If you have ever grown a business, a ministry, built or bought a house, moved far from home or raised a family, you have probably experienced a crossroad season in your life where you needed to make a ‘sliding door’ decision; ‘Do I hand this on or attempt to keep things as they are?’ We have handed over all of the above and not all of them have been easy. I will share on each one over the next few blogs, but today let me tell you about my house story.
We had just finished building our dream home which we had planned and saved for over many years. We had designed our home exactly how we wanted it to look with everything we could possibly want in it, including extra rooms for visiting ministry to stay and enjoy. As we watched every detail come together, our anticipation grew, and to say we were eager to move in, would be an understatement.
Daily we watched the clock tick over towards ‘move in’ day. The dream was becoming a reality and with just seven days to go, I began to dream of all we would do in that beautiful home. It was a lovely dream until God interrupted me and dropped a challenge into my heart. He said, ‘Deb, if I asked you to give this up, would you do it?’ At first I thought it was fear speaking; ‘Surely this cannot be God.’ I wanted to put that thought aside but it would not leave me, and over the course of that week the question kept coming to me. ‘Deb, if I ask you to give this house up for me, will you do it?’ I could no longer deny that it was indeed God speaking and challenging my heart. Was I willing to give up what had taken us years of hard work and sacrifice to build, even though God knew we had ministry in mind when we built the place?
We were one day out from moving in and that gnawing question was consuming me and I knew God was waiting on my answer. By the end of that day, I made the choice to surrender that house to God. I told Him; ‘If you ask me to give up this house we are about to move into Lord, I will, it’s yours.’ I had given the house to God, but up until this point I had not told my husband what God was challenging me on.
Moving day came and went, and after all our helpers had left – bar one couple, we all sat down on the lounge feeling exhausted but completely satisfied and extremely happy. We had hardly been seated two minutes when my husband turned to each of us and said, ‘Well, if God took this away tomorrow, He would have something else for us.’ I couldn’t believe my ears. Not only had God been speaking to me, but also to Paul, my husband.
For the next three years, we enjoyed that beautiful home where we entertained friends and family, church people and had guests stay with us from all over the world. Life was good, work and ministry were going well, our children were in a great school and we were all happy. Then God knocked on our door.
The short version is this; God called us to the island state of Tasmania. For Paul and myself, it was a relatively easy yes, because God had dealt with our hearts three years prior, but for everyone we knew, they could not understand it. ‘Why would you leave, you have it made here, in every way, and how can you leave this beautiful house?’ (To get the whole story, you can grab a copy of my book – Just Say YES).
After making the decision to move to Tasmania, Paul and I sat down to chat about what changes this would mean to us as a family. I remember Paul saying to me; ‘Deb, we may never have a house like this again. Are you ok with that?’ As he said those words my eyes glanced across to the pool with it’s flowing waterfall at the top end, the lush two and a half acres of land that our magnificent house stood on, and the house itself which wrapped around that always welcoming pool. I needed a moment. It was my ‘sliding door’ moment. To stay, meant I had complete security of home, family, friends, church, finance and much much more. To go, meant complete surrender to the call of God which was only partially clear. It meant leaving everything we loved and knew. It meant trusting God with the unknown. It meant a new culture, new church, new friends, new everything. After looking at both doors which were open to me, I knew which door I was to take, the door that God had prepared long ago in my heart. I looked at Paul and said; ‘I’m ok with that.’
That surrender took us on a journey that would eventually lead us to what has been over 30 years of significantly fruitful ministry. Has there been challenges? Absolutely. Would we change it if we could? Definitely not. So far, it has been incredibly rewarding and we are so much richer in ways we would never have been, had we chosen the other door.
My challenge to you is this; When you come to that crossroad, your sliding door moment, which door will you walk though?
Trust God when He speaks to you. Know that He has already gone before you and will be with you every step of the way.
‘Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.’ Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT)
One thought on “Sliding Doors”
Great stuff Deb.
LikeLiked by 1 person