Ready to leap?
A few years ago I was at a point in my life where things were pretty good. I was looking for a job but I had plenty of time to do it (thanks to a generous exit package from my last employer). My relationships with my kids and husband were great. I was part of a terrific church community. I had a lot of free time for the first time in a LONG time. Things were just, well, comfortable.
That’s when God asked me to step up. Or, more accurately, jump off a cliff.
It sort of started with a seminar for Halftime, the best-selling book by Bob Buford about finding meaning and living meaningfully in the “second half” of life (check it out!). In the book, Bob describes it like this:
The first half of life has to do with achieving and gaining, learning and earning… The second half is riskier because it has to do with living beyond the immediate. It is about releasing the seed of creativity and energy that has been implanted within us, watering and cultivating it so that we may be abundantly fruitful. It involves investing our gifts in service to others—and receiving the personal joy that comes as a result of that spending.
I loved the seminar, I was energized and excited and started thinking about how God had equipped me to invest my gifts. I remembered my early years in the work force, and how lonely it was to be one of very few women at work, and one of very few career-minded women at church. I thought of starting a “little group” for younger professional Christian women to help and mentor them along the way. Looking back, I can almost hear God saying “nice start Diane, but you’re not thinking big enough.”
It was Bob who actually suggested the book and the Nonprofit. Ideas that, in my head, I pretty-much immediately rejected: “I’m not a writer, I don’t write things, especially not entire BOOKS!” And a little mentoring group is one thing, but I don’t know the first thing about launching a Nonprofit. Where would I even start? I’m not just being “charmingly humble” here either. I’m a strong confident woman, I know my strengths and weaknesses and have spent an entire career building on one and overcoming the other. These ideas were WAY outside of my comfort zone. But they just wouldn’t go away. They haunted my prayer times and even my “head-clearing” runs.
There were all these areas in my life where I felt strong, and yet God wanted my weaknesses.
Finally, it came down to this:
Do I believe in God? Yes.
Do I believe that He is good? Yes.
Do I trust that He is all powerful? Yes.
And so, I took a deep breath, and leaped.
And God honored that leap of faith in more ways than I could possible recount here.. At every turn He made the impossible, possible. He helped Bob connect me with the right writer and the right publisher, and within a totally unheard of 30 days, we had a deal in place to publish Work, Love, Pray.
4word came along in the same way. God opened more doors (and windows, and itty-bitty air vents even) than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. And He brought me the right help. And now, less than two years later, HERE WE ARE.
Today, “Work, Love, Pray” is on Amazon and in book stores across the country. 4word has over 2000 women all over the world going to our website every week. We blog here three times a week, and we’re tweeting, linking-in, facebooking, and more! Our Portland 4word group is lead by four amazing young professional Christian women (we interview one here) and we have fifty members of the group there. We have a terrific Dallas partner organization Polish. And we are constantly adding links and content to the website to support women in many aspects of their life.
Every day God continues to amaze me with His blessing and provision.
I guess that’s the real beauty of a true “leap of faith:” if it were comfortable, and required only things we were good at, it wouldn’t be much of a “leap,” and it would be awfully easy to take credit for. As it is, I can see God’s hand in every single step.
In our weakness, His strength shines!