How To Know Whether You’re Trusting God…or Just Being Stupid

One of the most perplexing questions a Christian and, to be sure, a Christian leader will face when it comes to risk is this:

Am I trusting God, or am I simply being foolish?

The question isn’t as dumb as it seems.

There’s a fine line between faith and irresponsibility, and at times it’s almost impossible to see.

You know that big leadership risk you’re thinking about?

your new role

the massively daunting project

the big mission trip

that new campus

your start up

hiring a team

a new facility

the big move?

So…is it a step of faith, or is it just stupid?

Is it trust…or is it irresponsibility?

How would you know?

risk

Real Risk Lives on the Edge of Spectacular

Recently I had a call from a pastor friend who wanted to get his church out of a portable situation and into a new facility.

We had talked about the move several times, and on this particular day he was down the wire. His church had given at unbelievably sacrificial levels, but he was still at least 6 figures short of his goal. Yet they had a building deal in front of them that they could move on now before costs escalated beyond what they could afford.

He asked me what I thought. I asked more questions. The answers really didn’t help me get much clarity at all, despite my friend’s best intentions.

I asked him what other wise people he and I both knew were saying. He said everyone thought it was pushing the known limits.

I said I tended to agree.

We talked some more.

So what advice did I end up giving him?

I told him:

I think this will be spectacular. It will either be spectacularly wonderful or a spectacular failure. And I don’t know which.

That’s quite literally what I told him. (Bet you don’t want to call me for advice anymore….)

But that was the truth. I just didn’t know which. I told him I’d be watching with prayerful anticipation, which I did.

So what did my friend do?

He put out one last call for giving and people…responded.

They signed the deal. And recently I saw his amazing new facility that’s nearing completion.

I’m glad I kept my mouth shut. He was right. It looks like it was a spectacularly great decision for his congregation and all those they’ll reach in the coming years.

The Bible Sometimes Makes Things…Complicated

Ever really read the Bible?

So when you read it…what do you see? Faith or foolishness?

What was Abraham thinking when we set out with his entire family to go to a land he’d never been to, risking everything for a voice he thought he’d heard?

Who was Moses to think he could stand up to the most powerful king in the land, or to even attempt it after he had so much doubt about his calling?

The prophets were….not very typical suburban people. Ezekiel lay on his side for 390 days and all eating a specific diet cooked over excrement and played with a scale model of Jerusalem to show its pending destruction…wow!)

Imagine how Daniel felt being thrown into the lion’s den. Had he lived his life faithfully, or foolishly? He was about to find out.

Would you have advised your kids to do what Peter James and John did, leaving it all (including you, mom and dad!) to follow a man that had just burst onto the scene and some are starting to think is God?

How about Paul, who went from place to place, prison to prison, painfully misunderstood but absolutely committed to proclaiming this Jesus so many people rejected?

We say we want our kids to lead faithful lives, but do we even have a clue what that means?

None of our biblical heroes were exactly on the top college/stunning career track.

If you were advising any of these biblical figures, what would you have told them to do?

What is a Godly decision?

Is it always wise, prudent, restrained, responsible?
Or is it always risky, edgy, out-there, half-crazed?
Or neither?
Or both?

That’s a tough one, isn’t it?

Two Helpful Questions

For the record, I don’t believe there’s an easy way, five step, bullet proof way to resolve the tension between faith and foolishness.

Pivotal decision making should be navigated through prayer, through pouring over scripture (prayer and scripture should always be married) and through seeking advice of trusted, Christian mature people around you (click here for how to develop an inner circle like that). But sometimes that even lands in a place of uncertainty.

Here are two questions I’ve started asking myself to help when things aren’t clear:

1. Is ‘wisdom’ killing my trust in God?

2. Does my ‘trust’ in God disregard all wisdom?

Q 1:  Wisdom Killing My Trust?

I think the first question—is wisdom killing my trust in God—is more disturbing for me.

I’ve led for 20 years and learned a lot of lessons. I’m wiser than I was decades ago (hopefully that’s true for all of us who have led for a while).

And that can lead me to choose what I know, can see and can predict without honestly going for broke and trusting God wholeheartedly.

More over, the more successful you become—the more money you have, the more people you’ve reached, the more influence you have—the more conservative you tend to become. I’m not talking politics here, I’m simply saying you tend to not want to lose what you’ve got, so you naturally conserve more and risk less.

You know what’s underneath that? Fear.

Fear is clever. And fear can hide behind wisdom.

You can get to a certain season in leadership in which you no longer want to take risks in the name of being ‘wise’, ‘prudent’ or ‘ responsible.”

But the truth is you don’t want to rock the boat. If you examined your motives, you’d be honest and say you don’t want to lose what you’ve already gained. You simply don’t want to sacrifice what is for the sake of what could be.

You’d be forced to admit that having is more comforting than trusting.

And you’ve allowed ‘wisdom’ to become a substitute for trust.

And that’s bad.

That’s why young leaders are often better risk takers than seasoned leaders—they have less to lose so they risk more.

And that can lead some leaders to stop trusting God because ‘risk’ looks unwise.

When was the last time you had to trust God for the outcome of something? I mean really trust God?

If you can’t remember, it might be a sign you’ve let wisdom kill your trust in God.

Q 2: Does My Trust in God Disregard All Wisdom?

The opposite of course, can also be true. You have so much faith that you’re…well, reckless.

What people claim to be ‘trust’ can easily be:

their ego
their insecurity
a cruel disregard for other people
deep disobedience
irresponsibility

Just because you label it ‘faithful’ doesn’t mean it’s faithful.

If you are disregarding wisdom entirely and likely to hurt a bunch of people you’re likely not being faithful.

Trust still looks like Jesus…and it should have outcomes consistent with his character and with scripture.

If your decision makes you and the people you lead look nothing like Christ, it’s not from Christ.

The Final Call

So…you can go through all of these steps and still not be clear. You knew that, didn’t you?

So what happens if all of this (prayer, scripture, wise counsel and questions like the two questions above) doesn’t lead you to a conclusion?

Here’s what I do.

I just make a decision. So should you.

So many dreams have died because people were terrified to make the wrong decision. Don’t be.

Whatever decision you make, offer it up in faith. Make it faith. Dedicate the decision and the outcome to God, like Paul suggests in Romans 14:23.

A prayer like that can sound something like this:

God I”m doing this (or not doing this) because I trust you. If it’s wrong, I trust you will show me. If it’s right, I trust you will show me. I’m trusting you with the outcome.

Then go for it. With confidence and faith. Don’t hold back.

For as Augustine said:

Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.

So…what do you think? What are you learning?

What would you add to this discussion?

And maybe even tell me what big decision you’re weighing right now.

Scroll down and leave a comment!

131 Comments

  1. Shaunte on February 20, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I am a teacher who has been wanting to work as an assistant principal. I am qualified and have been turned down for some chances. My former principal called me a couple of weeks ago because he wanted me to apply for the position at his new school. I didn’t go looking for this chance- it came to me. He called me last night to say of all the interviewees, I got the job. The catch? The job ends in June and I’d have to reapply. There are no guarantees. Furthermore, if I leave the county where I am, I may not be rehired if I lose this. My husband and I just bought a house this past November, and I wouldn’t want my nine-year-old son to change schools. My husband can get him to and from school, so the choice is really mine to make. A dear friend of mine told me that I may be about to talk myself out of a blessing and that the eyes of the world say don’t step because the way is not perfectly laid out and clear, but that’s not what the Word says. We walk by faith not by sight. I’ve been praying about this for two years now, so I’m praying that I make the godly choice.

  2. Anon on February 20, 2019 at 12:14 am

    There is no simple way to share because it’s more complex than I’m capable of sharing. I will say that when I thought it was the end of my life it wasnt and I dont like what I’m going through because I feel powerless but again I’m still alive..and I’m researching and learning about complex topics like trust. The miracle is that I’m still alive.

  3. Amber on February 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Amazing article!! However left me still wondering.. I am debating on going on a medical mission trip outside the country and when mentioned to my wonderful parents they were very concerned and shared that they strongly do not wish for me to go. My boyfriend of 4.5 years also feels the same way about it. They claim that they don’t think I’ll be able to do much there with the money it costs to get there versus doing something in our own country. They also find it selfish because if something bad would happen to me there that would hurt them all very much. I see what they mean but going out of the country for a mission trip has always been on my heart. I have skipped going on multiple other vacations in order to save money for this. Is it selfish for me to still want to go even though it would offend my family and loved ones? Is God calling me to leave what I’m comfortable with and just hope that my family will understand? Is this his way of telling me that me and my boyfriend are not meant to be? Way too many factors have played into this and each day I become more confused. Thanks for reading 🙂

    • Jess on February 19, 2019 at 10:59 pm

      I just returned from a mission trip to Africa and I can’t even put into words how rewarding it was. To be able to help people and spread love and bring the word of Jesus to people on the other side of the world- that’s exactly what Jesus wanted us to do! And I now know- it’s not only for them, it’s for us! I learned so much! I came back humbled and my heart just filled to the brim with compassion! I’m almost having a hard time adjusting back to our modern culture and life… it’s amazing to be the hands and feet of the Lord. It’s amazing to give Him the opportunity to move through you.. I am a wife and a mother. My parents were not happy I was going either.. but Fod needed alone time with me as much as I needed with him! It’s truly a life changing experience. And I would advise you to pray on it and see what he speaks to your heart! But don’t let people hold you back from any opportunity you may have in a calling.
      Bless you

  4. MJ on February 12, 2019 at 5:55 am

    I’ve been working part time for many years while parenting two children. I recently applied for a full tine job that was perfect for me after I had left a part time job that had become toxic. I prayed about the full time job and prayed God would only open this door for me if it was his will. I prayed I wouldn’t get the job if it wasn’t his will and wasn’t right for us. I ended up being interviewed twice and offered the job. All through this process I have prayed if this isn’t right for our family that he would close the door and not let job be offered to me. Now that the job has been offered I’m realizing that my youngest (12) is not ready for me to be gone so much. Plus we have a very busy schedule and another parent working full time out of town which leaves all parenting duties to me. This job has little room to take time off to take care of kids. Someone else will need to get them from school and take them to their after achool activities as well as other appointments. This means not seeing each other for about 13 hours a day. It feels taking this job may put a strain on the family and especially my 12 year old. I’ve been praying for guidance but it isn’t clear to me yet. Any thoughts? Am I passing up a blessing?

    • Ann on February 13, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Well, you prayed and God answered, I would try it! He will solve the issues. Many years ago when I had 5 young children I was called out of the blue and offered a full time teaching job. I had never thought about working at all, how would I do it with 5? But I felt God call me and so I said yes and he opened many doors – the most unbelievable one was that my youngest, a preschooler, was able to attend a day care in the classroom next to mine in my high school!! How God worked out that was amazing as it was well known and had quite a waiting list, but He wanted me to teach and worked all out. You prayed and He opened the door. Now trust that everything else will work out.

      I am moving also, away from my teaching job that is toxic to me. I love my students and classes but it is affecting my ability to be a good mom and wife. So I prayed, felt led, quit, and have now received a new job at a university! But like you I have doubts, but I have to trust that when I prayed God answered as He always does. And I have to trust that He knows best and knows all the details and needs, as He does and is working all out for His glory and my good.

  5. Lost on February 11, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I have been battling for years now asking God to do His will cause I don’t always know what to do. It seems like when I do that, everything falls apart. Work has been slow so I thought I would use the free time I had getting close to God. My family and I are n tricky situations on every level and we are challenged My go to has always been alcohol not a daily bases but often. It is my weak point. I prayed hard about it. And just
    when it seemed like I got it together all the work I have done fell apart in one day when all stresses became too much and I drank. I thought it would be okay as God knows my heart and it’s not that I love alcohol it’s just that it makes things easier for a bit…cause God does not always provide immediate help. It’s been four days now and my so called husband we are not married cause he thinks it’s old school has left me to sleep in a car for two days and now has locked me up in the house whenever he leaves and I’m not allowed to talk to our son. But I have never felt more free as I am spending time with God now and it’s stressful but nice just to be with Him.I have been asked to leave but we have been here so many times through my fault and my partners. It is a toxic relationship but we both believe in God and are Christians. I have a very important decision to make to leave or stay.I told God I’m not making any decisions and He must decide cause I’m tired of deciding and things just never work out on every level. I do things by faith and I do what’s right as far as I can. I’m emotionally exhausted cause our relationship has been challenged on every evel. Where most “marriages” end based on only one bad ordeal we have gone through them all. I just want to do what’s right for my son. But I don’t know what that is so I’m not making any decisions. I’m not moving cause I have tried various paths and still end up at the same fork on the road. Am I being silly?

