why leaving the spotlight was God's best for me.

I struggled a lot in writing this post (especially with the title) because in no way did I want to represent an organization that I was apart of  in a negative light, yet I also know that the clarity, take-aways, and lessons learned are valuable enough to not leave unsaid. So let me be the first to say and be clear that what is about to be covered has nothing to do with a negative experience or a 'falling out' but has everything to do with obedience and a journey towards truly living out my faith, one step at a time.As many of you know, and those who don't, I stepped out of a phenomenal organization INITIATIVE network a couple of months ago. An organization that I fully know the Lord is working in and through. I would be lying if I said that this was an easy decision or something that didn't hurt when choosing to do so. I struggled a lot with 'why' and experienced a lot of fears in letting go. Throughout the journey of saying 'yes' to God and letting go, I have learned the following: YOUR CALLING IS WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHAT YOU DO. I worked for this God, I am known as this and this is going somewhere, I don't want to miss out.'

I was so afraid to just be me. I thought for sure that God would want me to finally reap the harvest of all of the work, time, money, and sacrifice I had put into something that after all, was His. The problem was, I didn't know who I was outside of it. I liked the recognition, the fame, and the identity i found in my service. I was so fearful to be known as just Monica. I wanted and even needed to be known for something, for changing the world, for making an impact at a real level. Now these desires, this passion, this work is not a bad thing, I know this because He has told me so. But let me tell you that Jesus is far more concerned about you knowing who you are then He is concerned about what you do. After all, all our righteous efforts are like filthy rags right?  Only He can speak your identity and life into your soul and He can only accomplish through you what He wants, when you know who and whose you are. Walking away and being obedient has now brought me to a place where I can confidently say, 'Father if I do nothing but seek your face and know you more each day for the rest of my life then I will have more than enough and accomplish abundantly more than I ever dreamed of'

IN THE ORDINARY, CHRIST IS EXTRAORDINARY For some reason I had engraved in my mind that in order to change the world and make any sort of impact and leave a legacy on this place that I needed to go all out and do it at a large scale. Now this comes from our millennial mindset I believe and the fact that I believe and dare dream to accomplish the impossible. The reality is that most of us in this life are not called to a large stage, we aren't called to be the face of ministry, we are called to be obedient and live what seems like a simple life. The funny thing is that the seemingly boring, menial callings are those that make the biggest impact. God is far less concerned about your performance or following as He is about how you respond to those that follow you. He's concerned with how you love people, how you respond to their concerns, and how you do life one on one. Because in those moments of true discipleship and intimate discussion, change truly happens in the soul of man. I have found that the sweetest, most Kingdom advancing moments are not when I speak to hundreds, but when I'm one on one, wiping a friends tears and speaking truth to them.

NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE HE LOVES I knew that in walking away from something I had invested almost a year in meant that I would be walking away from a way of life. That I would inevitably close one chapter and walk not knowing what the next one held. What I didn't know is that as I experienced hurt, discomfort, confusion, and a lot of doubt that God would provide ten fold a community that not only loved me but was for me. One that refused to let me build walls around my heart and hide in seclusion, one that spoke my identity to me and reminded me so sweetly that the Lord had a plan for me. I have experienced more of Him these past few months than I have in the past 25 years of life. I have seen him move, speak, and work in ways I didn't expect. All of this process has empowered me in more ways than I can count, especially when it comes to leading and managing my hub here in Dallas. Even more amazing is that my passion for missions that I had since I was a little girl and while serving overseas has come back to life. A promise the Lord gave me at 21 is now coming to fruition from obedience. God has blessed me beyond my wildest expectations and it was because I said yes. The hardest yes I've ever said, but one that I will now say 1,000 times when he calls me again. Because friends, He knows what you need and what's in store for you more than you do.

Some of you may be in a very similar place even now as you read this. Doing something great, leading in an area that is making a divine eternal impact, yet feeling and hearing the clear voice of the Lord to walk away. You may be asking yourself, who am I if I walked away from 'insert thing'? Some of you may be serving and working for the Lord but never actually stopped to ask Him what He wanted for your life to see if in fact, this is what He wants for you. My challenge to all of you reading this is that wherever you are, whatever you're doing in life, that you search your heart. Ask Him who you are, let Him speak your identity over you and simply TRUST Him. Wherever leads you, even if it feels like it's off a cliff, His hand is ALWAYS in yours and He is preparing you for greater things and a promised land that you cannot yet see. So take that step today, trust Him, and know that life is all the more abundant when you gain more Him.