When Your Leap of Faith Leaves You Shattered – Mikkee Hall

The old Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons always left me with mixed emotions. I never wanted Road Runner to be eaten, but I held a sneaking sympathy for all the splats Wile E. endured on his quest to fulfill his dream of a good dinner. All those fruitless leaps of faith. How did he keep going when his dream never came true?

Surely that would never happen to me. If I worked hard and had worthy dreams, God would honor all my leaps . . . right?

I recently celebrated 40. I’ve splatted a few times along the way. I expect a few more will happen before I bid this world goodbye. At 13, I knew I’d have it all figured out by now. My life was carefully planned out. I knew what I was doing, who I’d marry, where I’d live, and how many kids would come with it all. I also thought I’d knew who I would be through it all and that my faith in God would never falter.

My mom’s garage holds a few boxes of my dreams. The journals and diaries I filled with all my hopes and dreams and plans for the future. I knew it all then. I had no doubts. I needed to know and believe I had control and that my dreams would come true.

But we all come to moments of failure, where it seemed our leap of faith ended in our shame.

Several years ago, it was time for a job change. After praying and talking to wise friends, I decided to look for a job in New York or Washington DC. I wanted a new experience. All the doors opened up, all my prayers were answered, and I felt peace with my new move to DC.

I was living in DC pursuing my dream. But my long-cherished dream left me feeling empty.

Suddenly, it all turned upside down. I had resigned from my job after only eight weeks. I was in a brand new city with no job in the middle of one of our country’s worst recession. My friends and family were hundreds and thousands of miles away. I was on my own.

The shame overwhelmed me as I sobbed out my failure in the shower. My dream and my faith seemed shattered. I felt utterly alone. How did I miss the warning signs of an unhealthy situation?

My leap of faith left me splattered at the bottom of the cliff, but I didn’t have the bounce that Wile E. Coyote always did. Worse than leaving my job or what people would think of me, how could I have missed the Lord’s voice as I made such a life-changing move? I berated myself despite how carefully I sought God before I even began to job search, let alone interview, and make plans for a big move.

One of the hardest (and best) things about each year of life is the recognition I really don’t know much of anything. Not even myself. I am this constantly changing mystery. And the God I know is far more mysterious and unknown and close and knowable than I could fathom at 13.

I didn’t miss God’s voice. He didn’t let me go when I made this leap of faith. The acts God calls me to don’t guarantee my success. I really want a guarantee and a strong return policy.

There have been times where my leaps of faith have been wildly successful. More often they come with mixed results.

 “We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.” Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

My biggest perceived failures draw me closest to Christ. They have been the best teachers. When thrust into unemployment in DC, after a soul-shaking experience, I was forced to draw deep into myself and cling more tightly to God.

And I learned some new things for the next splat I face.

  1. I can do this hard thing with grace.
  2. Hard things have an expiration date.
  3. I don’t control most things in life, but I do control how I respond to them.
  4. God shows up in my failure. I remember more how much I need him.
  5. There was redemption in the difficulty and pain.
  6. My season in DC laid the foundation for my next leap of faith and step on my journey.

It always feels easier to choose what is safe. But the rewards for our souls are minimal. Whatever the leap of faith you contemplate – relational, seeing a counselor for past wounds, new job, going back to school, new move – whatever your new beginning, consider the cost, but don’t be afraid of the splatting along the way.

Bio:

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Mikkee Hall is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys the nearby mountains from her Denver, CO, home. Like every good editor and writer, she usually has her nose in a book. Mikkee also loves snowshoeing, running and hiking to balance out her baking addiction. Follow along at MikkeeHall.com.

Seasons

O! M! Goooooodness!!!!!! Scarves, boots, jeans, colorful leaves, and PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING!!!!!! For those of you in the Mid Atlantic/Northeastern United States, we are so lucky because we get to experience the wonder that is FALL!!!!!!

September in DC is kind of a tease. We’ll have cool crisp mornings (in the 60s/70s), then blazing hot afternoons (upper 80s/lower 90s). I’ll even check the future weather forecast several times a day hoping to see fall temperatures (no matter how much you check the weather app in a day, the temperature rarely changes). This transition time stinks for the girl who wants to bundle up, but ends up being forced to strip down due to the high temperatures in the afternoon. I get glimpses of the essence of fall (i.e. I whip on a scarf and sweater with the biggest grin on my face), but at the same time a reminder that this area can still be hit with summer’s unrelenting heat (I’ll look fall on top, but will summer up the bottom with sandals).

I’m currently feeling I’m in a transition season now, and I’ll be honest, it’s not easy. I can see glimpses of what’s to come, and I want to prepare everything for the next season of life. At the same time, I’m reminded that the current season I’m walking out of is not over. IT IS SOOOO HARD to stay engaged and present when you are soooooo ready for the next wardrobe God will put you in. I talk, dream, and journal about the next season, but that won’t make this one end any faster! I’m constantly checking in with God to see if He’ll make this time fly by, but alas… time is still going at the same pace, no matter how much I check.

I’m learning seasons do not transition overnight. Just because Starbucks released its Pumpkin Spice Latte after Labor Day, does not mean the temperature will automatically change that day. In the DC area is takes weeks (and I mean weeeeeeeks) for a reduction in temperature, for the leaves to change, and for me to not feel like a fool sweating in my scarf while I burn my tongue on a raging pumpkin flavored beverage (side note… how in the WORLD does Starbucks heat their water to the same temperature as the sun? Nobody knows….). Just like it takes actual seasons to transition, so it will in my life. So instead of looking foolish trying to live in the future, I’m just going to try my darndest to enjoy the season I am in now (to be honest, I own cute summer dresses, so it shouldn’t be too hard)!

What new season are you excited about, and how are you enjoying the end of the season you are in now?

With love,

Tifa