    • Loret on February 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Go to AA. You are an alcoholic. You don’t need to drink everyday to be one. You are likely a “situational alcoholic”. What ever kind it is, you rely on drinking to get rid of stress. When in crisis, never a good time to make big decisions or drink. Go to AA. Go to every meeting you are able to make. You will know when you can go to fewer meetings but for now, you need every one of them. Until you get your alcoholism dealt with, nothing in your life will work and the toxicity you talk about is because of your drinking and will continue. I’m talking straight here and it may seem a bit tough but it is necessary to wake you up. Go to AA. You can’t hear God until you get this problem under control and clear your mind. Go to AA. They will teach you how to control your emotional impulses and show you how to find better ways to deal with your emotions. Go to AA and be supported by people in the same struggle you are. Take care. I wish you the best and I will pray for you to succeed.

      • Lost on February 11, 2019 at 11:39 am

        Thank you. I will. And get back to you.

        • Loret on February 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm

          Good! I hope you do. Work the program. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. It takes time to recover so do not expect immediate results that fix or change everything for the better. Get a sponsor too, someone who will help you work the program. Be patient and stay the course. It will be worth all the hard work. Yes, please report back. I wish you all success in finding your way out of this addiction.

      • Lost on February 11, 2019 at 12:32 pm

        Thank you I have made arrangements to attend my first meeting next Monday afternoon as it’s the closest to the one I am. Just thinking now that I have prayed literally begged God to help me with my drinking and asked the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and not let me fall into temptation. Why did God not answer me? Why did I have to look for help on a website and find my own healing before he can work through me?

        • Loret on February 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm

          Because He has a lesson(s) for you to learn. I don’t mean there is something bad coming. It will be good – Romans 8:28. Or there will be something about this journey that is going to bless someone else, through you. Or both. I’m not being mysterious or mystical here. Sometimes we need to climb out or go through so we learn something important. Sometimes it is so we can bless others. In my experience is it has worked both ways, for me. When I fought cancer, He could have healed me. He had done it before. But this time I had to walk through it, chemo and all. And because I did, I learned to let go of pride. I would not accept help until I got to a point that I had no choice. He knew this was the way for me to change a bad habit. I thank Him he put me through that very difficult experience. I learned that letting others help me, blessed them. I would not and could not see that refusing help was robbing others of blessing. Want to see someone light up with feeling good? Let them help you. I had a platform to witness on because no one tells a cancer patient they don’t want to hear it because if that patient dies, one might have shut up their last words. No reasonable person wants that guilt on their conscience. I don’t know why your healing will come through working it out. But Romans 8:28 is the best answer I can give you. Take the walk through AA and pray for God to give you HIS wisdom and understanding. This is one prayer HE promises to answer. James 1:5

          Now I’m not sure what you mean by “making arrangements to attend” ? You just go to AA. It is open to everyone without appointment. Do not think for one second I can’t sniff bull poo. I’m a recovered addict. I know it when I see it. Ok? So be real with me and I’l support you. But most of all, be real at AA. Don’t use that as a crutch to continue drinking or getting attention or any other purpose, other than getting yourself well.

          • Lost on February 12, 2019 at 3:55 am

            Thank you for being so hard on me. May you be blessed. I meant arrangements in the sense I looked it up found a meeting contacted the person to see if the time and date still applies. I suffer keratokonus which means I don’t drive much cause can’t see at night and had to find somebody who can drop me and pick me up. Another major challenge in my life as I’m quite independent but always have to ask to be driven around.



          • Loret on February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am

            Lost, after you get to first AA meeting, hopefully you will find people to help you get to meetings. Probably going to be important that you find a sponsor quickly so they may help with this too. Ask around. It is likely you will need more than one meeting a week. Try to go to 3 in the beginning so you don’t have too many days between. As I said before, eventually you will be able to cut back to 1-2 a week. Everyone is different. I had a friend who went multiple times a day but he needed to do that in the beginning of his sobriety, in order not to drink. Also remember one other thing I said, our need is someone else’s blessing. I’m very independent too but by letting other’s help me, I’ve found a way to bless them. And that pleases God. Best to you.

            Father I ask you to help Lost get to meetings, hold onto sobriety and willingly earn what you are about to teach. Father give Lost understanding of why she drinks so she may seek You for specific healing for this emotional problem(s). Give Lost the wisdom to know what to do instead of drinking. Help Lost find a sponsor and AA groups that will support and encourage her with people who will help her with rides. Father through this journey, heal Lost’s family relationships. And lastly I ask You to show her Your purpose of all this and how to use it for Your glory. In Jesus name, Amen



  6. Tara Constance on February 3, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    This was a fresh perspective. Does it apply to buying a home when we have debt?

  7. Donna on February 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Psalms 32:8
    [8]I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
    I t ruat God to keep His word and pray everyday that He will open the doors I should walk through and close the ones I shouldn’t. Praying unceasingly..I run the race. Difficult but after 3 years in the wilderness I KNOW He is always there.
    Don’t forget, He lets us make wring decisions and leads me through doors we would not have chosen. So that He gets the glory in the rescue.
    Faith and trust and believing that failure is okay..God still has us in His hands…He will allow us ruined knees and broken hearts to get to the ultimate goal of Christlikeness. Believing the unbelievable is the first step…more difficult than imaginable…but worth k owing the Lord.better.

    • Loret on February 4, 2019 at 7:09 am

      It is not true God allows us to make wrong decisions so He can rescue us for His Glory. Nor is it true that believing the unbelievable is the first step to anything with or about God. Where did you get these ideas?

  8. Deon on February 1, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Hi, I got engaged recently and my Fiancé and I wants to get married in a few months. I recently graduated and I’m seeking a job and he has jus started up his own business there for money isn’t flowing as we would like it to. We started planning the wedding in faith because we both are believers and we committed it to God in prayer. Family are hinting that we can’t make it for the time set and we should push it back. I’ve laid everything before God and asked for his direct, Ive dreamt our wedding twice and how happened despite not having all the money in the beginning. I’ve dreamt our house twice. I have sort God in prayer and fasting and waiting for his direction (other the dreams) I’ve not seen things coming together and time is going and people are asking questions.
    When do I start having faith and be practical?

  9. Dionne lucas on January 31, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Hi, im glad i found this, my marriage has been on da rocky side, hence probs i created based on actions i was getting from him so i reacted, im honestly nd sincerly regretful of da choices i made…now hes at da conclusion tht its best we get a devorce…i love my husband dearly nd dont agree…ive been praying nd hoping tht god wld just restore our marriage…but my faith hasnt been whr its supp 2 b…esp bcuz i havnt been seeing n e possitive changes…but ive decided 2 go at it with all my faith this time…i just want bk my husband nd a healthy pregnancy..plz keep us in ure prayers..thnx

  10. Christine on January 31, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Hi! I am so glad I found this article. Next week I need to make a decision on whether or not to accept on offer for a Masters Degree overseas which starts in 8 months. The program will benefit my career options, I’ll finally be able to give back and teach college students afterwards in addition to my regular job. It’s also the only program I’ve applied to because it was the “perfect fit” after being out of school for 10 years. I’m scared because I made a stupid decision on grad school ten years ago and I’m still paying off the student loans. I’ve made tremendous progress, but I still have a ways to go. I also need to rely on my current employer to transfer me over on a visa (which they said they would support me on). My fear is what if my job falls through? I can’t afford graduate school without working (and I refuse to take out any loans this time around). Because this is a part-time grad program, I’m not eligible for many scholarships. How do I know whether to say accept the school’s offer next week and trust that in the next 8 months a job/visa will line up? If it doesn’t, then I’m contractually on the hook to pay the school. I’ve felt like God was opening doors and pushing me up to this point to where I actually have to jump, but now I’m wondering if this is all just my pride of a obtaining graduate degree. How do I know?

  11. Tricia on January 30, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Hello,

    I feel God’s leading to marry someone. Ive prayed and fasted at length and it has been revealed to me through scripture, dreams, and impressions from the holy spirit that I am meant to marry a man who happens to be my 2nd cousin by relation. After revealing it to our families, everyone has given their blessing since we’ve expressed that we’re being led by God except my mother and aunt. They find the decision to be shameful, against God’s will, selfish, irresponsible, amongst other things. My mother has expressed to me many times that I would break her heart and bring shame to her name if I decide to proceed with this. I can already feel the division growing between her and me. However, I still believe God is leading me to make this decision… No matter how seemingly odd or culturally shamed. I feel caught between following what I believe to be God’s leading and doing something that could potentially break my mother. What advice do you have for me?

    • T on February 7, 2019 at 4:38 am

      Wow, you’re marrying your cousin???

    • Loret on February 7, 2019 at 7:26 am

      Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think God is telling us, we have blinders on because we want what we want. I’m not sure if that is you or not but it is a great question to ask yourself. If you 2 are really meant to be together, then hold off until God unites the whole family on this. If you are really meant to be together there is no harm in waiting and in fact you will grow stronger, together, over time.

      Family are those you go cradle to grave with. Take it from someone who is orphaned by family rejection, it is a hard way to live and lonely, lonely, lonely especially around the holidays.

      I would ask you to consider the some unintended consequences. Here are some suggestions to think about:

      -the rate of birth defects is higher especially for heart and nervous disorders (spinal bifida is one).
      -shared genes have an increased chance of undesirable recessive genes showing up. how will you deal with that? can you? please don’t be flippant here about God getting you through or taking care of it. A child in need of 24/7 care or management is exhausting and taxes the best of relationships to the brink of destruction and most marriages do not survive.
      -will the family be split if you 2 divorce? what will it be like at family events with both of you there?
      -divorce with children causes both parents to be in constant contact with one another for the rest of their lives. it is tough enough on kids but I can’t imagine having my divorced parents in one family and having to deal with that. At least when I was with one side I could escape the other side.
      -you may not be able to talk to family (parents) when in need of support so not to cause divisions between parents who are siblings or close so who then?

      When we are young we think we know all we need to know but our parents have a lot of life experience that is worth considering. And I understand I pointed out a lot of negative here. But I also feel this is not a situation the one can simply advise “do what God says”. I’m not sure this is God telling you. I wonder if your family is all or mostly believers and this is the enemy trying to divide you all?

      For me, when all else is confusing I go to scripture. You never go wrong following that.
      Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you. Ex 20:12

  12. Stace on January 30, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Help please with any thoughts or comments: I have worked for a well known Christian ministry (speaker, pastor, tv, ecourses) and have gone from a contract position to a more permanent position. In speaking with the CFO, we discussed FT employment, and because a large move would have to take place, I needed to know the salary. We’ve had 3 meetings, 1 outside talk regarding the need for me to have a price point if its doable to move. Every conversation has ended in frustration because she refuses to give a wage, unless I agree to take the job. Even with my yes, I still cannot get a quote from her. Yesterday, on the phone, she asked me to email what I would like to be paid, job description, etc and they would discuss it. I know these owners personally, so I am really stuck on whether to move forward or get out. I’ve had mixed advice so this lesson was so good for me. I like my job, I learn and grow, doing it with excellence, as PH did. I’ve called out some broken places and think perhaps all of this is push back for honesty and integrity. My sister says run, they don’t really want you, God has something greater- we have fought over this a few times.
    What I’d like is an outside perspective, am I fighting harder for this than they are? Am I going to be used for growth and change? Is it toxic and I need to stay out? Thanks to whoever can speak into this please.

