I whipped out some classic Amy Grant this week. Over the past two days I think I have played Thy Word about 50 times.
When I feel afraid and think I’ve lost my way
Still you’re there right beside me
Nothing will I fear as long as you are near
Please be near me to the end
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
You’re the light unto my path
I need the comfort and strength of His words. I mean, I need them all the time, but I am just more aware of it in this season. Many of you know that I am leaving Cru staff after 17 years of service. I will still remain in partnership with them for a few things, but overall, this season is ending.
Let me tell you a little about the journey that led me to where I am now.
In early September I went to the mountains with Debbye and Kathie. Debbye and Kathie are older than me and for the past 3 years we have met every other Thursday to share our lives and to speak honestly to one another about what we see God doing in one another’s lives. It has been very significant to each of us and we have grown to love one another deeply. When we went to the mountains I began dreaming out loud about what I was/am passionate about and Debbye asked the question, “Is that a fit in the Cru world?” She probably asked me that question 4 times and each time she would ask me, I would get up and go to the bathroom and not answer her.
The next day I left to go to the beach with three friends from grad school. It was incredible, but I was troubled. Jane, Jen and Casey would ask me questions about my dreams and I was overwhelmed.
In October, friends and family rallied together to make it possible for me to attend a conference called Storyline. Donald Miller taught on what makes a good story and one of the questions I had to answer was, “What if I never left staff with Cru?” I lost it. I had no intention of leaving staff. I was comfortable there. These people are family and when you leave it is somewhat of this unspoken thing that basically you die. It’s not meant to be mean, but when you live in such a transient world, hello’s and goodbyes are as normal as breathing, and there are only so many relationships you can maintain.
My friend Beth basically asked me to say what I knew in my heart and as I said, “I’m going to leave staff.” something in me broke free. It had nothing to do with Cru, but had everything to do with me being obedient.
Freedom follows obedience.
This isn’t props to me, there are many times I am not so quick to obey, but God had been setting this up for awhile.
I also want to note that it seemed significant to obey without knowing what was next.
During this whole process I never doubted that decision. There have only been two other times I have had 100% certainty about the decision I was making: 1. where I was going to college and, 2. that God was calling me to join staff with Cru.
Here is #3.
In August I am launching With, Inc., a new non-profit ministry based off of my favorite name of God – Emmanuel – God WITH us.
More details will be coming over the next months, but here is some of what it is going to be about:
- a hunger for more people to want more than just circumstances to change so they can be happy
- a genuine desire to celebrate the joys in life
- help facilitate conversations on healthy emotion with God, self and others – especially in the Church
- helping others enter in to one another lives in ways that speak to the heart and Spirit
- educate on anxiety and depression – but not just how to fix, but to find the meaning in the challenge and pain
- lead retreats for those in full-time ministry
- lead retreats for lay leaders who feel burned out
- address the shaming should’s in life and Church
- speaking on Shattered Dreams
- speaking on Femininity
- facilitate processing groups on disappointment, anxiety and emotion
- reach out to be a resource to businesses, Cru staff teams, & church staff teams on shepherding teams & conflict resolution
- writing a book and blogging more
So here I stand at a major crossroads in my life. I’m cliff jumping, but as Larry would say, “You have a rope tied securely around your waist that is anchored to the Father.”I just want to help others across the finish line.
Thanks for caring and for reading. I would appreciate your prayers. I am asking all my current supporters to transition their support to With, Inc. starting August 1st. I still have a lot of support to raise. I plan on using my summer to regroup, plan, pray, prepare and close out with Cru and begin With, Inc. The next big step is filing with the IRS for 501(c)(3) status and that should happen this week.
Seriously, thank you for supporting me by even just reading my blog. I know many of you have different beliefs and might not agree with all that I am doing and that’s okay, but thanks for reading anyway. For those of you who pray, I would be grateful for your continued prayers as I take this huge leap from my comfort zone.
Here we go.