Last year, I wrestled with the Lord over what He was calling me to do. It involved major changes, shifts to what I thought I would be doing for the long haul. The process was unlike any other move of obedience I’ve experienced. I had to open my heart to say yes to whatever He had for me, which meant letting go of dreams and watching doors close. Slowly He showed me the next step, and little by little, what He had next for me emerged out of the fog.
Saying yes meant a lot of goodbyes. It meant closing out a house, selling furniture, and even the end of some really sweet relationships. It meant that some things were left undone. Promises of my return, of what I hoped to accomplish next were not kept. This was difficult.
My yes to the Lord, my obedience to Him, in some ways meant suffering for others. They didn’t ask for this goodbye. They didn’t ask for the challenge of finding someone to take my place, for the holes that were left and the projects they had to take on themselves. Perhaps these changes were for the good as they had to watch the Father provide someone who was an even better fit, or trust Him for their own next steps as things shifted.
I’ve been in their place too. I’ve watched others in my life obey God with their whole heart, seeking to honor Him and glorify Him. Sometimes this has meant a painful goodbye or a change I wasn’t anticipating.
We take these steps of obedience as we keep up the lines of communication between the Father and ourselves, but we are not alone in this life. Our decisions, our actions, impact those around us. This is the joy of life in community, but it is also the messy, crazy and sometimes painful part.
How can we encourage each other when our yes or someone else’s yes impacts the relationships with those around us?
God is their God, their leader and director too. I can trust that even as I take a step of obedience, He will also show them their next step.
We can be open in our communication about how our decisions might impact someone else. We can listen well and ask questions to invite honesty. Inviting others into our grief or joy over what our obedience means, and sharing in their grief or joy, can be a sweet gift we give to each other.
Allow the Father to take care of the things we cannot. I don’t need to control or micromanage every aspect of change. I can take responsibility for my part and trust God to work in the ways I can’t.
We can remind each other, challenge each other to look through eyes of faith and expect God to move. When doors close and we walk through painful goodbyes it can feel like God is finished with us. We can feel overwhelmed by a sense of abandonment. But God is still at work, even when things feel dark and still. He is at work in the foggy, murky middle of transition and He is there when we come out on the other side. Sometimes we need that nudge from a friend when we can’t see His goodness for ourselves. We can be that voice of truth for each other in each step of obedience in this journey.
Thanks for this truth. I have been through this first hand. It is so hard to end those relationships built up through years as you move on. It is hard to trust God to care for those you were helping. But you are right. He is enough for all of it and He is the One Who knows best. He is the One Who has the better plan. I must trust Him in my life’s plan and in the lives of others.
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Thank you Sarah for sharing this. I loved reading how the Lord is working in your heart and life!
This really resonated with me. It is true that my obedience or dissonance directly affects those around me. I know I tend to have a self focused vision when I am struggling through a decision. Thank you for the eyes to see the greater, and to understand that me walking in obedience is important. I also love that your point is to stay open, invite others to see what God has for them, and inviting them into the trust that he has a plan that we can’t see.
We are in the middle of this season of saying a difficult yes to God, knowing it is impacting many people. Thank you for this encouragement. I’m continually reminding myself that this change of our plan does not surprise God and that He has good plans for our teammates and those we ministered to. He will accomplish those good plans even though we have to leave.
Thanks so much for sharing this Sarah. We are about to move yet again and it’s hard to say goodbye. But it’s also hard to say hello, so to speak.
I appreciate your reminder that God has a good plan for us all, those leaving, those staying and our kids too.
What a blessing to say yes to a God who knows the plans He has for us all.