When you step out and take a risk with God, it’s tempting to think everything is going to happen just how you imagined.
You’ve talked about it, prayed about it, presented your plan to God and subsequently felt His blessing on it. This is your faith offering so you trust that God will honor your risk taking by doing things exactly as you planned. But it never happens like that, does it?
Yet every time I put my faith in God, what I actually do is put my faith in His ability to fulfill my plans.
So here I am, unemployed for 2 months and praying for a job.
When I took the leap of faith to leave a job I loved as a Communications Director at my church in Florida to move to Charlotte, NC with my wife, I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I talked about it constantly with my wife, shared it with my closest friends and family and presented my plan to God. I felt numerous confirmations that God was with us.
The plan was to move to a place where we could start over as Tony and Katie, as one rather than two different people. The plan was for Katie to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom with our boy. The plan was for me to find a great job that provides for our family on a single income.
We’ve been in Charlotte for two months and only the first part of the plan has come to pass. Not many people know us here so they meet us as Tony and Katie. She’s no longer the girl Tony met online. She’s no longer Tony’s new wife. We’re introduced as one and it’s actually pretty great to be known as Tony and Katie (with a beautiful little boy). We’re united and operating as one more than we ever have in our marriage.
The other parts of the plan haven’t quite happened as I expected. Katie is still working remotely at her job for a few reasons. It’s helping carry us financially right now and it’s reassuring to have health insurance. But the plan was for her to settle into our new home and focus only on that. She’s not complaining about having to work because she’s amazing but this wasn’t the plan. She just recently agreed to work one more month and honestly, it frustrates me that she has to do that.
The biggest weight on my shoulders right now is finding a job. I can’t count the number of people I’ve talked to and resumes I’ve sent out. I have 10 years of professional work experience and I haven’t had so much as a phone interview. It’s discouraging to say the least.
And so I find myself asking God what happened.
Am I doing something wrong? Am I not trying hard enough to find a job? Was I wrong to think I could make enough money to provide for all 3 of us?
But every time I begin to get down, Katie reminds me of God’s promises to us and of the blessings we already have here.
She reminds me that we still have everything we need. She reminds us that there are people who will help if we need it. She reminds me that this is a special time for the 3 of us together before I go to work. She reminds me that rest is gift from God.
Ironically this both encourages me and discourages me.
I’m encouraged because she’s right and I’m discouraged because I realize I don’t have as much faith as I thought.
I realize that my faith was in a plan and not in God. I just wanted Him to bless the plan. I didn’t want to really trust that He is our provider. I didn’t want to trust that my plan might have been good but that He has something better. I realize that I’ve been content with a safe faith.
I say I want adventure but what I really want is it to appear like I took a big risk and everything worked out exactly as I planned.
So here I am learning to trust for real, ready to throw my plan out the window. Not because I have a ton of faith but because I can’t put my faith in a plan anymore.
I’m learning that safe faith isn’t real faith. I’m learning that trust on my terms is really just trust in myself.
I’m going to believe that God is trustworthy. I’m going to believe that He is with us. I’m going to believe He is our provider. I’m going to believe that His plan is going to be better than the safe plan I created.
Because I’d rather have real faith in God than safe faith in myself.