    • Loret on January 30, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      There should be a salary and all the benefits discussed prior to taking an offer. You can’t know if pay is good if they don’t say! I’m not sure this is about not wanting you but it sure is dysfunctional. And usually when there is “crazy” going on, it doesn’t get better; crazy just gets worse. That old tip of the iceberg thing. I know you may be looking for some scripture here but I feel this is just a moment when you need to use the brains God gave you and as he instructed us all how to use them. Matt 10:16

      I’m curious to know what you decide.

  13. KPUK on January 22, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I would be interested in your comments on the following:

    I am part of a church leadership team. The congregation is looking and wanting change but are unsure what that change should be. after a while and many leadership meetings I felt it was clear what many people thought was the general direction we should go as a church but did not know or could not agree what the first step should be.

    One day I felt challenged to search the bible for someone ‘Who God spoke to’…. a thus says the Lord moment.

    I found a passage that seemed to lay everything out before me – How the ‘Vision’ was imparted to the individual, how that person revealed the vision and the steps that unfolded so the vision was realised. As I was thinking on this passage, over a number of months I found other events around me started to confirm or add to the explanation via Christian friends, Sermons, Daily bible notes etc. – Not all mine

    The Leadership team had a number of ‘Waiting on the Lord’ times and at one I spoke about ‘The vision’ and the need for us to make a decision or step out in faith. I truely believed God would speak to their hearts and that we would move forward.

    its now over 12 months later and we are still in the same position we were before.

    I have wrestled with the point that I believed God was wanting us to ‘do something’, I felt he spoke clearly. I am not one that wants fame or fortune, or believe that I am Gods gift and find it dificult to reconcile what I believe is Gods will for our Church
    that nothing has happened. It makes you question if it was not his will how did I get it so wrong in my understanding.

    have you ever experienced anything like this ? How did you come to terms with it ? Do you know of any Scriptures that can shed any light.

    • Loret on January 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      This is awfully vague so makes it hard to answer. Are you able to give more specifics and tell us what your vision for the church is?

      • KPUK on January 23, 2019 at 3:09 am

        I do not think explaining the vision is important. The point I seek an answer to is:

        Have you every been fully convinced of Gods will only to find ‘Nothing happens’ – not a yes/no/maybe or wait ?
        Not having a reply puts you in a position of doubt – not of Gods love and promises – a personal doubt that you can get it so wrong. –

        I am interested in any scripture that can shed light on this matter

        • Loret on January 23, 2019 at 7:08 am

          I don’t know any scripture on this subject. Not in the way you want it to say.
          When I’ve been fully convinced God is saying something and when nothing happens, I usually find that idea came from within myself or the enemy put it in my head. Yes, I can get it very wrong. Sometimes God doesn’t give us a vision to act on but only to pray on. When something God is doing is really of Him, he moves others too. If the others are not moving, then maybe it isn’t God talking to you? The devil can come in forms that makes us think he is God.

          In the bible, when it comes to visions and prophecy, they are primarily about calling people away from the sin of idolatry, empty ritualism, committing injustice on the poor. Some were given visions about the end times. Isaiah had visions. You might try reading Isaiah 6 to see what Godly visions are like. In closing, I suggest you go back to the drawing board of our Father and ask if it is really from Him and what He wants you to do about it. Ask Him to show you if it properly lines up with His character, His word and His ways. He always answers those questions. Truly test this vision against the Word. God does not make up new things so whatever this is, it has biblical support, if from Him. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. If not biblically supported, then time to give it up. The fact that others are not moved leads me to think this may be not of God or only about something to pray for.

  14. BEST on January 14, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Is it being faithful or foolishness? I was expecting a check from an employer for a scheduled payment plan and I didn’t receive it. I was going to email the employer (church) but of out of fear of not wanting to disturb the church when I know they might have other bills or risk of burdening them, I didn’t ask. Also, I heard a testimony from a lady that she waited on God for her finances and he provided so I thought to wait. Now the check still hasn’t come and it was too late to tell the creditors to postpone, was I being foolish?

    • Loret on January 15, 2019 at 7:05 am

      Foolish. When someone owes you money for work done, even a church, it is OK to make a polite and timely inquiry. The sooner the better. But what concerns me is if they aren’t paying you, what is going wrong with their financials? Also, as a business owner, I never make my problems my employees’ problem. Especially when it comes to pay. I would never, ever disrespect them this way. That money they worked for is “fully earned” and there are that laws forbid withholding it never mind it goes against God’s instruction in Luke 6:31.

  15. BEST on January 14, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Is it being faithful or foolishness? I was expecting a check from an employer for a scheduled payment plan and I didn’t receive it. I was going to email the employer (church) but of out of fear of not wanting to disturb the church when I know they might have other bills or risk of burdening them, I didn’t ask. Also, I heard a testimony from a lady that she waited on God for her finances and he provided so I thought to wait. Now the check still hasn’t come and it was too late to tell the employers to postpone, was I being foolish?

  16. Edson Sadialunda on January 5, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I have read so many articles about faith and trust I God and now I understand why most of the believers are struggling to get their breakthroughs and success: we are afraid to make the last decision in all that we do. Praying is not a problem but to make that killer decision needs God’s grace and guidance.

    • Diana on January 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm

      On point

  17. Tom on December 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I am what would be considered by most an “older” leader (50+), but I find myself in a imposed season of trust. Without a ministry (and a pay cheque) at this stage of my life is not something I would have chosen for myself, but here I am. But I am learning lessons about waiting and trusting I never would have learned if life was predictable or routine. I would naturally been one who would play it safe, but God in His wisdom has seen fit to enforce a season of risk and trust on my wife and me. I’m reminded of that scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he stands before a bottomless chasm and is instructed to step into the thin air, but to have faith. When he does, he finds that there had been a glass bridge there all the time. I see myself like Jones standings before decisions with no guarantees, only the voice of God saying, “Do you trust me?” It does seem more difficult to risk now that I am older because I know now better the cost and consequences of a poor decision. But I never want to miss out on the excitement of seeing God at work in a new venture. That’s why I embrace this season on enforced trust as gift.

    • Diane Simmons on December 30, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you for sharing. My husband and I find ourselves in such a similar situation. We are in our 50s facing a move to a new city from where we have lived our entire lives. My husband was wrongfully let go from his job of 34 years with no insurance or paycheck. For more than 7 years we have been struggling spiritually since the church we pastored closed. No place has felt like home since. Our desire has been to move to Central Florida but he had a very good job that payed well and why rock the boat? Risks… to leave where we have always been to a place that we know very little about, with very little money, especially at our age is so scary! But somehow I feel God pushing us on to new things…I have been interviewed twice for a very unusual position and I believe I will be offered this position in a matter of days but I as a wife have never been the main breadwinner and in a different place…faith or foolishness has definitely been lingering in my mind!

  18. Doug Kibbe on December 29, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Thx Carey! This is a timely post as our growing church is seriously considering a move from the movie theaters to a permanent facility. As the lead pastor I really felt the impact of the statement “…you tend to not want to lose what you’ve got.” I realized I had slowed down on taking big steps of faith in the name of “being wise.” But our church has been taking big steps of faith for 3 years and seen God do incredible things as a result. I want to operate as debt-free as possible to ensure our $$ goes into ministry and not maintenance, so this adds a degree of uncertainty, and brings the tension of the faith-foolishness issue to the forefront. I really appreciated the 2 questions you offered! What’s so funny is, I shared with my wife what this blog was about before I finished it. Her remark was “I say we just go for it, and trust God to stop us in our tracks if we are doing the wrong thing.” Lo and behold as I kept reading, that was your suggestion!! I got my confirmation this morning, so thx!!

  19. Alex on December 29, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Appreciate the tensions that this post calls us to live into. We so prefer to cling to either ‘pole’ of our own wisdom or what we call faith when in fact we’re called to walk the tightrope between the two. This is true of so much genuine faith–appreciate how Carey regularly avoids simplistic answers to complex questions!

  20. Mark on December 29, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I’ve struggled with risk and wisdom. For a few years, I felt God’s call to step out into a new endeavor. The results have been slow and I’m not sure after a year I did the right thing. But, I’ve never been a risk taker and I took one!

  21. Scott on December 29, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Very helpful questions. Thank you.

  22. PH on December 28, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Not sure where to start – but here goes. Happy to hear opinions / advice.
    I have spent 40 years working in the corporate sector with an unblemished and decorated career portfolio.

    Near on 3 years ago I was appointed to an senior exec role looking to implement culture change. Following a careful and considered review of this company’s culture I concluded it was significantly flawed both morally and operationally.

    Unbeknownst to me the CEO who recruited me was the main contributor in perpetrating a divisive and toxic culture and who can only be described as a congenital liar and manipulator.

    That being said, I prayed ‘hard’ for wisdom. I know my craft and I knew what needed to be done. Setting aside the details of operational reforms I was confronted with a Caligula style of immoral office behaviours. Meaning, open office affairs (extra-marital), slothenly behaviours, no accountabilty, no respect etc.

    Then can the dreaded Christmas office party. One of my own staff was seen cavorting with one of the GMs of the company. Not wanting to create a scene I asked another member of my staff to discreetly request this female staff member to desist bringing herself and my department into disrepute. The function was being held in a public location which a member of the public mentioned to me that she was behaving “like a bitch on heat”.

    As a professional exec and holder of deep scruples I was none too pleased. I avoided direct contact on the night because this staff member was clearly intoxicated.
    Instead I elected to contact her the following day (Saturday) to express my disappointment at her behaviour and advised her to meet with me on the Monday morning (the event was on the previous Friday night).

    During the week-end this staff member contacted the GM who then contacted the CEO. As it happens the GM in question is the CEO’s brother!!! I knew this but I stuck to me ethics – I was not going to allow my team to be subjected to rumours of affairs and the like.

    On the Monday morning the CEO ambushed me in my office stating this staff member of mine lodged a sexual harassment claim against me citing some 30 instances over a period of 6 weeks. I was completely gob-smacked.

    Without a proper investigation I have been terminated from my job!!

    My faith and personal moral compass and beliefs have been smashed. I know the nature of the CEO. I was set-up. Lies perpetrated. No concrete proof lodged. Just allegations.

    It is now 12 months since this rort has been done to me but I have engaged lawyers at great cost.

    BUT in God I trust. I have prayed every day, multiple times, hard, for God to deliver me and justice be served. “Call on Me in your day of troubles, and I will deliver you, and You will honour me”.

    I have wrestled with God and claimed a number of Psalmic promises He made. I am also wrestling with trust issues.

    Society today it seems rewards cowardice and the not taking of self-accountabilty and responsibility. I will not resile from my firm conviction that a person is measured by their actions. 40 years of decorated service destroyed because I called out poor behaviour (both this female and the CEO’s brother have partners).

    I cannot do anything other than keep praying for a miracle. A supernatural miracle. This evil, which led to my dismissal and ruined my retirement, must be exposed but only God can do this. My enemies are too powerful.

