Jumping off a cliff

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
A number of years ago, I asked God to reveal to me my biggest flaw, and in a way that was somehow clear, gentle and encouraging, He told me “You worry too much.”  In other words, “You’ve got trust issues, girl—BIG ONES.”  He, of course, was correct.  I had trust issues, and the ensuing years have been filled with baby steps towards a life of trusting Him.   I will probably always worry, but I have made progress, and have learned to be gentle with myself, viewing my life as a long obedience in the same direction.  Yet, despite what I have learned, I have always wondered what I would do if God asked me to jump off a proverbial cliff.  Would I do it?  Would I trust him enough to catch me?
Sunday, May 24 He asked me to jump and I did.  And guess what?  He caught me.
For twelve years, I worked for the Calgary Public Library, loving my co-workers, my customers and many aspects of my work.  Yet, for the past couple of years I had a growing restlessness and sense that God was drawing me to something else.  The problem was, I had no idea what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to go.  So I began to pray.  I told God I was feeling his leading to something else, but that I loved the library and if He wanted me to go, he was going to have to “kick me in the butt.”  Hard.  And yes, I actually used those words in my prayers.  Pentecost Sunday, May 24, I walked into church and immediately felt God speaking to me.  By the time I walked out of the service God had kicked my bottom end by clearly saying, “You need to quit your job at the library.”  I still didn’t know where I would go, or what I would do, but over the next 48 hours, after talking to trusted mentors and praying a lot, I realized what I was passionate about and that I was going to have to quit my job without knowing where I was going.  I also very quickly realized I was going to have to engage my new direction in a volunteer capacity, which meant giving up my pay cheque.
To me, those things qualified as a cliff.  No salary, no position, no idea really where I was going, but to offer my resignation and hold onto God’s hand as I jumped.  I guess, really, it was a curb, not a cliff, because my husband has a great job and I knew very well I wouldn’t starve.  However, that curb felt like a cliff to me.
July 3 was my last day working for the Calgary Public Library.  August 5 was the day I started my orientation as the Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Community Kitchen at the Mustard Seed.  In September, I will begin teaching some basic baking skills to ESL students who come to DayBreak, and will also begin participating in a Community Kitchen that serves the women of the Sonshine Centre.  My basic premise was to promote community through teaching people how to cook, and after visiting many organizations and taking lots of meetings and praying a lot, God provided these opportunities to me.  I turned down groups that I loved because God said “no”, trusting the right spots would reveal themselves.  They did.  I jumped off the little curb that felt like a cliff and He was faithful.  The last few weeks have left me feeling overwhelmed by His goodness and love, excited but also terrified!
There have been setbacks and surprises.  Just this morning, I was discussing with my sister a big problem with one of my new ventures and she laughed and said, “This is the ‘Obstacles I Overcame’ chapter in your memoir.”  I anticipate more of those.  However, I also anticipate God’s plan revealing itself and His tender care as I hold His hand and continue to take my baby steps of trust.
“See I am doing a new thing.  Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19
May 24 felt like a wilderness, but God is doing a new thing in me.  All I had to do was hold His hand and jump.
Prayer:  Kind Father, we know you love us with relentless tenderness and reckless abandon.  Help us to live like we believe it.  Grow in our hearts a willingness to trust you, for you are faithful and good and trustworthy.  Amen.
Contributed by Karen Vine