Today is special. Today we celebrate a ministry milestone on it’s 1 year anniversary. Of course this wouldn’t be a Casey story without giving you all of the backstory. You know me better by now.
Since college I had known that God was calling me to do something bigger than myself and I still had no idea what that looked like or how that would play out. And for nearly 10 years I had been in a season of waiting whether that was waiting through college, or waiting for a job, or waiting to get married.
In 2013, I knew God was moving me toward a physical move to Nashville from Jackson. I had prayerfully applied for countless jobs and had asked God to place me in the job where He wanted me. I ended up in the middle of the cell phone industry where I worked in retail and business sales for 3 years. This time was good for me and I know that was God’s way of providing financially for us. In those 3 years I bought a car, I got married and was able to pay for our wedding, we paid off my husband’s student loans and a large portion of mine and we bought a house. Those things would not have been possible without my time working in such a fast pace sales environment and I’m thankful for that time yet along the way, I knew God was moving us toward something different.
In August of 2015, another benchmark in my faith journey, I attended a conference with a couple of friends and I felt the Lord drawing me in to seek him in what would be next for me. I shared with one friend that I just didn’t know what God was calling me to do but that I was ready to move forward in whatever that was. That’s when she said something that will stick with me forever. “I think you’re always going to wonder what it is that God is calling you to do until you just take a leap of faith and do something.” And there is was. Just do something. My waiting season was nearing a close and I was pressing onward toward something and I had no clue what it was. I had prayerfully applied for a few ministry jobs that I knew would be ways I’d love to serve but none of them worked out. But I knew I just had to do something. I had to take a leap.
Based on my pay schedule, I knew that July 1st was the best time for me to leave my full time job in pursuit of what was next and so I did. I had no plan other than I knew I was going to do something. I said goodbye to my team during a Friday morning meeting. A few of those closest to me knew I would be saying goodbye and I’m so grateful that our store leadership allowed me the opportunity to share with my team that I’d be leaving in pursuit of what God was calling me to do, even if I didn’t have that part figured out just yet. I said goodbye, gave lots of hugs, turned in my badge, my work issued iPad and phone and that was it. 3 years of hard work and stress was over and I had never felt more free!
That same friend that spoke those words into my life in August had been praying with me through this 11 month process of figuring out what “just do something” meant. She wanted to meet me for coffee to celebrate this big step I’d just taken and so we met at a local place and chatted for about 2 hours. Then her tone changed and she said “I came to celebrate with you but I also came to talk to you about something. I want to offer you a job.” As I’m sure my jaw was wide open, this dear friend shared that through her praying for me, she had also praying for a few months about who God wanted to come serve alongside her part time in campus ministry and she couldn’t help but see God aligning those two pieces together.
Two hours after taking the biggest leap of faith I’d ever taken in my life! It was like Jesus himself was sitting with us and whispered, “This is it. This is what you’ve been waiting for.” I called my husband in tears and we prayed about it for a few days but I knew that day that my answer was yes. He knew that day that my answer was yes. As this same friend likes to put it, “my yes had been on the table” all along, for nearly a year, I just didn’t know what we were agreeing to until July 1, 2016.
So today, on the one year anniversary of that leap of faith, we celebrate freedom. The freedom that we have through faith in Jesus and the freedom that comes from obedience to Jesus. We often get this idea in our head that when we are in control, we’re more free to do whatever we want but it’s the opposite that is true. When we are in control, we are caged by our own limits of what we can do. When we release control over to Jesus and “put our yes on the table” to whatever He is calling us to do, there lies the true freedom because we no longer caged by our own limitations but set free by a limitless God. Children playing in their backyard don’t have to worry about anything because they know their moms and dads are taking care of them. When we walk in obedience to what God is calling us to do, we don’t have to worry about controlling anything because we recognize that God controls EVERYTHING.
As we take the day to soak in the peace that comes from knowing God’s taking care of us, we enjoy things like staying in our PJs and repeat cups of coffee. We celebrate freedom by welcoming our best friends into our home where we’ll undoubtedly eat too much food and play cards all night. We celebrate freedom in playing with Bailey and watching her sleep in the middle of our living room floor. And we celebrate freedom by thanking Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith and our freedom for it is by HIM that we are set free.