BY TARYN BUTCHER
I couldn’t get away from the doubts that filled my head and my heart. Prior to going to the Resonate Conference, I was anxious thinking about the future and was wondering where I would go next. I felt like I was being called to go with the church plant to Western Oregon University, but a sense of uncertainty overwhelmed me as I sat on the fence.
Conference made me face all of these doubts. Doubts that included me believing that I wasn't meant to move, that I didn’t have enough experience as a leader, and I was doubting His plan for me and my abilities as a disciple. I faced these doubts in a way that opened my eyes to see that I had not fully committed all aspects of my life to the Lord. I was holding onto my comfort, my need for control, and my fear of God not providing. I sat in the sea of many, as I asked the Spirit to finally reveal the answers to my questions. I realized that I was expecting an answer, but God made it clear to me that I needed to trust in Him and hand over my life. He was showing me that I needed to fully trust His plan and not my own.
I decided to sacrifice my comfort and control to the Lord because I realized that God knows what we need more than we do and He shows us what we have always needed and gives us the choice to pursue that.
When we give up our control and hold our hands out to Him to take away that worry and doubt, He changes the desires of our hearts. My heart was geared towards desiring a specific path that I had laid out for myself, and I was convinced that deviating from that path would be the wrong thing for me to do. I thought that I had to follow a step by step process regarding my life and my future. I believed that I had to play things safe and continue my full four years here at Central Washington University, and that I would just stay where I was with Resonate. God revealed to me that I needed more. I needed to trust Him more. I needed to let go of the path I had paved and had tried so hard to stay on. He showed me that His plans are always going to be bigger than my own personal timeline and expectations. My heart changed to be geared towards longing to find any opportunity to get to know Him and pursue Him more, and how I could help others around me come to Jesus. And then it hit me: I have to be on mission.
He changed the desires in my heart about moving to Monmouth.
He altered my mindset to believe that He is who He says He is, always. He says He is powerful, and He will empower those who go out and brave the scoffers and doubters. He says He is faithful, He will give grace and patience to those that are faithful to Him.
He revolutionized my heart to choose joy in the face of opposition and to trust Him with my journey.
Josh Martin said, “Just as God sent His son for us, we are given the power and authority to be sent out for others.” Hearing this really put into perspective that Jesus did not die on the cross and walk out of the grave for us to be stagnant. We as a church and as disciples of Christ need to be urgent and determined to seek out those still in darkness and proclaim God’s love. I know that God has created my heart to long to see others saved by Him. If I have been presented with the opportunity to go out and do just that, how could I pass it up?
My heart was forever changed. It was transformed from being a heart that was easily persuaded by my circumstances, manipulated into believing that I wasn't fit for God’s mission. I began to realize the privilege and pure joy that comes with relinquishing control of my life, and allowing myself to not lean on my own comfort. To me, this means making the bold decision to jump off the fence and pick up my cross daily, devoting the entirety of my life and all that I have to Him. As a result, at conference, I decided to verbally commit to moving with the church plant to Western Oregon University and asked God to take my doubts, fears, and need for control away. I can wholeheartedly say that letting go of the wheel and allowing God to control my life has been one of the craziest, most rewarding experiences. I have grown so much closer to God and have learned to trust Him in ways I didn’t think were possible. I cannot wait to see where He takes me next. Go Wolves!
If you connected with this story and want to speak with someone about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.