. I left my small town with population of around 4k and continued to move to bigger and bigger cities throughout my twenties. During that time I met many different types of people when many different beliefs. Who is right?
Later in life I decided it’s not about who is right or wrong. It’s about accepting all and loving them for who they are. I shared these thoughts this week with one of my non-Christian friends and she shouted, “ can I get an Amen!” I thought that was cute. 😊 It’s nice when I can share my faith with others without them getting defensive or aggressive. I think it helps that I genuinely listen to their beliefs and ask questions. It’s about mutual respect.
During college and after college I was a part of small bible studies and organizations with fellow believers. I kept hearing people say things like, “I listened to God” or “God called me to this”. I remember being frustrated and thinking, what does that mean?! Can you actually hear God saying something to you? How do you know what he wants!? I felt like these people were crazy or maybe I was crazy. Or maybe I wasn’t praying right?
I finally figured it out when I went to a career fair my senior year of college. My plan was to get a job and move back to my hometown to be close to my family. I didn’t desire to move to any big cities or be all on my own. As I began talking with recruiters and applying for jobs, I found that I was getting multiple interviews and offers from the Minneapolis area and nothing from my hometown. I didn’t want to move to a big city! It sounded so intimidating at the time. There were a few different instances during this time were I realized this is God speaking to me. This is God opening doors and clearly He wants me to live in this big city. Yikes, okay. So I did.
I have lived in this area since 2012 and absolutely feel like I was meant to be here. Since then I have:
- Learned SO MANY life lessons and gained experiences
- Met extraordinary people who have changed my life
- Got married
- Bought my first home
- Had two Great Danes (one of them SAVED MY LIFE)
- Had a baby boy
So what does it really mean to take a leap of faith? My main intention with writing this post is to share Lisa’s story. Lisa is my beautiful co-worker and friend. The only thing more lovely than her long, curly hair is her faith and her heart. I just learned that she:
- Sold her house and belongings
- Re-homed her dog (at her parents’ house)
- Quit her secure and comfortable corporate job
- Is Moving to New Zealand
Here is Lisa’s leap of faith story:
“Since I was a young girl, I thought the only path to take was going after the American dream. So, I went to college and pursued just that. By age 24, I had an amazing career, my own house and a goofy dog! It was everything I dreamed of (besides a family). Yet, something was missing. There was a hole deep inside my heart that I thought could only be filled with a marriage and children. But every relationship became less fulfilling. Each year, the hole grew deeper and wider.
April 19, 2016, a call from the doctor informed me I had an abnormal tumor on my ovary – borderline cancer. My first thought was, what does borderline mean? Isn’t it an all of nothing thing? Fast forward to today – I’ve had two surgeries to remove tumors and an ovary, and will be having a third after Thanksgiving due to the tumors returning. There is a high risk my other ovary will be taken and I will not be able to have children.
This story begins my journey to go into ministry. How is it connected? My whole life I’ve dreamed of being pregnant and having a family with LOTS of beautiful babies. The longing for it tore into the empty hole in my soul. When I was told I may never have children, I experienced Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. I experienced an unexplained peace. People close to me asked how I was so calm. My only explanation was God’s promise in Philippians 4:6-7.
Before this experience, my faith was like smoldering red coals – warms up close, but nothing that would make too much of a difference. The peace I felt was a strong wind that swept over my heart, fanning the coals to flame. At that moment, God began to work powerfully in my heart, creating in me a vision for my calling. The fire was growing and I couldn’t stop it.
I continued moving forward though, despite the ache that was YELLING at me to stop and be still for a moment. When I was finally still, I felt the fire – a searing pain I realized I was working against. Depending on the context, fire can be detrimental or lifesaving. It was no different in my soul. The fire was there, but in the wrong context because I wasn’t willing to see the fire for what it was. Once I stopped to feel it, I realized the fire was HIM. It was a calling in my soul that went from painful to peaceful. The voice in my heart I had felt for so long could be filled with one thing…Jesus.
So here I am now. I’ve sold my house and many of my favorite possessions to pay off student debt. My resignation is submitted at work, my surgery is scheduled. On January 11, 2018, I will board a plane, taking a leap of faith with God to go on a five-month journey devoted to being like David – a woman after God’s own heart. I’m diving into an uncomfortable situation that will challenge me and allow me to grow into the person God is calling me to be.
You may wonder about my plans for after YWAM. I have a dream God has planted in my heart. To read more about what I believe my calling to be, check out my website (navigate to The Journey > Phase 2). To learn more about YWAM as well as follow my journey while I’m in New Zealand, you can follow my blog, YWAM Adventures, on my website here.
When you choose to support me (through prayer and donations), you will be a key building block for this journey. Your involvement is JUST AS important in sharing God’s message, because I couldn’t do it without you. There are several ways you can become involved.
Thank you & blessings to you!”
Here are two ways you can support Lisa in her journey:
- Pray for her! There is a list of prayers needed here.
- Provide an online donation here through three different options.
Lisa’s story inspired me and made me emotional. It brought tears to my eyes to think of all she has been through and how brave she is for what she is about to do. I am looking forward to following her blog updates and hearing more about the work she is doing in New Zealand!
What was your leap of faith moment?
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