“JUST DO IT!” – the famous slogan for Nike shoes, or what a command that a parent would say to their children.
One day during my morning prayer time, I remember hearing God’s gentle nudging, you know in your heart what I am asking, “Just Do It”! My first response was, “Lord if I give up all that I have worked so hard for to just follow you, what if I fail?” Another response to God’s just do it, “My family is counting on me and what I bring to the table of earnings.” “Remember my husband is retiring, and we have two daughters going off to college?” How ironic that I would think I needed to tell God that! It seemed I forgot how big He really was!
Reflecting back on that time in prayer, I can now see all the ways God has blessed us for the “Just do it” by responding to His calling. When I have shared my testimony on this life turning decision, most people thought that it was an easy response. The truth of my responding to God was exactly the opposite. I had to go through the Paschal Mystery to get to the other side. The Paschal Mystery is Dying to Self; The Tomb is going to something new — a faith walk; and Resurrection; Surrendering to the Will of God and trusting in Him that He knows what is best for us and the plans He has for us.
It was when I was in the tomb stage, when uncertainty began to stare me in the face and thoughts storming my mind; “Why are you moving out west when your daughters are on the other side of the state?”; “Why would you sell the house you and your husband built to move for God? Are you sure you heard God? What if you didn’t exactly hear God right You have a great job already, what if the one you feel God called you to is a disaster?”
In the thick of the confusion, I called a good priest friend of ours, Fr. Brian. It was an ordained call, for he is a busy pastor and for him to have a moment to answer the phone and to talk was a rare thing. In fact, a part of me was hoping he wouldn’t answer for he might talk me out of my fears. He said, “Hey, what’s going on?” I told him, about how I thought I was making a bad decision. He said, “You have entered into the Paschal Mystery”. I said to Fr. Brian, “What do you mean?” He said, “You must first die to all that you loved, and are comfortable with.”
All that I loved was being close to our daughters and friends. I loved my work and our home. To be quite frank moving out to the far west of the state was the last thing I had in my plans. Next, Fr. Brian said, “Remember how you had prayed on this for a long time on whether you were being called to stay or move? Do you remember how you had no peace on moving to the East side of the state?” I replied, “I know.” He also stated, “It was not a quick decision, it had been months of prayer, right?” I responded, “You are right Fr.” Then he proceeded to share about the stage two and three of the Paschal Mystery. Stage two is the “Tomb”. “This is the stage you are in now.” He said, “Do you want to stay there or do you want to move forward to the resurrection?” Once he described it like that, my immediate response was, “Resurrection!”
If there is ever a time you feel God is calling you out of the boat to something greater, just know that it is not a fast decision. Discernment is a process of prayer, patience and stepping out. To give you a word of encouragement on discernment, is that once you tested what God has called you to do, do not stay in the tomb, go forward to the Resurrection and “Just do it!”