Words by Lisa Hanash
The day after a conference at the White House Convention Center, I realized I was thinking too small, in the midst of 6,000 women in business, philanthropic movements, entrepreneurial endeavours and creative explorers.
For months, I had been playing with the thought of going back to school in theological studies for a one-year undergrad certificate, but I was too afraid that I would fail terribly in a subject filled with book reading and essay writing! Yet, after hearing how these women had overcome tons of adversity, I thought, “Who am I not to try?” No one in my family had ever done theological studies before! Taking risks was not my strong suit, but the God of the Universe was asking me to take a leap of faith into uncharted territory.
I had not realized that I had tried to push the marketing degree as a formula for a perfect career; I resisted the comfort and ease. Something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to get rigidly stuck in the box of studying and working in only one career. It was all too limiting! I wanted to create something new, but I just didn’t know what step to take next. So, as a result, I applied to go back to school and terminated my part-time job.
I went through two months of waiting, yet, ten days before school started, I received my acceptance letter. I got off to a rough start, including my laptop losing my first weeks’ worth of notes, late nights on simple assignments and a large list of books to read—the word “ease” was not used liberally. However, as I started to face my fears, which were often my weaknesses, I began to see that God was making a way for something even better!
New hybrids began to form, as links from my experiences began to converge with the intertwining ideas and concepts that I was learning. I had a new vision of something that had never existed before emerging from my imagination. Theological studied meeting the business world—now this was unexpected and what I had been waiting for!
I could see how good God was in my midst, strategically placing new ideas, and the only way I could respond was by laying my fears down and trusting His rest in the midst of high demands and finding my grounding in the knowledge that He had the answers before I did.
Every little moment became a new victory. He promised that He would do it, not me as He said (and continues to say): “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
When I thought I was lost, I kept discovering new possibilities as I stepped out of my comfort zone, even if it meant that it came with criticism or disagreement. For me, speaking was normally an easy task—until it was with a crowd of students staring at me. However, I kept finding peace in the few smiles or the couple people that came up and said, “Thank you for sharing.” I was walking in the promise of the Word hidden in my heart that He would lead me through.
The year went by, and a year later, I can say I am grateful to have embarked on what would be the most worthwhile experience for me. God gave me something new: words. Words to express feelings and experiences that were going on that I could not find clarity for. Words that would express my heart and everything that I was containing. Words that could connect me to another person that opened up the possibility for greater understanding. Words that would turn into a new reality.
The world is full of emerging possibilities—but without you and me to move Kingdom ideas into tangible “next steps,” the world does not change. God can use you as a powerful movement of explorers, releasing the potential of God’s love by being his hands and feet on earth, transforming the spheres of influence that God has strategically placed you in. It makes me excited to write and tell you the story of God as His Beloved child.
Blowing bubbles as I crossed the podium to receive my undergrad certificate certainly revealed more than a new freedom; it was a childlike joy that had sprung up in me, believing that God is always creating something new.