Leaving the Hallway: Four Things to Surrender Before You Go
Author: Kristen Lunceford | www.kristenlunceford.com | @kristenlunceford
There comes a moment in every hallway season when you hear the latch on its exit door release. Sometimes the sound is so obvious it startles you. Other times, it’s quiet enough to make you think you imagined it. Either way, the door is open. God is calling you out. You know it’s time to get up and go, but fear has you balking at turning the knob.
What’s a girl to do?
I’m glad you asked. If you are staring down—but not reaching for—an unlocked hallway door today, you may need to surrender one—or all—of these things to stand up and step obediently into the season God has for you next.
1. Your insecurities.
We’re often afraid to leave a hallway season because we’re insecure about who we are. We forget that we are God’s children, forgiven and empowered through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We get all knotted up thinking we don’t have the right resume or resources to step into what awaits us outside the hallway door because we forget where our help and our worth and our power and our hope actually come from.
If you’re afraid you don’t have what it takes to [fill in the blank], remember this: Abraham was old. Sarah was impatient. Noah got drunk. Miriam was a gossip. Jacob was a cheater. Jonah ran away. David had an affair. Elijah was moody. Peter had a temper. Paul was a persecutor. Martha was a worrier. Thomas doubted. Zacchaeus was short. And Lazarus? He was dead.
And yet. God called and equipped each of them to live out their full place in his wild, wonderful story, and he’s calling you to the same. But first you must surrender your insecurities by holding onto truth of Philippians 4:19 for dear life:
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
God has it all, and he has it all to give through Jesus. You don’t have to be insecure as you reach for the knob.
2. Your feelings.
When we sense God calling us somewhere new, we all want more details so we can figure out how we feel about it first. Fair enough. But let me ask you this: Do you think Abraham felt like leaving his comfy home to go for a really long walk to literally only God knew where? Do you think the disciples felt responsible and secure leaving their jobs on the fishing boats to follow a homeless guy down the beach?
And what about that homeless guy? The Bible tells us Jesus was in anguish at both the Last Supper and in the Garden of Gethsemane, but did that stop him from carrying out the will of his father? Human feelings, overwhelming though they might have been, didn’t deter Jesus from obeying the call of God on his life, and they shouldn’t deter you from showing up for His call on yours.
In John 14:1 Jesus says, “You must not let yourselves be distressed, don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
In other words, obedience to God should supersede how you feel. Does this mean your feelings should go away or be discounted completely? No. But it does mean you’d do well to have the discipline to bring them under control, to tuck them into your pockets, and to keep walking, trusting that God will calm you down as you walk out of the hallway with him.
3. Your Plans
This is so hard. We like our self-sufficiency. Our ingenuity. Our to-do lists. Our five- year plans. We like charting the course. We think it’s our responsibility to connect all the dots. But if you are going to remain open to the season God has for you next, you have to resist the temptation to thrash around in your own self-reliance and instead open your heart up to the very real possibility that all of this? It’s not ultimately about you and your plans. It’s about God and what he has planned to do through you to accomplish his.
I love how Emily P. Freeman says it:
“Instead of insisting on clear plans, may we be willing to settle in and take the next right step even though it may lead someplace we didn’t quite pack for. May we stop insisting that everything have an explanation. Let’s be men and women who keep our ears pressed gently against the heart of God, willing to respond to faint whispers and small nudges, and even have an openness to be the wink of God for someone else.”
4. The Outcomes
We are not responsible for the outcomes of our obedience. We can’t always control what happens when we leave the hallway; we can only control whether or not we decide to do what God says. In Genesis 12, it was Abram’s responsibility to walk out the door. Making him a great nation was on God. Check it out:
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” –Genesis 12: 1-3
If you’re hesitant to leave the hallway because the outcome in the next season feels uncertain and heavy, remember this: The weight is not on what is being asked of you. The weight is on what God has promised he will do. All Abram had to do, and all you have to do, is simply act on the part of God’s direction that you do understand.
God will do the rest.