Before becoming a successful coach for Christian women, Cherlyn Decker lived your typical, hectic corporate life. As a mother, she felt guilty for not spending enough time with kids. She felt that her company job left her unfulfilled, and she was embarrassed to admit that she was afraid to leave her cushy salary and benefits.
Cherlyn kept the inner mess hidden from her friends and family. But then she was laid off, and quickly hit rock bottom. She lost the security she held so tightly before. She spent weeks at home wondering what in the world she was going to do.
One day after being laid off, she was laying on the couch reading a coaching book. Her husband came in and said, “You know, you should do that.” All of a sudden, Cherlyn was struck with a renewed sense of purpose. Coaching WAS what she was supposed to do. The thing that was keepin her back was HER and HER FEARS. She was afraid of the “no,” the unanswered phone calls and rejections.
So, Cherlyn started sharing her story. She opened her mess up to the world. Not only did she share her mess, she shared how God was leading her out of her mess. And people responded. Now she’s running a successful coaching business for Christian women.
But looking back on that time, Cherlyn sees how that period of waiting changed her. God transformed her through the layoff. She couldn’t have started her new business without slowing down and listening for the truth.
Read on for Cherlyn’s top three tips for waiting on God, and how YOU can make the most of a season of rest.
1. Give Control to God at the First Opportunity
Cherlyn knows that God prunes us like a vine. He needs to take off the old parts of our personalities so that the good parts can grow strong. God asks us to lay things down before him. These might include worries, grudges, and even lifelong dreams.
People like to use the excuse of, “Ah, I need to work on that. Yes, I’m going to work on that” when asked to lay things down before God. This is a dangerous mindset. Underneath this excuse is a need for control. If you’re the one who needs to work on your issues, that means you’re telling God that you’ve got it. Your ego kicks in and snatches away control. You keep the ball in your court, not God’s. Instead, you need to give control to God NOW. At the first opportunity.
Too often, we have our fists tightly gripped around things that don’t matter. As soon as we let go, we get to experience God’s true freedom.
2. Use Rest as a Weapon
When God leads us into the wilderness, he doesn’t ask us to sit on our couches and watch movies. That’s leisure. Distracting yourself with Netflix binges is leisure. True rest means more than doing nothing. Real rest is empowering. Rest is when we slow down and listen to what God is pouring into us.
Many of us work jobs that drain us. We put in long hours and sacrifice time with family and friends to perform well. Do I need to say that this leads to burnout and dissatisfaction? Sometimes having all those responsibilities stripped away can be a great blessing. Sometimes God needs to POUR INTO US so that we’re empowered to do his will.
3. When the Enemy Tells You Lies, Say, “Wrong Address”
The enemy will take advantage of any season of waiting to discourage you and tear you down. Sometimes these attacks sound like a critical voice inside your head. Sometimes your friends and family question your motives and make fun of you. Sometimes complete strangers feel the need to call you out on Twitter and Facebook.
When you experience pushback, tell yourself “Wrong address. Return to sender.” Those lies are not meant for you. Reject them.
Of course, be careful that you don’t cut yourself off from mentorship and correction. That’s where point two comes into play. If you know what God is calling you to do, then you’ll be able to identify the lies. For example, if God is saying that you’re in a season of waiting and you should leave client acquisition in his hands, then you can ignore the pesky friend who keeps suggesting you get a traditional nine-to-five job. Remember, Noah built the ark YEARS before the flood came. Be patient and handle lies when they come.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Don't stress when you feel like you're wandering through the wilderness. This season of waiting (in business, family, and personal development) will empower you if you let it. Give control to God and stay grounded in his truths.
ATTN: CONTROL FREAKS (just like me)!!!
I struggled with giving control to God for 40 years. When I was younger, I didn’t want to give up control. Then when I became a Christian, I didn’t really know how. But there’s one strategy I’ve made part of my daily routine that’s changed all of that for good.
I want to share that system with you. Click the button below for my prayer-based, 5-minute stress relief program.
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About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!