Heidi here. So, it’s November. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. Remember back in July when I shared the big changes coming to the Geis Family? And then in August when I shared how we were still waiting on God to show us where He was taking us? And how I haven’t shared any updates since then? Well, a LOT has happened in the past few months, yet we still aren’t sure where God is taking us.
July’s theme was CHANGE.
August’s theme was WAITING.
August’s theme was WAITING.
Now November’s theme seems to be JUMPING. Faith Jumping, that is.
At the time I wrote the August post, it seemed pretty clear that God was going to give us a job just over the border at a church in Coeur d’Alene that ticked all the boxes and allowed us to stay in our current house. It seemed obvious. But a week or so later, they went with someone else. We were stunned. We were so sure we saw what God was doing.
We went back to the drawing board and continued sending out resumes to churches across the country, but none seemed interested. In September, Craig was offered a job at a national insurance company call center. Since it was the only door that appeared to be opening, we thought God might be calling him to step out of full-time ministry and into a job outside of the church. So he took it. He was slated to start on October 26th, giving the company more than five weeks to do all their background checks. This job would allow us to stay at our current church where we thought we might be able to continue on part time. It felt like the best of both worlds. We were so sure we saw what God was doing.
Then, on Columbus Day, almost a month later, the strangest thing happened; Craig woke up to a voicemail from a church in Oregon, an email from a church in Texas, and a Facebook message from a church in Western Washington. After an entire summer of nearly nothing, he suddenly had three churches asking if he was still interested in full-time ministry. Needless to say, we were confused. But since Craig’s heart longed to stay a pastor, we decided to be open to what God might be doing through these churches.
Meanwhile, a strange series of events at the insurance company—including some lost paperwork—meant that the company postponed Craig’s start date a week, which allowed time for him to have a couple of phone interviews with two of the churches.
Here's the thing: Craig and I just celebrated our 21st anniversary on October 1st, so I know my husband. I know that he’d begun to dread the thought of starting this job and leaving his first love and (in my humble-ish opinion) his calling/anointing. My heart hurt that he was leaving it as well, because (again, in my humble-ish opinion) he is the most amazing children's pastor ever. This last Thursday, we were running errands and he told me he was expecting a call from the insurance company and that hopefully they’d have all his paperwork in order. I looked at him, and I just said, “Does it seem like over the past couple weeks, this job seems to have gotten really difficult? Like the door seems to be trying to close?"
He agreed that the past few weeks were definitely confusing. I told him I thought we should pray about NOT taking the “sure thing.” Craig, our two teenage boys, and I spent some time talking about the pros and cons, and then praying that God would give Craig clarity on what to do. We gave him our full support to do whatever he felt God telling him to do. That night Craig dreamed about that scene from the third Indiana Jones movie…the one where Indiana has to complete the three tests to get the Holy Grail and save his dad. As he looks down at the ravine, Indy says, "Impossible. Nobody can jump this." In Craig's dream, he knew the only way to get to the other side was to trust that if he stepped out into the abyss, his path would be secure. Like Indiana Jones, he knew it was a leap of faith.
The next day, the insurance company called to say they still didn’t have all his paperwork, despite the fact that he’d done everything they’d asked. In that moment, he knew what he was supposed to do. As the boys and I sat breathless in the next room trying to listen, we heard him tell the representative, “I just think God is trying to tell me something here, so I think I need to withdraw my application at this time.” He did it. He jumped out into the abyss.
Writer Oscar Schisgall tells a story about a time when he sat on a park bench trying to make a huge decision about getting married and moving to Europe with a serious lack of finances. He saw a squirrel jump from one tree to another, apparently aiming for a limb that seemed to Oscar to be so far out of reach there was no way he could make it. Sure enough, the squirrel missed, but he landed comfortably on a branch a few feet lower and then climbed to the higher limb.
An old man sitting next to Oscar told him he’d seen hundreds of squirrels jump that same way—that most missed their mark but none were ever hurt in trying. He laughed as he said, “I guess they have to risk it if they don’t want to spend their life in one tree.”
We've been blessed to find love, acceptance, and security in this tree for a long time. But, as November begins, we are jumping. We have no idea what to expect, but we know we are in good company. The Bible is full of men and women who “jumped” when God called: Noah with his ark, Abraham with his son, Joseph with his brothers and Egypt, Moses with the Israelites, Joshua with the promised land, Rahab with the spies, Gideon with the Midianites, David with Goliath, Elijah with Jezebel, Nehemiah with rebuilding the wall, Esther with her husband, Mary with her immaculate conception, the disciples with their Messiah, Saul/Paul with the Gentiles. It was never easy, but in every case, God showed up. Each of these accounts assures us He is always faithful.
The crazy thing about this jump is that we have peace—a peace we haven’t had all summer—a peace that tells us God has this. And He has us. Even though we have no idea what He is doing.
Your turn: Has God ever asked you to trust Him and jump?
Picture courtesy of http://www.hsfnature.co.uk/pages/blog.php