    Has anyone been challenged to the point of losing faith? How can I possibly expect victory when I am powerless? Does anyone or could anyone share any miracle events (genuine please) in dire situations)

    Thank you in advance
    PH

    • Loret on December 28, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Dear PH, I bet you feel a lot like Shadrack, Meshack and Abendigo. They were thrown into the furnace for refusing to worship the idol. They committed to honoring God and stayed faithful to Him even to say if they died they would remain faithful. They sang praises to God and thanked him for the circumstances. And when they did, our Father delivered them unharmed from the furnace. Job was wiped out. Family killed and all possessions taken until he had nothing and was sitting on an ash heap. His wife told him to curse God and die. Job stayed faithful and God delivered him and restored him with more than he had. God is our defender. It is His reputation on the line, not yours. Like Moses, and the people at the Red Sea Crossing, get out of His way, be still and wait. Let God “kill the Egyptians”. I have a room mate that went on a 4 month anger trip with me. I could not evict him because he didn’t break the tenant laws. My home was a war zone (furnace) and the only refuge I had was my bedroom. I got busy getting out of God’s way and let Him defend me. I clung close to my Father, thanked Him and praised Him for the circumstances. I asked for wisdom and understanding and He gave it to me. I got busy with my life in keeping home and job together. I never thought there would be a good end. In fact I thought my room mate would move out and leave a broken friendship without so much as a glance back. But God turned this around by changing their attitude towards me. He showed this person what a blessing he had renting from me. God let my room mate trip over every crazy rooming situation out there. Because of this, my room mate had to change his own opinions and admit he has it pretty good where he is. Now we now coexist in peace. I suggest you start asking God to defend you. Also ask God to give your attorney wisdom and for the lies to be brought into the open. Then leave it alone, don’t dwell on it and go about your business. I’m positive that like in 2 Kings 19, when you come back to it, the defeat will be complete. The enemy will be dead, the kings in disarray and murdering one another, running for home with their tails between their legs. I can tell you that when God brings the victory it is always so sweet and complete. One more thing, count on God answering when there will be the maximum impact for His glory. Be patient, wait, God does defend. Loret

      • PH on December 29, 2018 at 6:57 am

        Loret
        Thank you. Truly.
        PH
        Happy New Year

        • Ann on January 19, 2019 at 7:42 pm

          Loret,
          Also from me thank you – I will read these words often in the upcoming months. But I also do not want to sound vain, I realize that in some difficult situations God is trying to refine me and make me a better Christian and admit that needs to be done also. When in a difficult spot I always wonder if it is my fault or I need correction somehow.

    • Dennis on December 29, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Thirty years in municipal government caused me to face similar circumstances on many occasions. I was the target of multiple race based claims of discrimination for simply doing my job, which included initiating disciplinary procedures when violation of rules and/or public trust made itself known. Thankfully none of these frivolous complaints were sustained. I felt totally defeated many times, but God always seemed to say; “I’m still here. Just hang in there a while longer. I have something better waiting for you at the end of this journey.” Sure enough, He was and is faithful. I have now been retired for 8 years, have an adequate pension benefit, and haven’t looked back. Craey said; ‘Competency gets you in the room. Character keeps you there.” I agree in principle with that. However, there are environments, such as the one you described, that are so toxic that “character” is actually a detriment to your success. I wish you and I had the opportunity to work together!
      Best wished to you going forward!

    • Nikki on December 30, 2018 at 4:22 am

      Hi PT, I’m sorry for such a tough time you are having and the disheartening place you find yourself in! I have a couple of (radical, so buckle up) things come to mind for me when I read your journey. The first is from a similar (but different) story I heard of – a gentleman who was African American and an executive of the highest caliber. After years in various roles and moving up In the company, he was currently sitting at VP, and he thought the newly vacated President role would be his. This role went to another person. The VP felt the decision was a racial decision and hired a lawyer to defend him in the situation. He was not gaining much ground and was similarly frustrated that his name, knowledge, loyalty etc was being tarnished by this. He prayed and prayed and asked God for justice. One day God said to him ‘You haven’t given me room’ When he queried God on this, asking how do I give you room and room to do what? God replied that He would like to defend him, but God couldn’t because he had hired a lawyer. This man chose to let his lawyer go and ‘give God room’ The outcome was miraculous in that he received a position where he was asked what pay he would like and the position was so much more credible and well regarded than what he was previously defending through his lawyer. I appreciate this story is not the same, but there are similarities – maybe you need to ask God how he wants to defend you?
      Another thought is around the motivation of the female staff member and her accusations against you. After the inappropriate behaviours of your staff member and the GM at the Christmas party, I imagine you spoke to the female staff member because she was part of your team? I am wondering who (or if) you organised someone to speak to the GM about his behaviour? If not, this seems an obvious point of power imbalance or oversight that could offend? If it was only the female approached around the behaviour at the party, I can see this might be enough for her to react and strongly in defence. Please hear me – I don’t think this woman’s response or accusations are justified by any means, but people can take an offence and then when coupled with a threat to themselves or a false sense of their power (from her connection to the GM) perhaps she has attacked and made accusations from this basis? I think it would be worth asking her what she thought of your approach and whether you can take the sting or bitterness from her accusations? Again I appreciate this may seem a hard ‘pill’ for you to swallow but God may be journeying you through some things for your own personal growth so that when he reinstates/restores/redeems you to a larger sphere of influence you will have incresaed wisdom, humility and moral perspectives?? All the very best PH and I know from my own gnarly journey that he truely does work all things together for good – and even when it doesn’t look like it, feel like or sound like it – keep declaring this truth! He is able to create a wonderful testimony out of this!

    • Ann on January 19, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      PH please reply with how it is going but rely on God. Here is my story. I went to teach at what I thought was a christian school but behind the scenes far from it! Very unethical and cruel behavior. It was getting very hard for me after a few years, you see, unethical types notice right away your heart and tendency to do what is right and will put you down. So I felt led to search elsewhere for the next school year. I applied at a school I had never really considered upon the advice of a coworker (who was looking also for same reasons). Well, long story short, there was an instance that I needed to report to headmaster. I had reported it in email but we were scheduled to meet. The day before this meeting I receive an unexpected offer to go to this school that next semester, not waiting until next year. I said I had not planned that and planned on finishing my year. But the next day the headmaster was so angry I would not hide the incident he really yelled at me to intimidate me into silence. So, while I am christian and think I should hold my word and finish the year, I did not just leave but asked for permission to go. I loved my students and it is hard to leave because you are reporting unethical behavior, but God provided an unexpected out at just the right time and my angry headmaster agreed. Also, I had to take a bit of a pay cut, more than I would of liked. So driving to the new job on the first day I just asked God for $8000 more. So when I got to my new school the contract was there for me for $8000 more than I agreed to the month before! God had a respite place for me and for more than expected. Unfortunately my husband was transferred and I had to leave that wonderful ethical school and I find myself in a similar spot – not near as unethical but I am seeing signs that there is not the care I would expect for my students or leading them up as honest christians. I have had to endure some bullying as there is a pervasive attitude that students cannot learn, when they fail it is their fault, and they should be punished with bad grades. I like to try new things to get them learning and for the most part it has worked – but the bitterness of others is overwhelming. So I have given my resignation to be in effect at the end of this school year. I am sad to leave students I love but it is taking a toll on my ability to serve my own family. I am now trusting God to provide for me what he needs me to do next year as I love to teach and hate to give it up. I am also, even more so, trusting God to give me a loving and serving heart toward my employer as in the next 4 months surely God wants me to represent Him well. Remember Jonah who had to go and preach and did not want to because of the sinfulness of Ninevah? Perhaps God has a mission for you where you are. Stand firm, show God’s love to them even though it is hard, just like Jonah. I will also, trying to be the best employee and have a heart of service and love and not the bitterness I often feel. I will pray for you, please pray for me, and let’s reply as God unfolds His plans!

    • Anon on February 20, 2019 at 12:13 am

      There is no simple way to share because it’s more complex than I’m capable of sharing. I will say that when I thought it was the end of my life it wasnt and I dont like what I’m going through because I feel powerless but again I’m still alive..and I’m researching and learning about complex topics like trust. The miracle is that I’m still alive.

      • Loret on February 20, 2019 at 7:19 am

        It is simple. Why questions are wanted so ask Him to give you wisdom and understanding about your situation. Trust is no big mystery. Either you do or you don’t and when I’m on a search about trust, I’m not trusting. I’m looking for concrete proof and that is not faith. Faith is the complete confidence in someone or something; without any holding back. The choice is yours to believe He has your best interests at His heart or not. I hope you find peace.

        If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

  23. Jimie Fowler on November 26, 2018 at 2:14 am

    I must admit this column was really tremendously encouraging to me ,I’m in a crossroads of walking away from my secular job into full-time Ministry I will be sacrificing a lot and walking into the unknown, but I really feel as though this is what God is leading me to do, this will be the biggest “leap of faith” ever,but I am willing to do it for the Kingdom of God,, I solicit your prayers

    • Diana on December 14, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Hei Jimmie,
      Good for you. I am in similar situation, the difference is i already quit my job and decided to go back to school for theology. I am still in counsel of some wise church friends, and if no great objection, i’ll go for it. Living it up in prayer that i can pass the entrance test as well.

  24. Alicia NYC on November 22, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Hi,

    Thank you for writing this article. I moved to New York City about 8 months ago. A year ago, I dropped out of school. I knew that wasn’t for me because it was agonizing to me every moment I was there. Deep down I knew I was meant for more than to be in a town where everyone and their parents did the same thing. I didn’t want to be like that and I struggled to fit somewhere. On top of that I worked in a factory. For months, I had clues and signs that helped me along to make that decision. The first attempt to move in the end of December, everyone told me to wait. So I did for a season. I made the decision to move on the first day of Spring, a new season. I didn’t care what I had to go through or what I had to do (that was moral of course) to make it. It was a good thing that I didn’t know what I had have to go through, because it was easier said than done. Everyone in my old town would tell me they believed I needed to wait longer, to save more money, to be more seasoned, whatever it was. I was so miserable there and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with myself. As far as moving, accomplishing anything, I was depressed and I believed it was only going to get worse. Now, I’m back for thanksgiving break for only a week. I’m basically at that “faith or foolishness” phase again. I’m in need of a job and I believe God is going to come through on time. My parents are worried and now I’m a bit worried, wondering if I did the right thing moving to New York. I admit, switching real estate firms too soon probably wasn’t a good idea and maybe I should have gotten a job sooner once real estate slowed down. I was having so much hope that maybe I’d get that client who’d take care of the whole slow season, I was doing everything I could to avoid getting a job and I think God had to work with me on my stubbornness about that or maybe it was on time. The only reason why I’m in the right mind writing this to help others, is that I was given a gift way before I moved to New York, had the statue of Liberty on a refrigerator magnet. Please, let me know your thoughts. I want to put this out there because maybe someone else in my situation could receive help from this. I’d like to send an update in a few months as far as where I am.

  25. Lynette on November 21, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Love this article.
    After becoming a mom I have been in a constant fight with this question. Am I trusting God with my child’s safety or am I being an idiot?
    I have a lot of fears from my own childhood that make me be kind of a helicopter Mon with my almost 4 year old. I have a huge stranger danger fear.
    It took me many month of sleepless nights before I could conformably leave my toddler at Sunday school.
    Now after almost 2 years I feel comfortable at church and with the many volunteers at Church. I’ve gotten to a place where I had become comfortable enough to be part of VBS and Awana which has been amazing for my growth in the church and feeling part of a church for the first time.
    When I was almost ready to start a Sunday bible study and leave my kiddo at her Sunday school class for 2 services I then walked in on the children’s director being overly aggressive with their own child. This aggressiveness required the church to call child protective services. Which this situation just validated my original fears of leaving my child in a Sunday school class.
    Now that this individual I thought I could trust has been asked to go on leave for a while is about to return. I am fearful of my child being alone in the church while they are there because I have a fear this parent may take their frustration out on my child and they are in a position in the church where they have access to her… Which brings me back to am I suppose to trust God that all will be OK and I am just being over protective… Or so I use logic and just make sure I am always with my child and be in her Sunday school class at one of her teachers like I am for awana… And if so this means that our family will loose out on our daughter being independent in the church and my and my husband being able to grow more with our church and join a couples Sunday school class.
    So I battle back and fourth because I cannot predict the future, and I don’t want to revert and go back to not being able to let my daughter be able to enjoy church without me always next to her side, and I’m saddened this issue is blocking me and my husband from joining a couples group where we can become more connected in pur church with other families….
    I’m just not sure how to balance…forgiveness or this persons actions and just being stupid to allow her around my child without myself or my husband around her…

    • Loret on November 21, 2018 at 7:56 am

      I would say God was right there protecting you both. First He revealed the problem and then he showed you, you can trust that your church is not going to allow it to the point that the church made sure this individual’s own children are safe. I’m not a parent but I had a father who could not be trusted with children, his or anyone’s so I understand this fear. It is easy to look back and focus on the bad and believe “we” can stop future bad but reality is we have no control. So why not trust our Father who has all the control? It appears to me He already is protecting you.

