I have had this saved for over two years and just never posted it. This was written right after we stepped down from Gateway to plant our church. Then all the doors closed. We had no idea what God was going to do. Now that we are on the other side of this struggle, I want to let you see ALL the feelings that were associated with that “no” from God.
It’s always difficult to know how much to share and what to keep to yourself. Sometimes I share too much. Sometimes I don’t share enough. There really is a delicate balance. Wisdom knows what to say and when to say it.
We are in a spot right now that I’m willing to share so that it might help someone who is in the same type of spot or who might be someday. It’s also good to look back and see all that He has done. Please read this with the understanding that this is vulnerable for us.
Our family made the difficult decision to resign our jobs at Gateway. We have absolutely loved our church. The healing that has come to us is tremendous. Our jobs ended in June. We stepped out because God was saying “yes” to a dream that’s been in our hearts for 12 years. We have known that God was going to have us plant a church and have been dreaming about it since Bible College. He stirred up the dream, gave confirmations and opened doors. So we walked through them with faith. We built a team, started inviting neighbors, built a website… did the work He was calling us to. Then a week before our time at Gateway was over, the doors closed. They closed hard. And loudly. And publicly. We were devastated and humiliated.
Do we hear Him?
Is there something wrong with us?
What in the world are we supposed to do now?
We just quit our jobs for this!
I’m writing this from a place of peace but also want to be honest about the questions and fears we have faced. Life with Jesus is a serious dance. Sometimes we are strong and are able to be the ones encouraging others, and sometimes we aren’t and are in need of encouragement.
All we know is He is doing something. We should be panicked and freaking out but we aren’t. We are safe in His arms. He sat us right here and while we are here, we are choosing to praise Him, trust Him, and have a little fun.
Abraham knew God had promised him a son. And Abraham had to walk that same son all the way up the mountain to sacrifice him. His obedience spared Isaac.
We don’t know all of the reasons why He is saying “no” right now, but we do know He’s good and His plans are for our good.
One of the funniest things about the whole ordeal is that we had already sent out invitations to our leadership team about our first service. So we had to still have it. We explained everything to our team and they were extremely supportive.
We had our one (and only) service, left with the team still at our house, and drove through the night to make it to our interview for Keypoint Church in Arkansas. We sat down to meet with our pastors and told them, “Ok, we have to be honest. We started a church last night. BUT don’t worry because it’s over!” You can’t make this stuff up people!
It’s amazing to look back now knowing that God had Keypoint waiting for us. We knew that God wanted us pastoring adults and that my hubby was supposed to be using his preaching gift. We just thought that meant we needed to start our own church. God’s “no” to Promise Church was because He had a “yes” waiting for us in Arkansas. The campus that we now lead is full of the most Godly, mature, selfless leaders. We have fallen in love with it and have grown so much.
Here are a few reasons why God might tell us “no.”
- It’s not His will.
- The timing is off.
- We aren’t mature enough to handle what we are asking Him for.
- He has something else for us.
- Unrepentant sin.
There are few things more disappointing then God telling us “no.” Those feelings are very real. The one Person we should run TO (God) is very often who we run FROM. The enemy does all he can to mess with our view of God’s character and bring division. He says things like, “If God really loved you then He would _______.” It is the exact same trick that he used on Eve. Here are a few promises about God’s character when we are hearing “no’s” from Him:
“No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless,” (Psalm 84:11 NIV).
“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,'” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT).
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track,” (Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG).
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love,” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13 MSG).
Maybe there’s a dream in your heart or a relationship you really want but you feel like God is telling you “no” right now. Can I just encourage you? It’s not because He is mean or wants to hurt you. It is because He is taking you on a journey and doesn’t want you to rush or miss what He has for you. He can see the whole picture and knows exactly where He is taking you. Let me challenge you to Choose to Trust Him. When you look back, you’ll smile at the “no’s.”