I never thought I’d quit my dream job. But there I sat, across from my boss, tears streaming down my face. I stumbled to find the right words. How could I logically describe a seemingly illogical decision?
You see, a few months earlier, God opened the doors for me to obtain the “perfect” job. My husband and I moved to the Bay Area after earning our Civil Engineering degrees. He then began pursuing his PhD as I entered what seemed like an ideal career path. I felt in control until one afternoon when the Lord changed everything: I was given the chance to enter vocational ministry, and I was terrified.
I feared what would follow if I said yes. I desperately tried to resist the Lord’s prompting, and the connection it had in my own soul. I ran from the reality that my plans were about to change. One night while sitting in my living room, I wrote out my very logical list of pros and cons. I came close to convincing myself to stay put, but in that tumultuous moment, the Lord spoke.
“Will you do this for Me and just trust?”
With a pounding heart and one final sigh, I ripped the list in half and gave up control.
Ever since that night, I’ve been fascinated by the risks others take. Last week, I came across a video about a woman named Hilaree Nelson. She is half of the trailblazing duo that climbed then skied down the face of Lhotse, Earth’s fourth-highest mountain. Reflecting on her accomplishment, she said “You have to take risks if you want… to expand the self-imposed walls [you] put around [yourself].”
I found her conclusion precisely relevant to my own experience. Through risk, God leads us into the spiritual expansion that only He could craft. But if you’re like me, before we start, we must relinquish control, giving God the space to grow us beyond what we imagine.
So, how can we surrender control and let Jesus expand us?
- FAITH. It all starts here. Do we believe in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior? We need to examine if we even have faith in who He claims to be. During His ministry, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts. His desire is for us to choose faith, love Him, and pursue Him with everything we have.
- TRUST. Trust takes time to build. It is the product of a loving and authentic relationship. The longer we walk with the Lord, the deeper our trust can grow. In this life, we are guaranteed to fail Him, but He will never fail us. He promises to be with us always until the very end. His consistency during the waves of life can only bring us to one conclusion—trust.
- RISK. This is where the rubber meets the road. We can either choose to lean into, or pull away from, what God is asking us to do. When facing a crossroads moment in our lives, ask which path leads us to act on our trust in God. If He is always going to be with us, nothing should hold us back from taking a risk that is guaranteed to put us on the path toward what He has for us.
- PERSONALIZE. Expansion looks different for all of us because our individual risks are unique. For me, letting go of control and giving it to Him set me on a path to intimacy and deeper encounters with the Holy Spirit. It showed me that His plans were far better than mine. My faith grew, my quality of life increased, and external relationships in my life became stronger. I am in love with the race He has set for me, and I would have missed it if I didn’t take the risk.
Wherever you find yourself, press into all that God has for your life. Decide to act. Do the work. Make the jump. You won’t regret it when God is in control.