From Baylor graduate to CPA, to Chief Financial Officer…to what? This is the question facing Halftimer Lisa Huntsberry, former CFO of Interstate Batteries. Lisa remains uncertain about her next step. But what she knows- and who she knows- gives her great peace and joy while she takes an intentional pause.
Born into a Christian family in Ft. Worth, TX, Lisa came to know the Lord personally at an early age. As she grew to adulthood, went to college and began her career, she repeatedly saw the Lord’s faithfulness. “I have seen God be an integral part of my whole adult life. I’ve looked to Him for guidance on everything that I’ve done.”
She began her career with Arthur Andersen LLP. When the time came to move from there she had a conversation in which she asked some friends to pray for her, expressing her desire to “land where God wants me.” Those friends called the next day, offering her a position with them. And each step on the journey, she relied on Christ to meet every need.
Throughout her career, Lisa has desired to serve God in a greater capacity. Prior to the job offer at Interstate Batteries seventeen years ago, she prayed, “Lord I really want to go to the mission field because I want to be in a position where I’m out of my comfort zone and I have to be totally dependent on you.”
Little did she know that her new responsibilities at Interstate Batteries, and her sense of inadequacy in meeting its many challenges, would answer that prayer. Leadership in a growing company ranked number one in its industry required total dependence on God. “I saw Him do incredible things, and it was easy to give Him all the glory because I knew it was totally beyond my capabilities,” she said.
Two years ago, when a new CEO took over the company, Lisa prayed for God’s guidance if and when changes the new leadership brought might signal it was time to leave. Although the transition was planned, she was unsure of changes in the direction of the company. She recounts the days before her Halftime experience this way: “I wanted to be in a position of perseverance, that I would not flee but be in a position to receive whatever God had for me.”
Two years in, the time to leave arrived. Waking up one Sunday morning, she knew God was telling her to write her letter of resignation. “As an accountant, I am much better at numbers than I am with words,” she said. But when she went to the computer to write, words flowed. She presented her resignation to her boss two days later, having no idea what was next for her. “God was saying this is your time to step out without knowing where you’re going to go. I want to grow your faith to that next level of trust. I want you to take some time to grow more intimate with Me, to know Me and know My heart, so you will be ready to do the next thing, which is what I’ve put in your heart.” She said, “I have stepped out, not knowing where I’ll land, but fully trusting God. He has been so faithful to me through the years, it’s really easy for me to do that.”
One beacon of His faithfulness is the timing of Lisa’s Halftime Launch Event. First, a friend told her about the Halftime Institute. Then Interstate decided to offer information about Halftime to employees interested in exploring the possibilities of influencing the world for Christ in a significant way. Lisa registered for the program before she even knew she would resign. As God would have it, the Launch she attended took place on January 20–21, 2015, just two weeks before her final scheduled workday at Interstate, on February 5.
The Value of Insight
The Launch Event brought to light two principles of great value in Lisa’s journey. The first is “dream big.” She said, “Just like He brought Interstate to me, why shouldn’t I believe He will bring me that next thing in ways I can’t even ask or imagine?”
While considering the places in her life in which God has most taught and empowered her, she knows that He can do far beyond even what her greatest dreams might be. Her life verse is Ephesians 3:20 which in part says, (He is) “able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…” She continues to trust His time and place as she talks with her Halftime coach about each unfolding step of the journey. Her coach has taken the time to get to know her, and to fill the unique place of greatest benefit to her. This keeps her organized and accountable to her commitments for this season of uncertainty. The objective evaluation of her ideas and insights makes her feel she has a partner along with her on the journey.
The second principle involves surrender. Her desire is to surrender now, every day, rather than when she reaches a point in which she can’t do any more and must give in to Him. “My ongoing prayer is to be in a position of being willing…anything.”
The messages initiated in Halftime and explored with her coach have been recurring themes in the days and weeks since, as she continues to seek God and grow closer to Him.
The Power of Pause
“If I were working and doing all the things I normally do,” she said, “it would be extremely difficult to get still enough and quiet enough to really hear from God. I felt like He was saying ‘I’m not calling you to be a human doer. I’m calling you to be a human being…’ It can be uncomfortable to get quiet before Him, especially for a person who is used to accomplishing a great deal and finding value in productivity…. The release of the burden and responsibility of work gives me an opportunity to pursue God, to be engaged with Him, and to pay attention to what He is saying to me.”
She sees this season of quiet as a gift, a time in which God wants her to pursue Him with the one desire of Him as her first priority and the Guide of her steps. She knows if she seeks Him first, He will reveal all the other things in His time and in His way.
She also values this time for making connections with people and traveling. She wants to be fully present for those rare opportunities, knowing they play an important part in taking full advantage of this short season.
Exploring her passions and desires illuminates several things. She knows that empowering women around the world and seeing revival in America motivate her greatly. She values the importance of continuous engagement in some form of ministry, and believes strongly in teamwork over doing things alone. Specifically, she sees herself partnering with a visionary and making their vision a reality.
But the value she finds in knowing God overrides all of those things. She knows the power lies in dependence on God. So she waits patiently. “A lot of this pause has just been getting out of the way to let God work…” she said. “I don’t know what my next step is, and that’s okay.”