      Next I would disagree with you being stupid for allowing this person around your daughter. How are you to know? But what you might do is ask the church to background check child care people and that adults must be in pairs at all times when caring for children. And to put security cameras in the areas where children are cared for. My church has done all of the above even tho there has never been an incident. Its about prevention so there is no future hurting of any kind. But most of all ADVOCATE THIS PERSON IS NOT ALLOWED AROUND THE CHILDREN. If the church continues with this plan, then yes it may be time to move on to another church.

      In 1962 my mother had the wonderful idea to teach me about good touches and bad touches. This would not become an idea to be taught publicly until some 20+ yrs later. She said to me simply this: “no man should put his hands inside your clothes. And if they do, I want you to tell me right away. Promise?” This did not scare me when put like this. That instruction saved me from my father molesting me. If you do something like this, be careful not to project your fears onto you daughter. My mother grew up in a home that was a horror and she never, ever projected that onto me. She let me have my innocence of childhood.

      Forgive them. Forgiveness is not about them its about you. Your forgiveness never lets anyone off the hook and it doesn’t wipe out any bad they did. They don’t get off that hook until they go to God themselves and make it right with Him. But forgiveness does free you from the sin of unforgiveness because He calls us to forgive the way Jesus did who forgave everyone, including those that nailed Him to the Cross. Forgiveness does not mean you go tell that person, nor do you ever have to bring that person back into your life. Forgiveness is the process of letting go of the hurt, anger and bitterness so it doesn’t poison you from the inside to out. In fact, some people, based on their behavior, should and need to be kept out of our lives. Forgiveness is about living like Christ which is what we are called to do.

      I hope this helps. You are the daughter of The King. Walk in confidence and believe He has your back. Psalm 23. The rod was a weapon a shepherd used to beat off the wolves and the staff is the hook the shepherd used to pull the sheep from danger.

      • Lynette on November 22, 2018 at 9:04 am

        Loret, thank you very much for your response. It is extremely helpful and gives me a lil more perspective on where to go from here.

  26. Tareesa on November 14, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Frustrated. Purposeless. Lost. This is how I am feeling. I have always known what I wanted to do in life. Since I was a child, all the way up to graduating and starting college, I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian. I developed cat and dog allergies in high school, plus the local college I was going to did not offer veterinary medicine. I changed my major to something others thought I should do, and eventually flunked out of college due to a loss of motivation. 12 years later, I still want to pursue something animal-related, but have done nothing but doubt my dreams and wondered if they’re even in God’s will. After all, I developed these allergies that steer me away from working with animals, couldn’t get a part-time job at a vet clinic because of this, and maybe it just won’t be a good move for me. I have considered and dreamed about lots of other jobs I would like too, but it always seems to come down to working with animals in some capacity. I have prayed, but I still have no clarity, and I often feel that this career dream doesn’t offer much to God’s kingdom anyways, so maybe it’s not God’s will? I was one tiny turned-in-application away from beginning a volunteer position at a local wildlife refuge last year, but froze in fear and did nothing. Currently, I am about ready to just bust out of my safe little 12-year bubble, quit my job, and do SOMETHING early next year, and I am so perplexed! Is my dream in line with God’s will? Doesn’t He want me doing something more profitable for His kingdom and His people? I talk myself out of what I think my dream is because of this and the allergies and other factors, so I am feeling really lost and confused. Should I just let it go and sacrifice my will for His, and look for something else? Is there anyone who can give me some advice or pointers?

    • Loret on November 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      I had a messed up childhood that gave a pretty messed up adulthood through my 30s and was so dysfunctional I could not do much. I too should have become a vet. Now its too late, I have health issues that would not let me work as a vet never mind do 80 hrs a week of school. I stand on Romans 8:28. You sound like you are young enough to still follow your dream. Maybe the best thing you can do right now is get into the Word and deepen your knowledge of Him. I suggest you put Him first, put your focus completely on Him. I will bet you will find out what He wants you to do. What ever it will be, dream or something else, it will be exactly the right thing to do. What am I doing since I can’t be my dream? Writing and I’m loving it. Can’t wait to get to it in the morning and hate to leave it in the afternoon. Never would have thought I’d be writing. One more thing. We can spend our time regretting what we don’t have or spend our time being grateful for what we do have.. Come back someday and tells what happens with you. OK?

      • Tareesa on November 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        Thank you so much, Loret, for your words and for taking the time to tell me your message. I will take your advice. I probably do consume more of my time worrying about this Vs focusing on Him. And I certainly am grateful for what He has given me. It’s good to be reminded to stay that way. I sure will come back and update, and I’m so glad to hear that you found another thing that you love to do! Thank you again for your encouragement and response.

        • Loret on November 15, 2018 at 6:12 am

          🙂

    • K on November 18, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Take an allergy pill, go see a acupuncture person who deals with allergies Go large animals horses cows they need a vet too. Go for your dream!!!!

      • Tareesa on November 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm

        Thanks, K! I appreciate your encouragement! I really think I’m going to see an allergy specialist soon, and I plan to at least go for that volunteer position at the start of next year (too much going on right now to commit myself to it at this time). We’ll see where I go from there — and where God may direct me also.

    • Kirsty Marillier on December 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      I just feel I want to encourage you with something that releases me. I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist because I’m the past I was always so afraid to make a mistake or the wrong decision- until one day the Holy Spirit spoke into my core. He said “Kirsty, you can’t be afraid of making mistakes” and I said “Why?” And He said, “Because it’s a religious spirit” and I said, “What do you mean?” And He said “Because it means, that deep down, at a heart level, you don’t believe there’s enough grace for your mistakes”

      And that completely freed me. I pray it does the same for you. Your weakness is the portal for God’s power. I would say send that application in for the wildlife refuge. You have nothing to lose. God is in it. Even if it doesn’t end up being the outcome you wanted, trust there is provision for that moment.
      He is way too good and way too kind to be overwhelmed by your fears and anxieties. He doesnt fall off His throne. There is provision for this moment, take it.

    • Justine on December 30, 2018 at 12:12 am

      Please find every way possible to go for it. Otherwise, you’ll live the rest of your life like that, wondering what could have been, and living a life of regret. That is not a good way to live.
      It will make you have low self esteem, unsettled -because wherever you are, you always feel like you should have been elsewhere, so it’s difficult to excel at things and you end up coasting through life, you’ll keep feel like a failure. Is that a good place to be long term? You’ll hate yourself and even start envying people.
      So, please, just prayerfully take the plunge. And if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be released to try other things.

      I used to think that I wanted to be a medical doctor. However, I initially, I failed to get the grades to study Medicine, so I instead did Physiotherapy. Every time I would be on the ward with the doctors, I’d keep thinking how that could have been me. I tried applying for the courses but they were extremely expensive. I instead got advice to study something that would add onto what I already was doing, so I would be growing ”upwards” than ”sideways”. I did a Masters Degree but still wasn’t sure. One day, I was on the ward, with the doctors and the consultant, I was standing there as the physiotherapist. I saw the responsibility on the Consultant Geriatrician’s shoulder and asked myself, if that was what I really wanted? Because I knew, if I were to study Medicine, I would have to work my way up to the top, which means being a Consultant. Yet the Consultant barely spends time with the patients. His junior doctors are the ones who do most of the patient assessments and then they feedback. The consultant gets to examine mainly the complex cases. I realised that as the physiotherapist, I got to spend good chunks of time with my patients… not just 2minutes here, or 5minutes there. My job allowed me spend time with my patients, hearing about their fears, their worries, their hopes, their past, they would sometimes tell me they have pain or feel dizzy on walking, things they at times would not tell the doctors, because they did want to bother them. It turns out that they needed to first build rapport and as the physiotherapist, while attempting to get them to walk 10metres and they needed to sit down for a rest after 2, 3, 5, metres, they got to feel that I was not rushing them, that I was not judging them for their inabilities, that I was their greatest cheer leader instead. Then they would open up and talk. I love that I can sit with my patient in the corridor and they tell me about the war, or their husband of 60years, or their determination to be able to continue to walk to the local shop to collect their groceries. I love my job. I am a physiotherapist who has specialised in working with older people. I realise it suits my personality. I like being on the go, but I like spending ‘plenty’ of time on things that require that. I will not schedule 20minutes for all my patients. The one who needs an hour, I will give one hour.

      So, my friend, please find a way to be in that space where you want to be, go volunteer at the vet’s or the park a couple of hours a week, on your day off if your job does not give you lots of free time, or offer to look after a neighbour’s pet(s) in the evenings, read up on the subject, etc. Things will get clearer as you go along. The worst that can happen is that you’ll discover that you like the thing or you dont and then you’ll be armed with more knowledge and wisdom.

      Blessings as you allow yourself to put your hand in the hand of The Master and take the plunge.

  27. Dennis G. on November 12, 2018 at 9:17 am

    This an exceptionally good read! In my own current situation of trying to discern God’s will for my future in ministry or secular employment, I have said many times to friends and family members, “There seems to be a very fine line between faith and irresponsibility.” This article brings refreshing clarity to that paradox!! Thank you so much!

  28. Natasha L. on November 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I made a decision to turn down a job(it was actually a great career move as I am currently a school counselor and it was a chance to pursue licensed therapy ), the problem was it was back in my hometown and I “felt” like I was going back into my comfort zone so after prayer, consulting people of wisdom, not to mention a short turn around time, I reluctantly said no! Let me tell you that I have not had much peace since I made that decision just not sure if I made the right choice. Did I mention that a few weeks after making the decision, my Mom, who lives back home, had a stroke. I am so torn and not sure where to go from here. I must admit that I have been wrestling with the fact of calling them back to see if they still have an opening. At the end of the day, I just want to be in God’s will. Thanks so much for letting me share.

    • Nathan on November 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Natasha,

      I found myself in a very similar situation, whereas I was presented with a huge career opportunity that offered me more money than I have ever made in my life. However, I had just moved back home to help my folks in Chicago and the job was in NYC, and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to turn it down. So I turned down the position, and though I sometimes look back and think maybe I should’ve just taken it (especially when I get down, or angry, and don’t have much money), I again am confronted by the Holy Spirit who assures me that all things are working together for my good, and that the season that I am in will be of discomfort, but it will produce the growth and maturity needed for what God has next in my life. If it was God who led you to turn down the position, don’t look back and reconsider, you turned it down for a reason. Seek him in the word and in prayer, and he will reveal what it is he has for you to do. Sometimes it’s not cookie cutter or direct, but it might be a choice that you have to define based on what life presents you. If you believe your place is to be home and support your mother, pray and seek God for guidance, but he may already be pulling you back home for a reason. Even if He hasn’t provided the career opportunity there yet, you may have to take the leap of faith and believe that he will. Pray, fast, seek, and he will reveal. God bless!

      • Natasha on November 18, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        Nathan. Thank you so much for those words of encouragement. God bless you as you continue to walk out your faith!

  29. Kim manfredi on October 22, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I have recently had a family crisis that includes my own mother and others. Circumstances of speculation and misunderstandings have caused terrible upheaval. It all seemed to happen as my husband and I have finally drawn together to make God our focus. Initiating small groups at our home, changing our place of worship separate from where i grew up which has been a real tough issue of not being understood. The situation culminated into being accused of hurtful things by family. I agonized whether to finally voice how I felt and prayed and cried out to God and discussed with a mature Christian friend who is also a long time christian friend if my family too. I truly truly was convinced it was God leading me to write to my mother and tell her how hurt we felt. I doubted myself and was fearful I was acting out of hurt and pride yet heard many times God’s voice to do so. Today I found out my mother among others took my letter very negatively though I presented my feelings with nothing but honesty and admitting any hurt we may have caused . My hopes were to finally tell the truth how I felt which is not at all my norm. I feel so confused. I actually felt betrayed by God as awful as that sounds. But I only wanted to be truthful and have a new relationship that I really felt lead though afraid to do. Now I feel so confused. I’ve been even more misunderstood voicing my desires to be understood. I trusted God until the answer back was negative. How could I be so sure i did right then be so blind sided? I know how pride and hurt feelings can make a person act out and feel justified so i prayed to guard against that. I’m so afraid now to ever risk trying to be honest and think I should just keep quiet about being hurt and allow my family to be thought of in awful ways for peace sake..which is my normal way of dealing. I dont know how or what to trust.

