404 The Letter That Changed My Life

The Letter That Changed My Life

My life changed with one letter. Two short paragraphs. The decision to hand over one sheet of paper marked the end of a season and the beginning of a brand new journey.

Inciting Incidents

In November of last year I handed in my letter of resignation. I quit my cushy job in corporate America with good pay, great benefits and weekends off with nothing but a strong feeling of God’s leading and the support of my brand new wife.

We had only been married for one month before I handed in my resignation letter. My martial promise of providing for my wife began by taking a pay cut of almost 1/3 and forfeiting all benefits. Not a great start if you look at it objectively.

I did all this to take my dream job in ministry by going on staff at my church part time. I took a staff position as the Communications Director for most of my week and committing the rest of the week to focus on writing.

Honestly I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. We trimmed our budget as much as we could and were determined to live simply. Still, it would be a big shift for us. I was praying I really did hear from God and I didn’t just make the biggest mistake of my life.

But all it took was that first step and one by one the next steps appeared before me. My wife quit a job that wasn’t a good fit and a new job in ministry opened up. She was making more money and it gave us great benefits.

I continued to be faithful in the little and new opportunities opened up. First, I was invited to be a staff writer for Prodigal Magazine. Then I was invited to write and article for Relevant Magazine. And now after finishing my proposal, I’m working on my first book.

My job at the church has been more fulfilling than any other job I’ve ever had. It’s more than a job, it’s a family working together towards a common goal. I’ve never felt more valued and honored by the people I work with every day.

I know there’s more to come but I’ll continue to take it one day at a time, one step after the other. But it all started with one letter. It was one step of faith that changed my direction and thrusted me into a new journey. This inciting incident changed my life and wrecked me for safe and secure and opened me up to a new adventure.

My inciting incident didn’t promise to be exactly what I hoped for. It simply invited me into a journey of faith. In all honesty, it wasn’t what I expected at all. It was so much better.

Do you have an inciting incident in your life that changed everything?


This post is part of a group blogging project celebrating the release of Inciting Incidents (Moody Press), a book featuring the stories of six creatives who share honestly about surviving life’s difficulties while attempting to do great things. You can visit the “Share Your Story” section of IncitingIncidents.Org to check out posts from other synchroblog contributors, or visit the sites of the authors:Sarah CunninghamJeff GoinsDave HickmanBlaine HoganTracee PersikoStephanie SmithMandy Thompson and David Wenzel. In addition, you can hear more about the project in this NPR-style interview series by Moody Radio.   

Also, if you pick up the book in the first two weeks, Moody will give you a bundle of free resources, including two full-length e-books. The book is available immediately at AmazonBarnes and Noble or Christian Book.


  1. WOW! Our God is an awesome God! Lot chose the whole plain of the Jordan for himself. He chose what looked good from his worldy perspective. He chose worldly abundance and convenience. So many people do this very same thing. We know how the story ends. Bravo to you for stepping out in faith, and choosing the unlikely path. Bravo to you for building your altar to the Lord for His glory!
    Heather recently posted..Who Do You Say I Am?

  2. Tony, I don’t have inciting incident to talk about, at least not yet, but I know that the Lord is preparing a way. I just love your leap of faith and how you and your wife are supporting each other. God bless.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..3 Ways to be an Effective Leader

  3. Awesome.

    My life changed dramatically when I was given six months to find another job by the pastor who let me go. It is a longer story than I want to write in the comments here but you can read it at http://j4man.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/2-years-ago-and-weaving/

    What happened that day changed my life and God has really weaved some great stuff together as a result!

    Thanks for sharing Tony!
    Jim F. recently posted..Chasing the Bus

    • I’m learning that most of life is about how you respond to what comes at you as opposed to so much focus on what you DO. There is so much out of our control that it becomes critical to be a great responder.

  4. Solid. Looking forward to meeting you at STORY, brother!
    Ryan Haack recently posted..I Need Your Help To Get To Story 2012

  5. Awesome. It may feel like tight rope without the net but you don’t need the net with Him down there spotting you.

    My inciting incident: I visited a missionary in April 2008, then sold it all, left a job and a youth pastorate and moved to Paraguay to be an independent missionary in November 2008. Living on only offering or donations has been like you said, “scary but exhilarating.”
    Ken Hagerman(TheBarba) recently posted..Culture Clash

  6. This is so encouraging, Tony. So great to get to know a little bit more of your story and see the ways that God is honoring your steps of faith. 🙂
    bethany recently posted..The Choice.

  7. it’s funny how a leap of faith can change how you view what’s “safe.” being in God’s will looks risky but can feel safe.
    ed cyzewski recently posted..The E-Mail That Almost Ended It All

  8. LOVE THIS!! love the risks you take to pursue what is true to your heart and gifts. I can tell that you are doing what you are wired for!
    Tracee Persiko recently posted..Inciting Incidents

  9. I love this, Tony. These will be the stories you tell your Grandchildren someday — milestones of God’s favor and protection for you.

    It’s so cool to see your story unfolding.

  10. You gotta love how one step out of our comfort zone,one step of obedience changes everything!
    Eileen recently posted..One Moment

  11. It’s great to see the way God’s opened things up for the two of you.
    Jason recently posted..God’s gonna do GREAT things in your life!

  12. You inspire like crazy, bro!

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