I am at a crossroads. I feel called to make this ministry of prayer and prayer beads full-time and I would love nothing more. This is my joy and passion. I give thanks every day for the path on which God is leading me. However, I am not making enough money yet to “quit my day job,” so to speak. Currently, my job as a nonprofit consultant is what helps to pay our bills. It is a job I have loved for many years; however, I want to reach the point where I can afford to give up consulting altogether and focus completely on this ministry. That is proving to be difficult.
As is true of any crossroads, I am faced with uncertainty. Indeed, I am terrified. My fear has been growing gradually over the past few months. Now, it seems to be reaching a fever pitch. It’s not altogether terrible; in the midst of the fear I recognize that I am being challenged to walk in faith through my fear in a way I never have before. Still, it is hard and there have been a number of dark days. I find myself putting off doing the things that would move this ministry forward: mailing postcards to promote my workshops, seeking new speaking engagements, creating and posting new prayer bead designs to my Etsy shop, and even keeping up with this blog, Twitter, and Facebook. It is easier to stay with what’s comfortable, rather than forging a new path.
Luckily, I have a wonderful support system to walk with me along this circuitous path: my family, my friends, my spiritual director, my fellow church members, the field testers for the book, and all of you! Your words, testimonies, prayers, and excitement about prayer and prayer beads have been wonderfully nourishing. I appreciate you so much.I am also thankful – extremely thankful – that I will begin the Academy for Spiritual Formation very soon. I have no doubt the Academy will challenge me to find my footing as I take this leap of faith.
Leaps of faith can be both energizing and terrifying. That is where I find myself now. Since today is my birthday, I have decided to give myself the gift of faith. I want to build this ministry and see it grow. And so I commit to moving forward, doing the things that scare me: promoting the workshops I lead, doing more writing, building my Etsy shop, and finding new ways to talk with people about prayer. Today, I challenge myself to move forward, trusting that God will be with me every step of the way.
In honor of that, I offer the following devotion.
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Invitatory Bead: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NRSV)
1st Cruciform Bead: Lord, you are with me. I need not be afraid.
1st set of Week Beads: use each bead to feel God’s presence, especially in the places where you are afraid.
2nd Cruciform Bead: Lord, you are my God. I need not be afraid.
2nd set of Week Beads: use each bead to feel God’s almighty power, a power that is greater than anything you may fear.
3rd Cruciform Bead: Lord, I believe that you will strengthen and help me.
3rd set of Week Beads: use each bead to recognize the ways in which God is helping and providing strength to you.
4th Cruciform Bead: Lord, I walk boldly in faith, knowing that you are lifting me up.
4th set of Week Beads: use each bead to meditate on the ways in which you can move forward, boldly and confidently; to see yourself being lifted by God through the darkness and into the light.
Invitatory Bead: recite The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.