    • Loret on October 23, 2018 at 9:53 am

      I had a similar situation. Go to God. He is a good defense attorney. Sometimes we mess it up by trying to do the right thing like communicating. Mostly its best to first do what God told the people at the Red Sea crossing. “Be still. Wait on Me. I will defend you.” And while you wait, pray and get in the Word and learn who God is even more than you know now. From this type of situation I was in, I learned to go to God before I make any move. I wait. I pray. I wait until I know what He wants me to do which may be nothing. Sometimes the waiting is short and sometimes it is long and sometimes in between. But I wait and let God defend me or prepare the way. When things go wrong our job is not to fix things but to let God fix them. We are to love God with all our heart, trust Him to take care of things and treat others well. Once I started doing this in my situation, it not only turned around but it healed and relationships are better than ever I could have hoped for. It did not happen over night. It took a couple of months to see the start and another half year to get back on track. While I was waiting, God showed me a bunch of stuff I needed to change in me. Those changes I made opened the way for reconciliation.

      PS we have never talked about it, resolved it, or tried for closure. We all just moved on. Maybe some day we will talk about it but know it isn’t necessary to “talk it out” for God to fix things. Let Him fix it how He sees fit. Trust Him always.

    • Jo K on October 25, 2018 at 2:17 am

      Sounds like God led you to speak the truth from the heart , and in love, and do what He asked you to do. Don’t make an assumption that acting on what God leads you to do, is going to lead to restoration of relationship or straight away. A lot of people are upset becuase you are not doing what everyone else expects of you and that may be why you are getting the backlash. Confrontation is the only way to peace. Either your family are going to respect how God is leading you, fight you for a while and come round, or reject you for it. Being honest and truthful leads us down the right path. Better to have a good conscience towards God and know you done the right thing, just don’t assume that doing the right thing means everything will go well for it, often times a lot of suffering is involved, but God will never forsake or leave you and in His time, you will see much fruit from being obedient to His following.

  30. William T. Spells Jr. on October 18, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Thank God for this article. I know what to do now. Stay on task and trust God, I have no doibt he is lrading me.
    Thank yoi

  31. Taunya on October 2, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I have been in childcare for the past 14 years. I have worked in almost every area, except management and for the past 5 years, I have been the cook. I went yo culinary for baking and pastry and love it but have 3 children to care for along with my husband. He is the breadwinner but I help with needs in the house too. I have always felt dissatisfied and undervalued in my line of work and desire more from myself and my income. As of right now, Im working a couple side jobs as well as working on starting up a dessert type business. I want to go full time for my part time jobs bc that is where my passion is. However, my husband doesn’t have the faith I have in God and looks at it as impulsive. Im respecting him and staying with my job but I cant help but wonder if I’m hurting and changing my destiny and true call God has on my life.

    • Alicia NYC on November 22, 2018 at 12:20 am

      Hi Taunya,
      I have a few pointers for what might work.
      1. A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So maybe, show case your bakery treats to your husband and maybe keep practicing and giving them to him.

      2. Have other people try it as well at work, friends and family. Then if they ask for more or if they have any birthdays coming up or Christmas in this instance, offer them an opportunity to sell your treats to them and save that money towards your baking. You don’t necessarily need a “brick and mortar” bakery. You can do it inside of your house. And look into food regulations and go with what God tells you to follow.

      3. Start REALLY showing him how serious you are. Market your brand, get an LLC before you even have the physical business. This stuff is easy. You could spend a good 3-5 hours a week on it and get a lot done with it. Make sure to do your homework.

      Kind regards,

      Alicia.

      PS let me know how things are going

  32. Amy Sparks on August 9, 2018 at 7:10 am

    My husband and I were called to be foster parents for a group home organization. Through prayer, we were less to make s leap of faith. Selling off a majority of possessions and move to Florida from Indiana. Many of our friends and family thought it was a bad idea and irratic. However, we felt the call. We knew what he wanted us to do. We did not let the outside world influence Gods purpose for us. I do believe we need to put ear plugs in our ears and seek Gods counsel. Those who do not understand faith, will not understand taking up our cross. Again, he has asked us to move and now we work for a christian organization for behavior modification for teenage boys. Wisdom told us we were comfortable and secure in our position where we were, faith told us comfort is not what God promises. His will is not comfortable. It is irrational, challenging, and not understood in this world. Fear and overthinking are tools from the devil and too often put a wall between Gods soldiers and his purpose for us. Prayer yes. Overthing and rarionalizing no!

  33. Coco on July 29, 2018 at 12:55 am

    I’m afraid to trust God regarding college. I believe he is calling me to a specific place ; moving out of state for college. However, this college is very expensive and my family is non supportive. I have been wanting to move to this specific state since I was a kid, I’m grown now. I believe God is attempting to get me to make the first step which is paying a $500 fee which will enable me to enroll in the school. HOWEVER, this is a huge risk because money is tight and I have no money to waste. But I will never know what God is calling me to do if I don’t step out on faith and pay this fee. I’m basically struggling with knowing that God will provide. In my head there’s nothing but “ what is” “ what if this goes wrong” I’m just so torn I have no idea what to do

    • Gen on September 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Hello Coco,

      So it’s been a few weeks now. And most schools have already started. Did you pay the $500 fee? And what state is the school in? If you don’t mind my asking.

      I hope you made that step of faith. Just remember that God has you, He will not let you fall. He is right there should you stumble. Trust Him because He is faithful.

  34. Paul on July 20, 2018 at 5:02 am

    First of all, thanks for the passage, it somehow helped me a bit on what I’ve been through.

    I was asking for a specific opportunity in my work, I want it so bad, so I started praying right after I submitted my application. I prayed to Him to let me know His will on this, and if He doesn’t allow, I asked for Him to shut the door (not even having an interview).

    I waited and finally I got an interview. In the meantime, I experienced His presence when I was preparing the interviews, I got help from family and friends, I got encouraging news, I got comfort and hope and strength in His Words, and I prepared well. I performed satisfactorily in my interview. Every signs looked so promising, yet I didn’t get the opportunity at last.

    I don’t know why He led me to a failure. Of course I can say that His will should be the best, through this I can learn and I will be stronger than before. I believe in Him, I trust that His plan is always the best, but I cannot feel it. I feel disappointed, I am sad, I feel that everything is in vain. I don’t know why this has happened.

    How can I get out from this feeling?

    • Loret on July 20, 2018 at 5:58 am

      You get out of this feeling by 2 simple things YOU do: First give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in ALL situations. So start thanking our Father for the opportunity to interview, for the boss to consider you, that you didn’t get the job, and whatever else you can think of thank Him. Second is faith. Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 28:11 He works all things to good and he has a plan for us. His eye is on us. You do these 2 things, which are an adjustment to your attitude, and you will see Him do or show you something. You may find out that job you wanted has some problem He is protecting you from. Or you may end up in a better job. Or He may need you right where you are in order to advance His kingdom in some way. Whatever it is, its because He has a BETTER plan for you. But it was not “in vain”. He does not do that to us. We do it to ourselves and not saying you did; just pointing out its us that fumbles, not Him. And just MAYBE, you were in that interview room because someone you work with is watching you to see if you put your Christian Money where your Christian Mouth is. Unbelievers pay strong attention to how we handle life’s disappointments. Finally, pray, and pray for your future, the immediate and distant. Pray in advance of everything so He can make way for you or change your mind because you are not following His plan for you. Abraham prayed before going to rescue Lot and came back with not only Lot but everyone and thing stolen from the city. Esther prayed and fasted before going to talk to the king and saved the nation of Israel. Nehemiah prayed and fasted before going to the king to ask to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. The king gave him all he asked for: permission and letters for safe passage and timbers. Then, amazingly the king offered up his officers and calvary to protect Nehemiah on his journey. Nehemiah was a cup bearer. He brought the glass of wine to the table, that’s it. Do you think he would rank a full military escort? Absolutely not. He had God’s favor that’s why he got the king’s extraordinary favor. Jesus prayed and fasted 40 days in the desert before starting his ministry and then in Gethsemane before going to the cross. And because of this, the Son of God did amazing and wonderful things and publicly humiliated Satan when He triumphantly defeated death. Great things happen when we use extraordinary and strategic prayer, based on scripture (use scripture to pray and you will be praying in line with His will). I hope this helps.

  35. Lisa on June 12, 2018 at 7:09 am

    My husband and I have developed a camp for under served youth ages 7-12. One in which we take them for a week at a high adventure retreat center, love on them, and share Jesus with them. I didn’t feel this calling initially, my husband did, but I eventually came around and supported him and this calling. (We are in our mid-50’s). We have worked HARD this past year raising money to fund these kids completely, pay for counselors, pay for the camp and come up with teaching material, etc., etc., etc. Long story short, we have worked 100’s of hours, donated a lot of our own money as well, and now that camp is just a few days away, we only have 5 kids committed – not to disregard 5 kids, for I know that each and every one are very important; however, this makes me really wonder if this was a calling or just our idea. Our small church has supported us and has made this their summer mission project. I feel defeated and a failure, and am embarrassed as well, to be very honest. How do I really know this camp is God’s calling and if it is, why have more kids committed? I’m just confused and searching……..thank you.

    • Loret on June 26, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Maybe God is starting you off with 5 kids because he knows that is what you can handle, right now. I’m not saying He will never give you more than 5 nor do I know if you are going His correct path but I feel it is too soon to throw in the towel. He has provided up to now. I suggest you focus on giving thanks for all you have at this moment and praise Him exuberantly for the 5 kids. Make it an opportunity to learn more about the whole project and learning to trust Him more, who loves you. Look to Him for what He is going to teach you and focus on doing a really great job with the 5. When we are faithful with what He gives us, faithful to give thanks, keep our eyes on Him, follow His ways, He says He promises to give us the desires of our hearts. Psalm 37

  36. Kulani on May 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    saints, i guess its about time i make a life changing decisions and will appreciate your unconditioned inputs. Faith vs wisdom. I am approaching 40 and would like to have kids. The problem is, despite years of sleepless nights of prayer for God to release a husband for me (i’ve started praying in my early twenties) i am still single. Now there is a married man at work who is offering to impregnate me, in a way help me to have at least one child. Now given the number of years of faith that to this day yielded no results except lesson that what i want may not happen, will it be fear or wisdom if i take up on this man’s offer? Thing is, if i don’t i may not be able to have kids after 40, even if i can, who really want to have kids at 50 ?

    • Ms. J on June 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Kulani, I wouldn’t get ahead of God. Have you thought about the other side of the equations – 1) Impact of getting pregnant by a married man. Revisit the Hagar, Sarai, Abraham biblical story and study the outcome and consequences. 2) Have you considered that God has reason for delaying or denying you a child and/or husband? 3) What if you only had two more years on earth, would you desire to conceive? 4) What if there is something lurking in your body that could deform the child or risk life if you got pregnant? I had a single friend who wanted a child so bad. She got pregnant numerous times and had several miscarriages. Eventually, she had a child with a man that she was not married to. My friend ended up dying when her child was only five-years-old. The Lord knows what He is doing and we have to trust Him and His will, especially when we aren’t clear or understand. We have to be careful to not go against, get ahead or lag too far behind His will. We have no idea what He has planned for us and we do not want to derail our intended path by allowing our own wants and desires to supersede God’s plans. Things just might not turn out the way you/we anticipate, hope, believe, wish or desire. I’m not trying to scare you or crush your dream of motherhood. However, my prayer is that you wait on the Lord and be content with where you are until the Lord grants you the desires of your heart. If He doesn’t give you a husband and child, in that order, then let it be okay. Seek other ways to be fulfilled.

      • Loret on July 20, 2018 at 6:05 am

        Kulani, I hope you did not go ahead with getting pregnant. Ms J gave wise advice. I would ad you need to read Psalm 37:3-7 and do it. Come back sometime and tell us how you make out.

        • Kulani on July 20, 2018 at 9:55 am

          I wonder if this was meant for me as well or directed to the Isralites because i have read it in my teenage years, in my early thirties and nothing has changed todate.Doig it again would be insanity!

