I keep meaning to post this… I scribbled these thoughts for my friend Renee’s blog. She edited it, and came up with the super fun title. So here I am, months later, finally posting it here so you all can read it too!
Wherever you are, God has known about this for years, before you had a clue.
He has strategically set pieces in place so that at this moment in history you could do what He’s called you to do.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to walk into the dreams God planted in my heart as a little girl. Dreams that I thought were distant fantasies. Dreams I idolized, surrendered, and then dared not hope for.
Last summer I released a book called The Insatiable Quest for Beauty. My friends gave me the ultimatum–letting me know (in no uncertain terms) that it was time to get off my butt and finish the book I’d been stalling on.
I was waiting for a magical word from heaven saying, finish the book, but most often God works through ordinary people like you and me.
So I finished it.
I also finished my master’s degree, and started making room in my schedule to speak more often.
I felt like I was supposed to spend more time in a speaking ministry, but had no idea how to make that happen.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
One day during a conversation about future goals, my dad asked,
“Tiffany, why are working full-time? Quit your job, move your belongings home, and go travel and speak around the country. What do you have to lose?”
It seemed crazy. No one knows who I am! This is literally impossible, but that’s the beautiful thing–because when something is impossible for us–it means He gets all the glory.
Here was the moment I’d waited for, and yet I felt like throwing up!
Leaving my church, friends, and apartment?
What if it didn’t work?
Leaving my 401K and salary?
How would I keep paying my student loans?
One Sunday during worship I had a holy moment, when the music fades and the voice of God wraps around you. He simply said,
“You are about to stand in awe of Me.”
I cried. I knew that if this was His will, He would make a way where there was no way.
I put in my two-weeks notice for work. Gave away furniture and kitchen supplies. Moved to my parents’ house, four hours away.
I felt like Abraham, when God told him, “Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you” (Acts 7:3). Abraham left in faith, not knowing where he was heading or how he’d get there. I felt like that: Leaving all I knew for something I didn’t know. But I knew He’d called me, so I would never walk alone.
“Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18).
Here’s the thing. Unbeknownst to me, God had known about this from eternity.
While I’d been loving Him and loving others in everyday life, He’d been at work. While I was working a 9-5 desk job, He was allowing the seed to fall into the ground and die, so it could come to life. While I was getting my finances in order, He was putting things into motion that I had no idea about.
In October of last year (just six months ago) I started traveling. I was scared and had no idea what to expect, but God kept reminding me that my identity was only found in Him, not in ministry. He reminded me that my number one life calling was to know Him and make Him known, not to be a preacher.
So I relaxed.
I had fun.
I learned to trust Him.
And I was blown away.
Absolutely, completely blown away.
God started making divine connections with organizations and churches I never could have made myself.
I started hearing stories from people all over the country reading the book – stories of lives radically shifted, of lunges toward freedom. Things started to snowball, slowly but surely.
Recently I was amazed to see emails arriving from pastors and principals I’d never contacted, who heard about this ministry and want me to come speak. I was shocked to realize I am now bringing in more income than I have ever brought in at a job. Now I can give more! Sometimes I just want to laugh from pure giddiness because I can hardly believe my eyes–He is doing it. All the glory goes to Him; this is literally nothing I could ever accomplish.
I realized that He’s been setting this up for years. Before I had a clue!
He brought people into my life and then spread them out all over the country. Now I can stay with them, spreading the word about my book without worrying about hotel expenses.
He provided the skill sets I needed–through my job in Higher Education. He opened speaking engagements in secular settings through my master’s in music therapy. And the thing is – right now, there’s such a need for this message of identity. I was reading in Esther 4 and felt like verse 14 was for me:
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise…from another place… Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Right now, wherever you are, God has been and is putting things into play that you cannot see.
He’s working behind the scenes, bringing together the pieces of the puzzle. When everything seems silent and dark, it’s not. He’s working. He’s putting them together so that right now, at this moment in history, you can do what He’s called you to do.
Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a dream as this?