Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with long-time LPGA Tour player Tracy Hanson about how she recognizes the gifts God has given to her.

Preparing for What’s Next

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2, ESV)

In our first two videos accompanying this series, I shared a number of the strengths and weaknesses I experienced in my game while on tour. Today we are transitioning the discussion toward the role Jesus has in my life, where has Jesus been leading me lately, and how our relationship with him impacts how we live.

When I said goodbye to my competitive days, I had no idea what I would do, or wanted to do, next. I had no desire to be involved in the golf industry, and public life had worn me down. I just wanted a job where I could work by myself. These feelings were some of the debris created from 30-plus years of using performance to numb my shattered heart.

Transitions are hard, even for the veteran Jesus follower. Our human nature desires to be in control with all the answers in full view before moving forward. Stability, security, and assurance feel like necessities. I have found myself in this space much too often when faced with change.

I believe God smiles at our good intentions for order, but he delights when we are willing to step beyond what feels safe to experience where creativity and vibrancy and fullness reside. When we are willing to risk in new ways, our hearts and mind begin to recognize the unique characteristics and strengths God gives us for his purposes and glory.

The followers in the early church of Antioch were men and women who stepped outside the norm to seek what the Lord had for them. As prophets and teachers of the Word, these Jesus followers intentionally set time aside to worship, fast, and pray. God faithfully showed up through his Spirit and said that Barnabas and Saul were to be set apart for the work God was calling them to, which was to take the good news of Jesus to the Gentile world.

Most of us are not called to physically travel the world sharing Jesus, but God does call us to participate in his story in some way. You may know exactly how God has equipped you; others of you may not know where to begin. There is no master road map with the specific steps to find how we are to enter into the plot, but I do have some suggestions.

  – Be intentional about setting aside time for quiet, worship, and fasting before the Lord
  – Be in community: ask others to help name your strengths and weaknesses
  – Consider what burdens your heart and makes you want to get involved
  – Pay attention to what you delight in and dream about
  – Start small: pray, volunteer, write a blog post, make a donation

I am still naming the skills and learning about the calling God has given me for this time in my life. It’s been a process that has included intentionally resting from tour life, engaging my personal story with truth, grieving places of loss and disappointment, and taking steps to form a new ministry. This all feels risky and out of control. And it’s exactly where God wants me to be.

Tracy Hanson
May 12, 2014
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