      • Kulani on July 20, 2018 at 9:52 am

        This is deppressing indeed.The thought of being single yet another day makes me cringe. I cant begin to imagine being single all my life. That would kill me and the longing and yearning is a sign that im complete according to God’s standards of a complete being. Now If God expected me o be alone, why would he not spare me the desire to have a mate coupled with that of having sex.
        What other ways can i seek that will substitute the desire to have a spouse and kids. I do have friends, i have my 7 year old nephew who i adore and treat as my own. He even knows me to be his mommy and calls me mommy but all these doesnt substitute the need and longingness to have my owm kids and to have someone to love and be loved, be caressed, be commforted and be made to feel like a woman that i am.I havent been able to carry out my mission of having a child with a married man, due to fear of all the things that you mentioned above. But perhaps fear is what i need to overcome.
        if god knows that i will die early, he might as well spare me the misery that i have and just let me go. If he knows that i am prone to disbaled kids, why cant he heal me? denying me without a known reason is unfair and confusing. Anyway you are nt gods so venting out to you is rather unfair, so ill stop here. Its Friday evening, im dragging my feet to ba along all weekend, yet again!

        • Loret on July 20, 2018 at 10:08 am

          Kulani, You are focused on what you DON’t have. God isn’t going to give you a thing until you focus on Him. He will not reward complaining or ungratefulness. I do understand your frustration and pain. I’ve been right where you are now. You do it HIS WAY and He will either give you the desires you now have in your heart or will take this away and give you something better. Either way, you will be happy and not sad, anymore. So start by giving thanks you don’t have a husband and kids. 1 Thes 5:18 Know that ALL things He does or doesn’t do is for our good. Romans 8:28, Believe He has a plan for you; a great and awesome plan to prosper you. Jeremiah 28:11

          Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
          dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
          4 Take delight in the Lord,
          and he will give you the desires of your heart.

          Yes this is a great place to vent because other believers can give you insight into how God works. And I hope you didn’t take that man up on his offer. All he wanted was a piece of you know what. He didn’t and doesn’t care about you. Really, who wants someone like that for half the DNA of their kid?

          • Lori on September 14, 2018 at 7:52 pm

            Dear Kulani
            I feel a bit of your pain although no two people walk the same road. I too am single and for the life of me I have no idea why God has not answered my prayers. I do agree with the other people who have cautioned you to avoid having a child with a married man as there are too many complications that you would be bringing into your life that you just do not need. However I was sad to see that the community used scare tactics to bring about your obedience in the form of “what if”s’ like dying young leaving a 5 year old to fend for itself or the possibility that you may only have 2 years to live …sheesh really? I hear too many “tsks” and not a lot of love and compassion when I read that people who don’t even know you are also accusing you of being a complainer or ungrateful” Slow the horses down Loret!!! God doesn’t need HR people who performance manage other folks on websites – well not the last time I looked..I also don’t believe that one married person on this site had all their spiritual stuff together as a prerequisite for marriage. In short, there is nothing wrong with you Kulani! You haven’t blown it along the way. Open your heart and let God know how you feel – frustrations and all. He can take it and will honour you for your honesty and authenticity. Praying for you now sister!



    • Becca on February 18, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      I understand being sad about not being married family I feel same. But it is not God’s will to commit adultury. It is not God’s will to create a child outside marriage single motherhood is tough!

      If you are called to motherhood you May pray about adopting a child who has no one. That potential action would be potentially pleasing to the Lord. But only if you are prepared.

      • Becca on February 18, 2019 at 11:29 pm

        I got to say this how is having a child with a married man going to give you a spouse. And I must say to being a single parent won’t make you attractive to some men.

        They would prefer someone with no kids. You might lose a great potential spouse due to your rushing things. It is hard if really is. Right now I am trying to use this time to develop my career some to potentially have a family.

  37. Matt on December 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I’m debating on whether or not to resign from a full time career to pursue working in ministry alongside my father who has been a full time pastor for 40 years. Our relationship has been one that has been rocky yet workable when it comes to Kingdom building. My father is quite old school and I’m fairly new school in our approach to ministry. In the past my father has vocalized retirement in the next few years and would like to pass the ministry over to a trustworthy individual. While I would like to think I fit the mold I’m a little hesitant to full make the bold step to resign from my full time employment to show him that I really want to serve in a full time ministry role. I’m currently a teacher/coach in a nearby suburban town. I’m married with 4 beautiful growing children. My hesitation comes from already resigning from a full time position once before in hopes of being hired full time at the church only to be denied bc I was also running a startup nonprofit at the time; and my father said my time would be divided bw church work and my nonprofit. Well it’s been 2.5 years since that occurrence happened,
    And I no longer have the nonprofit organization.. looking back on it I kind of understand his point now that I’m a little more realistic about the task of being a full time pastor. But like you said I’m a lot more conservative also because I’ve made a good living and it took a lot of hard work for me to accrue the things I have today, and I’m just wrestling with the idea of resigning once again. My heart is no longer at my current employer. My heart is at my home church where my father is pastoring, and I want to do full time ministry. I’m 36 years old. I’ve been fortunate to attend/graduate seminary as well. Blessings. MJ

    • Kelvin on April 25, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Follow your heart and what will make you happy my friend.

      • Carly on June 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        Kelvin, the heart is deceitful above all things who can know it?

  38. Gail on November 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Hi. I asked Father, yet again, to encourage me along this painful road I’m on.
    I trust my Lord. He is so wonderfully faithful to me. I still have to endure, but He is always with me, just as He promised
    18 months ago, I asked Father something.
    “Lord, please bring my sons and their families into the Kingdom. Whatever it takes.”
    Within a week, one of my sons had verbally attacked me, accusing me of many things. I was ill for days as a result. He also said he wouldn’t bring my grandchildren round til everything was sorted.
    I tearfully asked Father why it had happened.

    “Remember you said, whatever it takes ?
    Well this is what it takes.”

    Time after time, I asked Father what I should do. Should I say anything or do anything ?

    “Be still and know that I Am God.”

    One day, I trif another question.

    Can I write a letter ?

    Again I heard the same scripture verse.
    I went to read it once more.
    Unusually, I picked up a different bible.

    “Stand silent. Be still and know that I Am God.”

    My heart feels as if it has been broken, time after time, day after day. I have cried and wailed and sobbed my grief and heartache to Father. At times, I have grieved to the point of drowning. I have cried out to my Lord and He has reached down and rescued me from the depths again and again.
    He has promised to bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth. He has shown me signs in the sky to encourage me to look east.
    He has brought one son home.
    I am waiting for the other.
    The son with my six grandchildren.
    I miss them more than words can say.
    I was so close to them and they to me.
    My heart aches with loss.
    But, my Lord has promised to restore.
    I could listen to well meaning friends and fight for a grandmothers rights, but that isn’t what Father told me to do.
    I either trust Him or not.
    My Father will not fail me.
    His Word is Truth. X

    • emily on December 6, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Your prayers are not Christian. You are praying for personal selfish gain without respecting the choices of your children. Shame on you for believing the Lord will force them back to you.

      • Jenn on January 31, 2018 at 10:18 pm

        Yikes Emily!? Friend, balance between Truth and Grace not condemnation and shame…..

  39. Michelle on October 12, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I’m a little late to this the party but the information presented is so relevant that felt compelled to comment.

    I think it’s safe to say that we all want to trust God. We love Him and want to please Him. That being said I find myself struggling with, what I refer to as, a secondary trust issue – second guessing your decision.

    I ask myself, “did I really hear from God?” Especially when neither of the options are risk-free. I am in the throes of making such a decision and it is so very hard. I don’t want to miss God but neither do I want to make yet another catastrophic mistake.

    I struggle with trusting the prompting the first time. I realized that I had developed the need to be continually reassured and, until recently, God has been gracious (and patient) enough to guide me gently. Our struggles increase as we move into a mature relationship with Him and the layers of gentle protection are stripped away, sometimes painfully.

    In the past, God would reassure me multiple times. Young children crave reassurance from their parents. It builds their confidence and strengthens the relationship.

    But, there always comes a time of maturing. A time when parents expect their children to do as they are asked the first time. God is our Father. He expects us to move when He says move and to stop when He says stop.

    My challenge is tuning into that still, small voice when it’s so faint that you begin to wonder if you actually heard from Him at all. You begin to wonder if if wasn’t just you racing out ahead of God and trying make things happen.

    I struggle when the choice to move and the choice to stay are both fraught with peril. Do I stay at the stable, dead-end, low-wage job with great benefits? Or do I accept a position that pays more and has growth potential but has really horrible benefits? As the unexpected bread-winner, this decision affects my entire family.

    I believe that God has opened this particular door for a very specific reason but I have made so many bad decisions over the past five years, that I am terrified of making a mistake.

    If I play it safe and stay put, we won’t survive. We are short $1000/month in living expenses and we are sinking fast. The upside is the fact that the benefits are fantastic. The monthly cost is minimal and the zero deductible is a blessing. With both a diabetic and a cardiac patient in the household, having access to doctors without being forced to meet a prohibitively-high deductible is a big deal.

    The new position is awesome. The salary increase would meet our family’s budget deficit but the benefits are costly. Too costly to be comfortable. The premiums are almost four times as much and the high deductible makes the policy unusable to routine visits. I won’t be able to participate in their health plan.

    Neither of my choices are ideal. Stay and face homelessness or move and keep a roof over our heads.

    Stay and maintain affordable access to doctors or move and expose my family to sub-par emergency-only care at the local walk-in clinic.

    Stay and miss God? or move and miss God? Did I hear clearly or is my desperation drowning out His still, small voice? In the past, I’ve made decisions quickly. Confident that God would work all things out for my good even if I made a mistake.

    Neither of my choices allow me to protect my family. I’m merely trading one problem for another. Seemingly.

    This week, I signed my acceptance letter, turned In my notice and had an anxiety-driven fight with my husband. I’m fighting three stress-induced styes and a bout of insomnia but I’m stepping out. I’m so scared.

    I want God’s reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. I want Him to comfort me and make it alright. To make the decision easy. Am I focusing on the money when I should be focusing on medical provisions? Or Am I offending Him by not being grateful for the opportunity to earn more and pay rent next month?

    I love God. I want to please Him but I don’t want to grow up. I miss the reassurances. I miss the indulgence. Growing up is hard. Too hard some days. I want to give up but I can’t.

    I love God so I will move. I believe that this decision, while agonizing, has been orchestrated for my good. I will move and I will trust.

  40. Jon Perrin on April 11, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    I just re-read this. GREAT STUFF! And you’re absolutely right: Once you’ve got some successes under your belt it’s often difficult to take risks that may result in failure, which could lead to a loss of influence. The more you have to lose, the harder it is to risk it all. But God calls us to take radical risks for Him. These require faith.

    In answer to your question, we’re sensing another season of radical risk-taking rapidly approaching. We’ve taken some crazy risks for God in the past. They have always paid off richly, even if it looked like it would end up as a colossal failure at the time. I believe it’s time to do so again. I would rather fail attempting something big for God than succeed at something that lacks Kingdom impact.

    Mark Batterson often says, “The goal of life is not to arrive safely at death.” My prayer lately has been, “God, invite me to get out of the boat again and come to you on the water.” The greater the risk, the greater the potential reward!

  41. Gee Alexander on April 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Had our RED SEA MOMENTS..
    FINDING OUT..
    IF GOD SAID IT…WE FOLLOW HIS INSTRUCTIONS…WE WON’T REGRET IT. PROVING TO OTHERS HIS FAITHFULNESS, ????

  42. Daniel S. Syme on April 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve learned to pray James 1:5.

  43. jason bohac on April 1, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Great article! It’s tough to leave the known, comfortable, secure, and predictable (aka the boat) to follow Jesus into the unknown.

  44. Bill Hamilton on February 22, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Great insights Carey, coming at a tume when our leadership is asking this same question. Thanks for asking great questions that resonate so broadly and connect so richly.

