My yearly solo business retreat…
The day was a perfect 67 degrees and sunny as I was walking up a sweat down a long side walk of palm trees right outside our condo in Orange Beach! It was day one of my yearly solo retreat where I
work on business goals for the year- hoping to get some clarity on the next course or retreat I would offer in the upcoming months! Five minutes into jamming out to Brandon Lake in my air-pods, my old Nike’s beating the sidewalk, and sweat rolling into my navy blue headband, I saw the craziest vision of the life that longed to live in me. It was a vision I’ve seen once before, but this time felt way more gut punching. I quickly shook my head and wiped my face with my tie dye sleeveless workout top.
The vision came back, and this time I audibly said “What the heck, God! Don’t tempt me!” This vision was something that would completely turn my life and my family’s life upside down, so, I said- “Okay, God maybe in about 20 years!” I know God wouldn’t ask me to do something THAT crazy.. At least not in this season of my life. Orange Beach was always a place where I felt like I gained so much clarity and perspective of where my life is going and how God is using me in the world… but this.. This was something different.
Isn’t it funny how God works sometimes?
You are just going about your day to day life, washing dishes (because you honestly hate unloading the dishwasher), folding laundry for what seems like a football team of minions, and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, one that will be quick and delicious, but also not add on any extra pounds, because the stress eating before bed does that enough.
And then God.
God has the audacity to show up in your life and invite you to participate in his most supernatural, roller coaster of events possible. You feel like Moses, who was just hanging out with his sheep, making sure they didn’t fall off a cliff.. And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere you see a burning bush.
Except, today, you won’t see a burning bush, but you WILL have a crazy desire in your heart, an impossible idea in your mind, an out of the blue opportunity that you weren’t expecting, or an undeniable conviction in your spirit to do something.
You know that’s not true. What would be simple is if we saw a burning bush and God’s audible voice calling our name! Moses had it easy! And wouldn’t it be simple if God lays on our heart and calls us to do something that actually makes sense, requires no risk, and doesn’t completely ask us to give up our little life of comforts we’ve so carefully curated for our family?
God isn’t concerned about our comforts.
He’s concerned about the purpose we were created.. To know Him deeply, and to make Him known in our life. So his invitations are always something that will get us so uncomfortable that we are required to fully depend on Him to actually pull it off and accomplish it.
So WHY does God call us to do the CRAZY?
1. God is trying to get your attention
God didn’t send His son, to die a gruesome death, for us to live a life of self. We were created to live our life FOR Him, yet our to do lists, goals, and time are made up of worldly things. Self promoting things. This doesn’t provide a life of abundance or fulfillment or happiness. The world promises happiness and success, but the truth is, that we weren’t made to operate this way. We were MADE to worship and serve the One who created us. That’s how we are wired. This is why we have bajillionairres and, to world’s standards, “successful people” who are miserable and unfulfilled. God loves you SO much that he doesn’t want you to live a life of un-fulfillment and depression and anxiety. He wants you to live a life of ABUNDANCE.
And so if you are just going about your life, and then you feel like you’ve got a sudden call to do something CRAZY.. Congratulations, you’ve just been invited to participate in the miraculous, the abundance, and the joy and fulfillment that comes through obedience and surrender! God wants to get your attention. And that’s why he sends a burning bush into your life. For you to stop, get quiet, and take a closer look into what God wants to say to you! He wants your attention, so give it to Him. Seek Him with your heart and mind. Devote your TIME to studying His word! Listen friend, you’re not crazy, you’re called.
And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:3
2. God wants to show off His power through you.
The coolest part about God’s character is that he loves to use the most unqualified people to do the craziest things for His purposes! Which is good news for me, and probably you too! If you look at God’s track record, He used a man with a speech impediment to speak to the most powerful leader in the world and a kid with a slingshot to bring down the most powerful soldier in the world. And he wants to use you, to work through your inadequacies and weaknesses to do that thing that you were invited to do. He didn’t make a mistake. He wants to partner with you, to work in you, and use you to further his Kingdom and accomplish His purposes! All he needs you to do is say, “YES LORD, HERE I AM”. He needs you to have a surrendered heart, hands open to him, and take steps forward in faith. He needs you to leave your perfect plans behind and follow Him. You’re not crazy. That thing in your heart He’s called you to do is possible WITH HIM. Allow Him to show up and show off his power through you!
And He said, “Assuredly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.” Exodus 3:12
3. God Wants You to Know More of Him
The following days of my retreat had nothing to do with my business or new products I wanted to create for my students. It then became just me and God and the tug of war and negotiations and the “What will I tell my family? What about my house, my parents, my kids, my sister? What about my dreams? What about my plans?” And through the tug of war with God, I felt God say, “It’s not about you. This is for your good. Do you trust me?” An overwhelming peace came over my entire body. My anxiety vanished, and a joy that I honestly can’t even put into words rushed through my spirit where I legitimately started laughing out loud by myself with no one around. I felt the comfort and intimacy of my heavenly Father. I felt His presence over this impossible task I knew was in front of me. I felt Him assure me that it would work out, and that He would be glorified through it. The next few days were full of tears and encounters with my Holy God. He met me where I was, in a season where I was self focused, in a place that I didn’t expect. And he invited me to know Him deeper and to trust Him with my life. God wants you to experience His presence and His glory and all the abundance He has for you. It’s His nature. It’s who He is. Abundant joy, abundant peace, abundant life isn’t just what He gives, it’s WHO HE IS. And He wants you to fully experience it all. And it first comes with surrendering to the invitation of stepping into a new direction He has for you. You’re not crazy. You are chosen and loved and desired by the One who created the stars in the sky and the mountains on the Earth.
Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:13-14
The rest of the story…
During that walk in Orange Beach nearly a year ago, God called me to a new life in that city. The vision he gave me was one of us living in the condo full time, my husband, Thomas, into condo investments and real estate, and me- writing and speaking to Christian women. This was crazy. Legit crazy. Why? Because we lived in Louisiana, in the most beautiful modern farmhouse next to all of our amazing family in the wonderful hometown I grew up in. Thomas was working with me in marketing and advertising and I was teaching photography online full time. He wasn’t a realtor and I wasn’t a writer. Yet, God invited us to participate in the miraculous. He made ways when there weren’t any whatsoever. And here we are, as I’m writing to you
right now- I am overlooking the Orange Beach canal in my condo, finishing up this blog post so I can complete my next writing assignment for my new book. Thomas just put on his Remax Realtor shirt and headed out the door to meet with a client interested in a beachfront condo.
I’m not crazy, and neither are you.
We are called, we are invited, and we are chosen. We have the opportunity to participate in the miraculous. It would be such a shame to have the enemy keep you from moving forward into that thing you are thinking about right now. That thing you’ve been thinking about the entire time you’ve been reading this message. You can’t let the enemy win. Just surrender to God and give Him your fears and your worries. He wants to show up for you and He will. Just do the next thing you know is next, and He’ll take it form there!
So, what are you feeling called to do?
Whatever it is. Don’t hesitate. Allow God to work through you and with you, as He works it all out for your good and for His glory! He is for you. He is with you. He loves you.
You’re not crazy, my friend, YOU. ARE. CALLED.
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