Sometime after Dan died, I knew that I’d need to start working again, probably on a very part-time basis and ramping up as my youngers grew. In the days before I had 7 kids, I was an attorney – a litigator and I loved it.
After Ben was born, I pitched a part-time proposal to my firm. They said yes and I cut back to billing only 30 hours a week. When my third was born, I cut back even more, dropping my benefits and working on a contract basis. That was perfect and I thought I would keep doing that until my kids were grown and launched.
Then I had child #4.
At that point, life was crazy with preschool and a nanny and four little children and Dan and I decided to take a huge leap of faith. I stopped working altogether. We cut every single expense to the bone; we pulled kids out of preschool, stopped using the dryer, learned to give haircuts and didn’t just shop sales – we shopped garage sales.
In those years, we cut our teeth on trusting God with our finances. God always provided.
One of the cuts became my Bar dues. I went inactive and 5 years later, Dan and I decided were liked me staying home and didn’t foresee me going back to work as an attorney.
If I ever need to go back, I’ll just retake the exam, I thought. So I retired altogether, filed that part of my life way in the back and proceeded to put my energies into raising 5, then 6 and then 7 kiddoes.
When Dan died, I began thinking about that dusty file.
This past February, I decided it was time to start studying for the Bar exam. I worked through all 20 previously released exams, started the insanely tedious Bar application, signed up for a review course and hired Rachel to “be me” in the home for 20 hours a week. I talked to the kids and prepared them for upcoming changes and a new rhythm as mom studied for the Bar exam.
Wrestling with Faith
But inside, I had been wrestling with another path. Many months before, I had sensed God leading me to write. Okay, I thought. I’ll write AND do law.
But, as I continued to study for the Bar, God’s pull grew stronger.
It seemed so far-fetched, I thought. Such a vague and nebulous future. I know about law, I’ve done it; it’s reasonable and I know I can do that. It felt responsible. So, I continued to shelve the thought of writing.
One night while studying late in my room, the house quiet with everyone else asleep, all of the wrestling came to a head. God’s pull became irresistible and I finally got face-down on my carpet. With tears and praying and all-out trust, I yielded. I pushed pause on studying for the Bar and agreed to pursue some writing.
It felt like I was walking off a cliff.
You’ve got me God, right? I can trust you?
If you’ve been in a similar spot, you know that God’s draw is often crystal clear, but how that plan works itself out? Not so much. He calls us to walk by faith and only by trusting Him with the first step do we get light for the next step.
The next morning, I gussied up all my courage and told my older kids one by one about my complete change in plans. I seriously thought they’d look at me like I was crazy. But each of my kids gave me such encouragement and affirmation. And I noticed something else that morning. It felt like someone (Someone) had taken an Appalachian hiking pack off my back — a weight I didn’t even realize I had been carrying.
So, here I am. Walking off this cliff with the Lord.
My heart’s desire is to tell of God’s goodness and His faithfulness.
My hope is that in this world of constantly blaring messages, this little spot on the web can be a voice and witness of God’s faithfulness. This verse from my morning Bible time says it well:
God, Your lovingkindess is better than life. My lips shall praise You. Psalm 63:3
I know God’s faithfulness and goodness are at work all around us. I want to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear so that I capture as much as I can of God this side of heaven.
Rene Perry says
So glad you walked off the cliff…with God!
Thankful for your testimony!
Love you dearly,
Frank Jarrell says
Thank you for listening to God’s to write. Each post I have read has been a blessing to me. You really have a gift in writing and I look forward to each new post and see how God speaks to me thru it.
Betty Turner says
Lisa…once again you have reminded me that we have to walk in Faith…with every step, not just three or four and then try to grab it back as if to take over as pilot once again.
I do so enjoy your writing and this “little spot” on the web is a constant reminder to me that everyone goes through situations, we just have to LGLG…and let our faith in our father guide and direct us.
Thank you so much for writing…Love to you and your family God is true, just and faithful!
Melanie Gray says
Lisa, each of your writings have been a true blessing to me and I’m sure others around you! Thank you for choosing to follow what you feel is God’s calling on you. You are such an encouragement to those around you.
I’m enjoying reading your blog! You are a blessing!
Lisa Appelo says
Thank you Brenda!
beautiful, beautiful, Lisa! You are such an encouragement to me =) Praying many blessings to you on this amazing journey.
Lisa Appelo says
Amanda, it sure is good to cross paths with you again.
Robyn Ingoldsby says
Wow, Lisa! May God bless your efforts in this journey. Praying for you!
Lisa Smith says
Ohhhhh, I have such a cliff story for you… Maybe next week.
What an exciting place to be–that free fall feeling!!!
I have come to that exact place as I’ve been cutting my schedule to the bone to make the time it takes to write. I am realizing now that I have cut all I think I can, God will show me where I can cut what I think I can’t. Ouch! But, I also pray this is the point where He multiplies what isn’t to make what should be.
Praying for a soft landing for you. xoxo
Lisa Appelo says
Thank you Lisa and thank you for stopping by! It is definitely exciting to trust God fully.
This is beautiful. This is my first time visiting your blog and I’m blown away by your strength. Life as an attorney is all-consuming and I believe your true calling is to write. I am so sorry about the loss of your husband and the father of your seven children. In the aftermath of tragedy I must say, you are soaring beyond what I could ever imagine. Thank you so much for linking up to the SHINE Blog hop <3
Lisa Appelo says
Thank you Rebecca for such encouragement! There have been excruciating months but God is healing and it feels good to feel good again.
Cindy Krall says
Wow. What a powerful testimony. It’s true…walking of a cliff can take many forms can it not? Thank God for the one that carry’s the backpacks! I’ll be praying for your great adventure! (Stopping over from #livefree.)
This is beautiful I love how you describe the feeling of a weight being lifted after you surrendered to God. Even if we don’t know how it will work out and it feels like we’re stepping off a cliff, there is so much freedom in releasing it to him. Praying for you as you step out in faith to pursue your writing.