  45. Haydn Nelson on February 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Such a helpful and insightful post as always, Carey – really appreciated. In leadership we so often need to embrace that tension of due diligence (so that a decision is not reckless, careless or irresponsible) and definite dependence (so that a decision really does place us in a position of reliance on God – always a good place to be). Thanks again from a brother half-a-world away. Blessings on you amd your continuing ministry, Haydn Nelson (Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia).

    • Carey Nieuwhof on February 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Haydn..so great to hear from you! Thanks. Thinking I might be back at conferences in the great nation of Australia in February 2016. Hope it works out and that I get to see you there!

  46. angeb68 on January 29, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Carey, this is a great article and it stated some aspects of faith I never thought about before. I am currently making a stuff decision and it is not to move with my husband to another state. Reasons being: 1. The uncertainty…I have never been to the state where he wants to move and to me, it is the worst state in the US for African Americans; therefore, I am inclined to not follow him. 2. I have come to my end with his verbal abuse, taking me for granted, the implication that if I don’t act like he thinks I should as his wife he will/can always walk away to be with another fine woman…I am tired of a being made to feel inadequate and just plain not good enough. 3. Moving nearly 1,000 miles away from my family to where I have no family members to help me or my daughter if we ever got into trouble. This just doesn’t set well with me at all. Most if my life I have been taught that a wife goes where her husband goes no matter what…God wants marriages to stay together. We have a nearly 4 year child together and she’s crazy about her Dad. I don’t want to hurt her because I didn’t follow her father to another state, but I am also tired of being miserable and unhappy in my marriage. I don’t see my husband changing as I have expressed to him how I feel about his verbal abuse many times and the way he makes me feel. I think his claims of being willing to change is just to try to get me to follow him just so he doesn’t lose contact with his daughter. Me, I don’t personally think he’s too concerned about. Maybe I’m being a selfish and foolish wife and I’m simply not trusting God enough.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 29, 2015 at 5:35 am

      Ange…oh my. This is a really difficult situation. I am SO sorry to hear about it. Do you have someone local you can talk to? Maybe a trained Christian counsellor or even a family doctor? I think you need some great people around you right now both in terms of providing safety in a tough marriage but also in terms of discerning what a faithful next step for you is. I have a few stories on my podcast from church leaders who have had terribly difficult marriages and recovered from them. You can listen to Craig Jutila’s story at http://www.careynieuwhof.com/episode5 and in a few weeks, I’ll be featuring Justin and Trisha’s Davis story at careynieuwhof.com/episode22 (Note…that link won’t be live until February 10th 2015). Hope this helps. Praying for you.

      • angeb68 on January 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

        Hi Carey,

        Thank you for you prompt reply. My husband is a pastor and will not submit to counseling because he doesn’t want anyone in our business and according to him he teaches this stuff. All I know to do is do as you suggested and surround myself with people who have gone through this similar experience and work through it. I am still reluctant to relocate and now I am having difficulty believing what he says. Thank you for the suggestions.

        • Carey Nieuwhof on January 29, 2015 at 7:53 pm

          Quite literally Ange, God bless you.

          • Emmbe on September 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

            Wow I know this is old but I have a opposite yet directly related circumstance that this article made me think of before even stumbling on this comment.

            My marriage has crumbled beyond what most think it’s repairable, divorce and all. At the very beginning and throughout over a DECADE of waiting, I kept feeling like God has called me to hold on for marriage restoration, yes even after the divorce. I wear my rings, I stay single and while I did fall early on, I have stayed faithful to him since the divorce. Anyways, he’s now moved 1000 miles away, and asked me to make the move so he can be closer to us – not committing to a relationship – but still wanting his children and myself near him.

            I heard God tell me to GO even before he moved, even before he told me he was moving. But Im scared of moving away from where I’ve made a home but God showed me that following Christ was often met with leaving everything behind, that’s where I am about to face head on, relocating to keep my kids closer to their father who I also still pray for reconciling with while leaving friends, family and even much material items behind!

            I feel crazy, but I also feel God is asking this of me and I’m both terrified and excited. I haven’t made the move yet or even the calls, notices, paperwork and all that’s required to make it happen but I believe in my heart know what needs to be done, it feels both foolish and Faith filled. Am I crazy? Possibly! But if I don’t do this it would be because fear held me back and I can’t “play it safe” and also act on my faith at the same time. Please pray for me and our family. Thank you!!



  47. J on January 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    This is great. I am leaving active duty military to go to Bible college as I follow the path God has put on my heart for pastoral ministry. I am nervous but not a bit hesitant. I know my transition will be a kingdom victory even though I can’t see it in myself. As a husband and father, finances are a thought that crosses my mind but I pray and know that God will provide for my family when I don’t necessarily know where my “next check” is coming from. I almost didn’t share but I feel God wants someone to know.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 22, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      So glad you shared this…and what a great faith story. Way to go!

  48. Eener on January 20, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Love the articles Carey writes. However, so many hyperlinks in each article. At the end of reading one article, I have 10-12 other tabs opens to read.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 20, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Glad it’s helpful in the end. Sometimes I go too crazy on the hyperlinks…I just know for those who want more I had explained things more fully elsewhere.

  49. jpouellette on December 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    A friend shared this article with me after I dumped my anxieties over the past year on her. I recently left a part-time job that was paying a full-time salary to go full-time into peaceful dispute resolution. The new job has a very small base pay and a history of not being able to make paychecks on time. I was given a commission arrangement that was limitless in the amount of money I could make if I was able to do something very few people have ever done. Build a mediation practice. I knew this was God’s call on my life and I have a history of doing crazy things when God calls me to- and testimony after testimony of things working out better than anyone had ever hoped. So now, with a wife and four children, I jump into this abyss of potential- potential success, and potential poverty. I decided a long time ago, that I wouldn’t make decisions based on money, but on what God is calling me to do. It’s His universe, if he wanted me to make a million painting rocks, that’s what would happen. The moment I forget to “Seek first the Kingdom of God” for the sake of getting wise business and marketing strategies, I feel the pressure of the world and start to cave. When I fix my heart on His purposes, take all that strategic energy into my prayer life and submit it ALL to Him, crazy things happen. To the degree that I can describe to God what kind of client I need, and hours later the phone rings. Prayer and crazy obedience is what has gotten me where I’ve been and where I am. Keeping my focus on His kingdom- using every business meeting, phone call, client interaction, speaking engagement, etc as an opportunity to overcome the kingdom of darkness with light- keeps me motivated and equipped to continue this journey.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on December 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      That’s a pretty amazing story and perspective. Thank you so much for sharing…and thanks be to God for his faithfulness.

  50. T on November 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Carey, thanks for this post. I need to make a decision about my career. I enjoy what I do, I’m using the gifts God has given me, and I believe/know that God is being glorified through the work…but I also don’t make enough money to support my family. I’ve started the process of a career shift to something I still think I would enjoy, but am not sure how/if I’d be using the gifts God has given me. My wife and I have prayed for God’s will every step of the way. Every door has been open over the past 1.5 years as we move in this new direction. But despite all the open doors, I am still hesitant. Part of me feels that I’d be walking away from a career that I enjoy and where I’m using my God-given talents, and that seems wrong… But the other part of me looks at my family and all the open doors, and that tells me I need to make a move. I’m torn. I want to use my gifts to glorify God, but money also comes into play. Realizing that you don’t know the entire situation Carey (or anyone else), I’d still value your thoughts. Thanks 🙂

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      T…that’s a big decision. I think the fit issue is significant. When you don’t feel like you belong or believe, you either need to treat that situation as a ministry, or you realize it’s a place where your gifts just don’t work. I think you really need to pay attention to that and have the courage to act on your conclusion either way, The status quo is a trap…so I would suggest either engage or leave. That’s my thoughts without knowing any more.

  51. TWhite on November 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I am struggling with a decision to stay or go. I have been raised for the most part in one denomination my whole life. It was in that denomination that I was called to preach and am now ordained clergy. I am a third generation preacher of thos denomination. I have had a fast track “career” and have quickly been promoted through the ranks of denomination but I absolutely feel I do not fit in anywhere and largely disagree with many of our beliefs. I have prayed for quite some time if I am called away but have received no definitive answer. And I have made no decision because I also have no answer on where I would go. And I must admit a lot of this is clothes in fear because I would be leaving what I have always known and people who have basically raised me in the church and I am afraid of making the wrong decision. I am and a major crossroads.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      That’s a big moment T….I’m praying for you.

  52. Dylan Baker on November 12, 2014 at 1:51 am

    I was going to put on a concert at my church that I was going to at the time and honestly did not feel good about it but went for it any way. Well the artist musician could not come i believe he had a wedding to go to, and I think my church had a clean up day the day that the concert would have been put on. So God helped me out and shut the door for me, and it was not the end of the world and at the least I tried!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Sometimes the choice is made for us, isn’t it?

  53. Amy Kinney on November 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    It might seem small to some of you who are more seasoned, but I am sharing a message Sunday (as a lay person). I know that I know what God has laid on my heart to share, but contrary to what is usual for me I cannot seem to get it down on paper. It’s clear as a bell when I am praying and when I think about,,,,God is clearly present, but when I try to write it down it comes out all wrong. There is part of me that says……trust God, Hes got this, and the academic part of me saying are you crazy??? Get something written down!!! I have shared messages before and God has always given me a beautiful writing to go along with it…..is this His way of telling me to step out of my box and rely more on Him…..to teach me more about relying on the Holy Spirit? I simply don’t know……..

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Amy so glad you shared this. This is a tough one. One thing I believe is that the Holy Spirit is present in preparation as well as in delivery. So whenever I can, I prepare as much as I can, including notes. That helps me stay focused. I wish you well on Sunday!

  54. tmarsh0307 on November 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I echo Charlene. Our church is getting ready to bring a proposed Children and youth education space before the church, of which there is considerable division. These are some important thoughts we need to consider as a church. Thank you!

  55. Charlene on November 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I have a lease for a new venture beside me right now and I’m about to sign. In a matter of weeks I will embark on a dream I’ve held since childhood. And it’s terrifying. As a dream, it’s always there as the comforting thought when times are troubled; “the one day when…” method of coping. Once is moves from perfect dream to imperfect reality I can’t simply imagine the outcomes, I must live it. It’s exciting, truly exciting and scary for all the reasons you listed here. But at the same time my heart says “let’s go!”.

    Thank you Carey for once again helping me through your timely writings that I know come from God.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

      So glad Charlene! Go for it…in faith! Whatever that means. 🙂

  56. C on November 10, 2014 at 9:28 am

    This is something I have been thinking about in this season, so I have a lot of thoughts and questions about this. These are ideas that I am exploring and I am not arguing just wondering…
    Is money the only example of living by faith?
    Re:Q2-Is hurting people a good way to base decisions? As leaders, there are many decisions that are made that will offend and “hurt” those we serve. And Jesus had no problem changing the whole order of things, hurting some in the process.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on November 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

      C…thanks. I actually asked that question because I realized my post was a bit financially weighted. That said, in my experience, financial decision are the hardest to trust God with. People are often quite hesitant to trust God with the financial implications of their faith or leadership, whether that means receiving more or receiving less money. And, to be sure, almost every decision we make has financial implications, whether it’s primarily financially driven or not. So I left the post the way it is.

    • Branden Fitzgerald on November 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Hurting people doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making a good decision but just because people are getting hurt in the process doesn’t make it a bad one either. As mentioned above you can make a wise/risky decision but either could be God’s will. Let’s say for example; A pastor gets called to leave his position and step down. Now some of the church members are hurt by this and don’t want the pastor to leave his position. So the pastor has to make a decision? Does he listen to the voice of God or does he continue to stay knowing that God has something else planned? If he stays as pastor he might be pleasing some of the members but God is going to tug on his heart and say “Why haven’t you stepped down? I have a new season.” Does he please the congregation? Or should he have listened to God? What I’ve noticed is that if he steps down as pastor there will be some church members that are hurt. However if he stays he hurts himself. Either way you look at it someone is going to get hurt. We are called according to His purpose. The people around you may not understand. However it should always be “Thy will be done” and not “My will be done.” If you hurt people pray that God may give them understanding. They might not get why you made the decision but in your heart if God tells you to let go then it’s time to turn the page and move forward.

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