Navigating Transitions with Little Clarity
Do you find yourself in a place of not having full clarity of what God wants you to do? Are you a planner who needs a lot of detail before you make a move? Nugget of Truth: the longer you are on a faith journey, the less God gives you details of His plan and next steps He wants you to take.
After years of serving the Lord, you will prayerfully become more in tune with God’s specific patterns in your life and need less details. God speaks to each of us so specifically and builds a track record of His faithfulness. He can therefore reveal less of His plan because your obedience with minimal details and clarity is now rooted in His history of provision and not in what can be seen in the natural. You used to need to see the plan in front of you and now He wants you to trust with little to no detail.
Over the past 4 years I have been in a season of major transitions. First, I left my comfort zone in a six figure job as a high level administrator in the first and largest juvenile court in the United States. God gave me clear direction on where and what He wanted me to do. While leaving was a difficult decision, I waited for ten years to step into the full-time ministry position I transitioned into. It literally was like a dream come true. The bold move took faith, but I had a lot of clarity and foresight on what God wanted.
I thought I had “arrived,” if you will. This assignment was the dream I waited for and had conversations with my pastor for ten years. Never did I imagine the long awaited dream would only be a three year stop on the journey God was paving for me and our family. We never “arrive.” There was and is so much more.
The next transition involved a little more blindness. It was more than just leaving one known environment where I had been for 18 years at the court into another known environment where I had served in ministry for 13 years. My first huge transition involved moving from one “family” to another “family.” My juvenile court family to my church ministry family.
Three short years into living “the dream,” God called our family into another transition away from everything we knew and everything we cherished. From February through July we prayed and had discussions with a ministry hundreds of miles away from our kindred. God showed us in so many miraculous ways that His perfect will for our family was to leave the known and step into the unknown and follow and trust Him. We were obedient over many objections and fears.
We packed all our belongings, sold our house, uprooted our children from all their friends, family and church and moved where God was leading. God’s path and plan was clear, even though we didn’t have full clarity and know exactly how our gifts would fit in where He was taking us. We had less clarity than the previous transition and a higher level of faith and expectation.
Then an unexpected turn took place a year into this transition where God clearly led us. We suddenly (from one day to the next) found ourselves in a foreign land with three small children being catapulted out of the assignment that brought us miles from our “known.” All the previous transitions, while difficult, were accompanied by preparation time and specifics about what was coming next. At those stages in our journey, we needed that processing time and details.
With a sudden new reality, I found myself asking God what His will was for our family and didn’t want to in any way “mess it up.” Everything in my flesh was set on sending my resume out in mass and finding a job. But I didn’t have a peace with that transition.
Why would God lead me out of the secular, where I was making six figures and was being groomed to be the next Director, to just go back to a secular position? I might as well have just stayed there. I knew there was more, but had absolutely no clarity. I literally spent one month on my face ALL day while my children were at school seeking the Lord. It was a great time of intimacy and a sabbatical. During that time no elaborate plan or details were given to me. The only thing I heard was: “write.” So I wrote. The writing started with journaling and getting so much out. Then the writing turned into devotionals and nuggets I had learned over the years. Next thing I knew, the writing turned into a book that the Lord birthed out of me in 45 days. Stay tuned for that publication.
The writing also turned into documenting everything needed to launch the non-profit God has been birthing for years in my husband and I: a strategic business plan, launching a website, executive summaries, brochures, budgets, bylaws, articles of incorporation, tax exempt filings, etc.
When I finished the assignment of writing I began asking God, “okay, now what?” And again, I wanted to go apply for a job to help sustain our family. I heard: “no, go to your assignment of doing outreach at the Super Bowl to those who are trafficked.” God miraculously opened a door for me to attend the Super Bowl. A church approached me and asked why I wasn’t going and on the spot sponsored my entire trip. So I waited two weeks to make any moves until this assignment of going to the Super Bowl was complete.
At the writing of this blog I am a week out from going to the Super Bowl and am asking God: “okay, now what?” I am yet again ready to start applying for a job (yes I have Dutch stubbornness in me) and I see this sign today: “No Parking Around the Corner.” I know there is a corner I’m about to turn and I hear God whisper “not to park” when I turn the corner -- to keep moving forward with birthing the non-profit even though it has NO assets and has NO generated funds.
So this detailed strategic planner is living on assigned clarity week by week. It’s a very vulnerable yet exhilarating and free place of rest. I have learned that my level of peace is linked to my level of obedience. Even though I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know where the next turn of a corner will bring me, I know I'm not supposed to park there. I'm called to keep moving forward to birth all that God has planted and entrusted to us.
So let me encourage all of you type A, planning personalities. If you're in a season with little clarity and little direction, I believe it’s because God trusts that your level of faith can sustain the small amount of details He has given to you. When your faith was smaller, you required more details. You can trust and take steps now with far less information because your faith muscles are stronger. Don’t park when you turn a corner on to a new block and settle for only seeing the whole block from the perspective of the initial turn. There are details waiting on the other side of parking that you'll only experience when you put the car in drive and keep moving. With unchartered waters comes unchartered miracles.