Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just a Mom, Q & A - installment 3 (the end)

I think we've milked about all we can out of this Just a Mom series, don't you? {grin}

Hey, before I tackle today's question I just want to send you back over to yesterday's post. There were a couple super questions posted in the comment that I attempted to answer (somewhat briefly) right in the comments section.

Frieda (that's my mom), asked this question...

I really liked Day 4 and 5 - and here's my question: How do you know when it's time to move on?

I have lead Bible study now for 5 or so years but it really was more because I took a leap and just did it, versus feeling called to it. I do think it was affirmed as a calling because God totally equipped and led me. However, over the last couple of years God has repeatedly called up others to lead (not necessarily to take over my areas of administration) but it does make me ask, "Is it time to move on? Is God equipping others?"

I don't have a sense that I'm being told to move...but it does make me wonder. So how do I know?

This is probably the toughest question to answer, because your calling (and your moving on) is so very personal between you and God.

Change is inevitable.

I don't think there are many of us who are called to a lifetime of service in one ministry area. Even folks who look like they've done one thing their whole lives (Billy Graham, for example) have seasons in their ministry. They may do the same thing (such as preaching), but feel called to reach out to different groups as time changes. Even those who know they've been called to be Pastors move on eventually, to the next church family that God calls them to.

Sometimes God closes a door.

Sometimes, God does dramatic things to move us from where we are in ministry to the next step. For example, when it was time for me to move on from women's ministry... I'll be honest, I had a sense that He was preparing me to let go for over a year. But I was arguing with Him. He knew I was attached and invested, so He need to do something big to move me (literally) onto the next thing.

Sometimes God opens a window.

Sometimes, God puts new opportunities in our paths to show us that He is calling us onward. He doesn't always clearly tell us, "Time to quit this. Let go. Move on." But you may find yourself noticing new possibilities; little things that grab your interest. It very well could be that God is giving you tiny, gentle nudges in a new direction.

Sometimes God leaves it up to you.

I also really believe that, for many of us, there is no "one thing." It's more like "anything." Take, for example, when someone has a job opportunity and they need to choose between two great jobs. He prays and prays, but doesn't get a clear sense of which job God wants him to take. Could be that God is telling him, "It doesn't matter which job you take, as long as you serve Me with your whole heart wherever you work."

Sometimes, you just "know."

There are times, though, when it's time to move on even though you don't really have any of the indicators. God isn't closing any doors, He's not opening any windows, and there are no options for you to choose from. There seems to be nothing new for you to do, but you have an unsettled spirit.

I have a friend who felt unsettled in her job. She felt that she was supposed to free herself up for other ministry opportunities. She bravely gave notice to her employer, not knowing what was next. There was nothing wrong at her work, and no new opportunities were in front of her, but she just knew.

I've been asked before, "How do you know when you're done having babies? How can you be sure that this is the last one?" When I answer those women, I always reply, "The fact that you're asking and not sure tells me that you're not done. Not yet." {and then I wink at her} But I also suggest to her that the way she's thinking could be indicative that her heart is being prepared to be done soon.

So I think... You're not done yet, because you're not sure and you haven't heard a clear directive from God to move on. But your heart is being prepared for that inevitability. And when it's time, you'll know.

1 comment:

  1. There is wisdom in what you've shared here. I especially like what you said about the unsettled feeling perhaps being God preparing our hearts for the change or decision that is coming. I had never thought of it that way, but can look back in my own life and see several examples of that. Change can be a painful thing, but is less painful when you know that God has orchestrated the change and has plans for you.


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