I was afraid to risk hope.
In my previous post, Without a Net , I shared about my journey to dive into a new idea from God while letting go of my own backup plan. It was scary to bring a proposal to launch a coaching service for speakers that was beyond my formal education and different than anything I had accomplished in the past.
To change careers and jump into the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship, I needed to be sure that I was following God’s intent. This was a decision too big for impulsive action, so I began looking for some crucial signs and asking myself some important questions.
First, I considered if my plan fit into God’s Word.
For over 20 years, God has been teaching me that the Bible is to trump every other influence in my life. I needed to make sure that my job change wouldn’t violate the principles laid out in scripture in any way. “God, is it okay to help women convey Your message more effectively and engagingly?” I asked. Check!
The second hurdle was to watch for confirmation.
The most important confirmation that I received was from my husband Barry. He knows me better than anyone else on the planet and had watched my shift of focus and passion for over 10 years. I not only needed for him to believe in me, I needed the spiritual leader of our home to have faith that I was taking the right path. This job-change would also change our family’s financial status for a time, so it was crucial that he be on board. His enthusiasm and support for my new project is my lifeline for long-term, through-the-hard-times success.
Also, a little miracle happened during my conversation with Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ President, who was giving approval for a new branch of the ministry. One of my greatest concerns was the lack of a steady paycheck during the time that Next Step Speaker Services was built. Lysa was concerned about that too and offered me a part-time job doing some projects for her. It was yet another sweet confirmation from God to loosen the grip of my anxieties.
My final question before making the big leap was, “Are you prepared to do the hard work?” While it’s true that God ultimately accomplishes His purposes in ways far beyond what we can ask or imagine, we have a part to play in His plans. It’s a divine partnership.
God recently had me read the book of Nehemiah to see how one of His servants accomplished the huge task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. I came away with a deep appreciation for my part of success—organization, communication, energy, delegation and hard, hard work. Scripture actually says that Nehemiah and the Israelites, “continued the work … from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.” (Nehemiah 4:21 NIV) The good news is that my new work is so exhilarating that I bounce out of bed every morning excited to start!
The final outcome from receiving confirmations and answering my important questions was that I was sure that it was time to leave my own backup plan behind and leap into God’s new purpose for me. Now, whenever doubts start to twirl through my brain like, “What are you doing? You haven’t replaced your salary yet!” I can remember the steps I’ve gone through to get here and banish those thoughts with, “I’m sure that I’m doing what God has planned for me, and He’s got it all under control.”
Amy Carroll’s passion is living the untied life. She loves to see women freed into the matchless pleasure of deep relationship with God and others. Amy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker team and the blissful director of Next Step Speaker Services. She lives in North Carolina with her 3 favorite guys and a little, red dachshund. You can find her on any given day typing at her computer, reading a book, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner. Visit Amy at www.amycarroll.org and find out more about speaker coaching at www.nextstepspeakerservices.org.