A few years ago, my wife, Annie, and I made a major life change. We left our family, friends, an incredible church, and our comfortable home in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to another country in response to God’s calling. Many of our friends commented saying, “How are you doing this? I could never take a step of faith like that.”
FOUR STEPS TO MAKING A MAJOR LIFE CHANGE
Obviously, the decision to move to another continent is not one to be taken lightly. At the same time, changing jobs, starting a business, getting married, having children, or buying a house are not decisions one should take lightly, either. Here are four steps to be considered before making any major life change:
Pray. Prayer is the first place to start for any major decision. Proverbs 3:6 says, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Prayer aligns our hearts, desires, and motives with God’s will. When the opportunity came for Annie and I to move, we spent much time praying for God’s guidance. As it became clear this was what we were supposed to do, the sense of uncertainty was replaced by a sense of peace. Prayer must not, however, become an excuse for not taking action. At some point, we have to act. God’s guidance comes as we take the first step. We ask God for His direction and then step where He leads.
Seek Counsel. No major life change should be undertaken without getting some good advice and counsel. This doesn’t mean running the idea by a few buddies at the gym and asking their opinion. Good counsel means going to someone a little further down the road of life. This might be your pastor, small group leader, boss, or maybe even your parents. When we decided to move to Brazil, we stayed in close contact with our pastors every step of the way. God puts leaders in our lives to help us make the right decisions. Ignoring good counsel can be very dangerous!
Consider the Timing. What season of life are you in? Starting your own business might sound like a great idea — you would get to leave the job you dislike and do what you are passionate about. However, if you are carrying significant debt, this is probably not the time to launch out on your own. Instead, developing a plan to get out of debt might be the road that takes you to the place where you can start your business in a few years. For Annie and I, our season of life contributed to our decision to move to South America. I had recently retired after almost 30 years as a police officer, and our daughters were both grown and married. This was the perfect time for us to make a major life change.
Decide and Act. Many people have big dreams they are too scared to act on. Maybe you are not in a place in life where you can make the big life change you envision. Don’t let that stop you from moving towards your goal! Getting out of debt, going back to school, or starting your business while keeping your full-time job are good, concrete steps that move you closer to seeing your dreams come true.
Are you contemplating a major life change? What is one step you can take today that will bring you closer to the change you envision?
Guest post by *David Spell
*David is a missionary serving churches in Brazil. Since retiring from the police force, David has served on the pastoral staff at C3 Church Lawrenceville and has become a successful writer and blogger. He has written several books on biblical studies, as well as autobiographical books about life as a police officer. Click here for more information and visit David's blog at www.davidspell.com.