Soldiers, Leaps of Faith, and the Hope/Fear Thing

Many of you know I’ve been wanting to go full-time with Prayerworks Studio for a long time. Years in fact. I’ve prayed about it. Talked about it. Worried about it. Gotten excited about it. I’ve watched the prayer bead orders, opportunities to lead retreats, and book responses increase. I’ve witnessed a change in my passion, from social justice and nonprofit consulting work to work that involves prayer beads and talk about God’s deep love.

Still, I’ve also wrung my hands about when and how to go full-time. Several times I’ve declared “it’s time to go for it,” knowing that all signs pointed to yes, only to scurry back to the safety and security of my consulting work. It is a known quantity. It is also a steady paycheck.

Of course, that’s what all of this comes down to: the financial leap-of-faith required to go full-time; stepping away from job security to build a business that will – hopefully – be sustainable, financially and otherwise.

But no more talk. I’m going for it! As of August 1, 2017, I will be full-time with Prayerworks Studio. This time there will be no safety net to fall back on; I’ve officially given notice to my consulting peeps and we are already putting a transition plan into place. As of August 1, someone else will take over my nonprofit projects. As of August 1, I’ll be doing nothing else but writing books and blog posts, speaking and leading retreats, and creating prayer beads. Ditching the safety net seems to be the only way to go. I can’t look back. I can only look forward and go for it! I am terrified, but I am also so, SO excited. Leaps of faith are thrilling like that.

DSC_0109Tied to this decision is my work with soldiers who have PTSD. As I’ve previously written, this work is one of the highlights of my calling, and something I’m really committed to continuing. The only problem is that it is strictly on a volunteer basis: the hospital does not have the funds to cover the costs of my time and/or the 4 1/2 hour round-trip drive. And because of the drive, it ends up being a full eight-hour day. As much as I adore my time with the soldiers, I just can’t sustain this, particularly when I’m having to make the most of my time and resources in order to build a business that, in part, helps to pay our bills.

Thus, I’m continuing to promote my donation campaign to support this effort. Y’all were so super generous when I did this earlier in the year. Of the $4500 needed, you contributed $1600, which provide four additional sessions and got us to April.DSC_0011

I’ve spoken with the hospital staff about all this and explained that, following our June session, I will not be able to do anymore sessions unless I’m able to raise more funds or identify a funding source. They totally get it and are working on their end to raise donations as well. We are a team.

I struggle with all of this because I want to continue the work but am dependent upon the generosity of others. But I also trust in God’s grace, confident that God will provide for wherever I’m supposed to be.

Our theme this month is Hope, and it is certainly timely for me with this whole leap-of-faith thing. I am hopeful and I am scared. I am scared and I am hopeful. But my hope is greater than my fear because we proclaim that Christ is risen even in the midst of death and poverty and abuse and addiction. We proclaim that God is with us even in the midst of the unknown. We proclaim the power of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of leaps of faith. Because we serve the God of Hope. Thanks be to God. Alleluia.

If you are interested in supporting my work with soldiers who have PTSD, I invite you to donate here.

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