One of my favourite singers, Michael Card, sang the following:
We can’t imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind.
I don’t want to take his words out of context, so I should say that he was talking about Simon Peter, who left behind his family fishing business and Matthew, who left behind a lucrative job as a tax collector, both in order to follow Jesus. I’m starting to understand by personal experience how this can apply to me.
Almost ten years ago my husband and I left something big behind, a family business where cut flowers were grown, a big swimming pool, a four-bedroom house my husband had lived in all his life, and our network of familiarity. It was something we had to do in order to follow Jesus’ particular call on our lives. At the time it was very clear that we had to “change direction,” but many of the details came into focus only as we walked that road of obedience. The “freedom” we found and are still finding is paradoxical. I’m sure that what we did made no sense to outside observers, but it was the right move for us.
Fast forward to the start of a new school year. After five years of being an enrichment teacher (first as a volunteer and then paid), I gave up this position. I will continue to teach my Junior Kindergarten class two days per week. When I felt led to resign from this job, it was totally counter-intuitive. Our expenses are the same or more, so why would I voluntarily reduce my salary? This position, though small, was my passion. I was convicted that leaving it behind was an act of obedience to God for this season. Some new opportunities are coming into view—a service trip to Dominican Republic in January, part-time work as a copy editor that I can do from home, and the opportunity to join a group that is visiting inmates at a women’s prison.
When God calls us to leave things behind it can be scary because we easily place our security in the things we know. However, the freedom and adventure of following the unexpected ways he leads us is incomparable...