Sometimes God invites us to do things that seem strange. Illogical. Perhaps even a little bit crazy.
Think about it. He asked Abram to leave his country, people, and everything familiar (without even mentioning where he would be going). God gave Joshua strategic battle plans that included marching around a walled city, blowing trumpets, and shouting. Through the prophet Elisha, God invited Naaman to be healed of his leprosy by washing seven times in the Jordan River. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. Jesus instructed Peter to look into the mouth of a fish to find money for paying taxes. Whaaat?! Sometimes God leads His people in ways that don’t make sense to us. But we must remember that He sees the bigger picture; we only see one tiny piece of the puzzle.
Will we trust the Limitless One when our limited perspective is challenged? That’s the question.
I have had my fair share of crazy invitations from God. “That police officer who just pulled you over… tell him I love him.” “Pray with that lady in the cemetery.” “Don’t eat cheese for one month.” “Move to a third-world country as a missionary… with no team and no income.” “Marry that Hernandez guy from church.” You get the idea.
From the outside looking in, all this may sound outrageous to some. Perhaps. But I must admit, I’ve become less concerned with the opinions of humans than with the pleasure of the divine. When I put my faith in Jesus Christ 22 years ago, I wasn’t simply signing up for a new religious group. No, I became a disciple (literally, a “follower”) of the One who captured my heart! And what’s a girl to do when the Love of her life leads her into the unknown? Well, she follows.
Most recently, God (whose heart towards me I have come to trust explicitly) has been speaking to me about another crazy thing. A thing I didn’t see coming. A thing that doesn’t make any sense. A thing that won’t make sense to others.
God has asked me to leave my dream job. My safe place. The ministry I’ve been a part of for 13 years. House of Hope represents so many beautiful things to me. My life was literally transformed in this place! My heart was healed… my chains were broken… my voice was found… my joy was renewed… my passion was discovered and my mission was revealed… in this place. I had expected House of Hope to be where I landed indefinitely.
So why in the world would I ever leave? I mean, I was getting paid to do the things I love, in a community I love. Not many people get to say that! Which is why I had no intention of going anywhere. When God brought me back here from Venezuela, I became quite comfortable with the mission field of Cedar Rapids and my role at our beloved House of Hope.
Until now. Because when you feel the Spirit of the Lord leading you, it’s pretty uncomfortable to dig in your heels and reject the invitation. Of course, we always have a choice. God gave us free will, after all. But how can I say I’m a true disciple – follower – of Jesus if I refuse to go where He’s leading?
So. Where IS He leading me? (I figured you would ask!) I believe that God is inviting me to step out full-time into the vision He gave me almost two years ago. A ministry called “Sister Life,” whose mission is to unify the body of Christ and multiply sisterhood across generations, denominations, cultures and comfort zones. This will involve connecting various ministries, churches, and organizations in our community. This will include some (possibly international?!) travel. This will mean speaking and writing more and publishing my books. This will perhaps be one of the most exciting and terrifying adventures God has ever invited me on!
Of course, I will still be actively involved at House of Hope. In fact, my last speaking engagement as staff will be at our annual banquet this September 25th (I hope you all can join us at the Marriott as we celebrate House of Hope’s 15th anniversary!). Beyond that, I will continue to be engaged with the community, and I will forever be an ambassador of the ministry!
House of Hope has felt like home to me for so long, but I cannot deny that Jesus is currently leading me into unchartered territory. So… why would I accept His invitation to do yet another crazy thing? Because simply, I’m crazy about Him. And that is enough.
I also can’t help but wonder if God is inviting someone reading this to take a step outside of your comfort zone. Into the unknown. If so, how will you respond to the invitation from the One who is crazy about YOU?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)