tability. Certainty. Familiarity. It’s something we all crave. In the famous words of Dorothy, “There’s no place like home.” These words ring especially true for me. I’m an introvert, so I like having a predictable, quiet space to relax and get my thoughts in order. It’s what fuels me to have my best ideas and work my hardest.
Last summer, however, my sense of calm was jilted and we had to begin the journey of moving. Our landlord told us he was selling our house and, after much prayer and seeking where God wanted us to be, we made the decision to quit our jobs and pursue where we felt God was strongly calling us. We had a big obstacle ahead of us. We were moving out of a four-bedroom house in one of the most expensive markets in the country. We were leaving a huge blessing–our rent had been less than the cost of a studio for the past four years.
We stayed with a dear friend for five months while Jess finished up a work commitment, then we moved in with Jess’ parents so we can focus full-time on Radiant Marriage. It’s a new blessing and a total gift from God, but it’s been difficult feeling displaced and not having the security of having a place to call “our home”.
As I look back, I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past almost-year is just how comfortable I can be with things staying the same. It’s easy to get into a rhythm (and lose days, weeks, or months) and be perfectly content doing so. If God hadn’t taken away the blessing of the house we had been in for four years, we may still be there, working full-time jobs and struggling to find a balance between work, traffic, this ministry, and our marriage. It was chaos, but it was familiar chaos and there’s always some comfort in that. It’s easy to resist change, even when there might be something better ahead. The unknown is scary.
By the world’s standards, it makes no sense at all to do what we are doing, but by God’s standards, it’s exactly where we need to be.
So, is it scary to have quit our jobs, moved in with in-laws, and put everything we have into this ministry? Is it illogical? Does it go against every sense of responsibility that the world has taught me? Yes, yes, and yes. But our God is bigger than my fear, bigger than my logic, and bigger than what the world would have me do. So there’s nothing else left to do but spend time with Him looking for guidance, trust that guidance, and hang on for the ride.
It can be so easy to stay where we are or not question how our life is working because we like to be in control. If we start asking the question about whether God may want us to make a change, then things may get uncomfortable. Unknowns may start to come up and we may have to trust God for our security rather than our own ability. But that mentality doesn’t make it easy for God to use us for His purpose.
Before moving forward in reading, take caution. The questions posed may not be ones you are ready to answer. These may stir something in your soul. When we start asking these questions, and we become aware of God’s leading and prompting, then we have an obligation to be obedient to His direction. If we respond to God with anything other than complete obedience, we are responding in disobedience. If you are ready to ask the tough questions and if you are ready to surrender completely, then please keep reading.
What about you? Is your life in such a rhythm that you might start being complacent?
Here are a few questions to ask with your spouse:
- When was the last time we did something outside of our comfort zone?
- Are we in a rut that’s unpleasant but familiar enough that we choose to stay in it?
- What would we do differently if today were the first and last day of our lives?
- Why aren’t we doing that now?
- Have we become complacent?
- Are we allowing God to use our lives to bless others and bring people closer to Him?
- Are we willing to surrender our lives to His will, even if might look different than we had planned?
- How is our life different from the life of our dreams?
- Are we living as if the only point of our lives is to safely make it to death?
- When was the last time we tried something that couldn’t possibly succeed without God?
Did your answers to these questions start to prompt something for you? If so, you’re not alone.
Here are a few steps you can take to start making changes:
- Turn off autopilot
- Actively seek and obey His direction
- Set some goals
- Stay alert
It’s so easy to get into a rhythm of what’s familiar and lose lots of time just coasting through life without any real direction. If you feel like you’ve been coasting and complacent for far too long, start being proactive. It can be as easy as starting to ask the questions above or explore options of what life could be like. If you find something that really appeals to you, start praying about it and see where God leads–it could be your new path!
A book that I can’t recommend highly enough is “Experiencing God”, the 13-week bible study by Blackaby and Blackaby. This book will challenge your thought process and help you to ask and discern where God might be leading you. Again though, once you go down this path, you have a responsibility to obey.
Once you know where God is calling you, you can start setting some goals. The easiest way to know how far we’ve come is to measure where we’ve been and look at where we want to go. Setting goals is like looking at a map. Once you know where you want to be, the road to get there becomes more clear. Each time you come to an intersection, you choose the road that brings you closer to your destination until you arrive. If you have goals and plans for how to accomplish them, you’ll amaze yourself with how much progress you can make. Check out How to Goal-Plan for Massive Success for steps on how to get started.
Once you know where God is calling you and you’ve set some goals that align with that calling, make sure that your choices and decisions fall in line with your goals. Be aware of those things that might pull you off in the wrong direction. Have regular check-ins with your spouse to make sure you are continuing in His direction.
A check-in can look different depending on how long-term your goals are. For Jess and I, we go out for coffee every three months specifically to look at our goals and pray and talk about how we’re progressing and where we could be more deliberate. Then, once a year, we update our big-picture goals to make sure they’re fresh. This is the right mix of check-ins for us–it keeps us aware of where we are, on the right path, and tuned in to what God is saying in our lives, but doesn’t feel overwhelming.
As you start to think about life in a new way, remember, God doesn’t call us to be comfortable but to trust in Him and His ways. That’s often easier said than done. Especially when His ways call us out to leaps of faith with no safety net. Ultimately, it all boils down to one question: Are you trusting with everything you have?
If you’re interested in more information on following God’s leading in your marriage and how to set goals based on that leading, join us in Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson experience designed to help you set your marriage on a solid biblical foundation, to get started.
Did any of these questions challenge your thinking today? Which ones and why? Let us know in the comments–we’d love to hear from you…