Taking a leap of faith sounds exciting, but when we enter the reality of life transitions and have to wait we grow anxious and start to doubt our decisions and directions. In this episode, David and Donna interview David Stewart, Jr. about a life transition he began a few years ago when they took a big leap. He shares what he and his wife Lisa learned as they waited for all the right doors to open over a period of a year.
Life Transitions and Leaps of Faith: An Interview with David Stewart, Jr.
Recorded on the road in Leominster, Massachusetts. David and Donna conducted a Calibrate Marriage seminar at New Life Church in Leominster. We were privileged to spend the weekend with 50 couples. The pastor of the church, David E. Stewart, Jr. is a long time friend of David’s and was an Evangelist for many years and he and his wife Lisa and their family spent 16 years in ministry in India.
The Stewart’s life journey transitioned a few years ago when they felt God’s direction for their lives changing and they resigned their missions commission and permanently moved back to the United States. They felt their next assignment would be taking the lead pastorate of a church, but this transition turned into a year of waiting. David met with David Stewart many times during this transition. The wait lasted about a year before a door of opportunity opened that they were certain was God’s plan for their lives.
We decided to pack our podcast road gear and interview David Stewart for the Calibrate Life Podcast. Our journey of transition, the unknowns we face as we launch out in our great adventure, and the similarity of the Stewart’s big leap into their great adventure was an inspiration and an encouragement to us in taking our big step of faith.
Episodes 55, 56, and 57 focus on the great adventure life transitions as David and Donna unfold the new directions in their lives. So many that we talk to are either contemplating a big leap into a great adventure, or they are going through a time of transition in their lives. It is hard to wait for things to unfold.
In this episode David Stewart shares with David and Donna some things he learned in his family’s transition.
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
Click on time stamps to forward to that location in the interview
Before a transition, there is a preparation or a pre-transition period [5:20]
- Spend time in prayer [9:31]
- Gather people around you who will encourage you and stand with you
- Don’t be moved by the problems, but move forward because of the direction you feel [9:50]
- Look for direction that God may give you through others to confirm what is already in your spirit [10:35]
- For integrity’s sake, do not hold on too long to the comfort of what is behind you [11:24]
Sometimes when we take a leap of faith we thing things are going to happen immediately, but sometimes it is quite some time before things begin to unfold. [12:17]
- Things may not look the way you think they will, they may look differently [13:50]
- It is important to fix in your heart what you feel the will of God to be so you will have courage to stay the course [14:10]
Did you feel fear or anxiety when things did not happen as quickly as you thought it would and how did you deal with it? [14:50]
- Some people will encourage you and others will cause doubt to rise up within you. Be careful of the negative voices and gather encouragers around you.
One of the challenges of big leaps and transitions is losing your sense of identity [19:00]
- You may move from being known to being unknown, being visible to feeling invisible
- You have to anchor in your identity being in Christ
- You may face a feeling of worthlessness when your life engagement is in transition
The greatest lesson of this transition time [22:17]
- God may be graciously giving you some time during the transition to rest
- We have to trust God enough to enjoy the journey rather than being anxious in such a way as it robs our joy
“Had I just trusted God I could have relaxed and just enjoyed my time of rest.” [23:50]
Looking back over the year you waited, do you have a sense of the “why” for the wait? [24:20]
- I had the opportunity to pursue more education
- I had the opportunity to reacclimatize to American culture
- There were things God needed to teach me
- The “door” God had for me was not yet open and I had to wait for it
- God was preparing the people of New Life Church. When my transition started, New Life had a pastor. I could not have come until God made a way for us.
To be a person of integrity, I could not just keep doing the safe thing because it was easy, but I had to move forward into what I knew in my heart was the thing I was to do. [28:00]
When the right door opens, it feels right and it is a great joy to walk through that door. [29:30]
Does God have a specific place and a specific plan for us, or does it really matter. [32:00]
David Delp shares how David Stewart’s faith in believing God had a specific place and a specific plan for his life was an inspiration to him in making his decision to take a great leap of faith.
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