A Devotion written by Halftime Alumna, Carrie Park:

What if God asks you to do something that defies all logic and common sense? What if, while in a season of life where there are choppy waters tossing you around, leaving you frightened and exhausted, God calls you to step out in faith and walk towards Him to an unknown place? What would win out — faith or fear?

In Matthew 14, we learn how Peter was faced with the same questions. As the story is told, Peter was sailing when the sea began to rage, and the boat was not withstanding the waves. He was afraid and, seeking rescue, cried out to Jesus for help. Jesus responded by saying, “Do not be afraid.” Peter yearned to know if it was indeed Jesus speaking. So, Peter asked Jesus and Jesus responds with a simple answer of, “Yes, come.” In that moment, Peter was ‘between’ two places — one which he was currently (the boat) and the other a place not yet known by Peter, but one Jesus was calling him toward.

What happens next is shear faith in action. Peter goes over the side of the boat and walks to Jesus on the water. Peter, fully human, is walking on water! I don’t know about you, but it’s at this place in the story that I want to yell, “Way to go, Peter!” But unfortunately, the story takes a turn and we see Peter playing out the fully human part of his being. Yes, like us, he stumbles. Peter takes his eyes off Jesus, stops listening to His voice, and starts instead listening to that inner voice of doubt and fear. He starts to sink and a terrified Peter cries out to Jesus again for rescue. Immediately, Jesus responds. He extends his arm, grabs Peter, and rescues him from sinking. Jesus saves Peter!

In a recent season where the waves of life were tossing me both professionally and personally, I found myself asking, “Lord, do you love me? Have you abandoned me? Are you really calling me to walk in this direction?” I was sinking and could not hold myself up any longer. I had taken my eyes off of the Lord, but He had not taken His eyes off of me. In my darkness I cried out, “Save me!” I heard in my spirit His response to my cry, “Child, I am here, I love you with a love that will not forsake nor leave you. Come follow me to the promised land.”

You see, I too was in the ‘between’ season. So the question became — would I lock my focus on Him, take the next step, and climb out of my ‘boat’? Or would I continue to hold onto the known?

We recently connected with Halftime Alumna, Carrie Park, to learn more about how she is navigating her own ‘between’ season:

Q. What led to you discovering you were in the ‘between’ season of halftime?

A. From the outside, the view of my life would have looked amazing and fine. Everything around me was known and comfortable, but I kept having a feeling of smoldering discontent. Even though I couldn’t put my finger on it, it just felt like something was missing and wasn’t right or aligned in my life. With the prompting of the Holy Spirit (okay it was really more like a shove by the Holy Spirit) and with the encouragement of my coach, I began to dig into the heart journey of my Fellows program.  I began to see the state of my own captivity. One could even say I had my own forty years of wandering in the desert. Slowly I allowed His light to shine on the lies (untruths) that kept replaying like a broken record in my mind and heart. I came to a place where I had a decision to make. Was I going to live the rest of my life in captivity or was I going to allow Him to help me break out of the bondage and walk into freedom? 

I came to Halftime, like most, seeking to learn more about who He made me to be and how to intentionally use the unique set of strengths and giftings He has given me to expand His Kingdom. What I did not know is that in this journey He would take me out of the “numbers” part of my known career and begin to move me into an unknown new chapter of my career focusing on “words.” But that was exactly what He was doing and showing me. With my eyes focused on Him and with a heart surrendered, I took a step out of my “boat” and began to follow Him into the unknown. I am still walking into the unknown, one step at a time as I cast my sight on Him.

Q: What did it look like for you to step out in faith on this journey?

A. Practically speaking, it was me taking a bold and courageous step within my career by pivoting out of my role and asking to be realigned within the organization. I sought a role that would allow me to deploy more of my strengths and also provide the capacity to pursue my passion. 

The first time I heard this crazy thought in my spirit, I just shook it off. The old broken record of doubt and fear started to play in my head. You see, one of the untruths that God shined a light on in my journey was the untruth that God would abandon me. That I would be left to do life on earth solo. I know this sounds crazy coming from a person who has followed Christ most of my adult life. But it was indeed the wiring of my operating system. 

However, the Holy Spirit kept coming back with a clear direction of, “Go.”  I knew I had a decision to make. Was I going to cooperate with God or contend with Him? 

I chose to cooperate with God and am now in a new role within my same organization. I have discovered and harvested the capacity I sought and am enjoying pursuing my passion of writing and speaking for Him as He directs.

Q. What road bumps have you encountered? How have you overcome obstacles?

A. I have encountered the bumps called “doubt” and “fear” when I allow the untruths to inch back into my operating system. But praise to Him that I am becoming more aware of the lies the enemy wants me to believe. When these lies begin, I pause to identify the lie and then replace it with God’s truth, with the help of the Holy Spirit. It truly has been a discipline of taking my thoughts captive and meditating on truth.

Q. What have been the biggest  “aha moments” thus far?

A. Learning to be content in the “not knowing” has been incredibly freeing. I couldn’t imagine taking the bold steps that I have over the past several months had it not been for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, shining light on the untruths that were holding me captive from seeing all that He has planned for me. 

My two top strengths are achiever and responsibility. For decades my “contentment” came from me having a plan and accomplishing all that I had set out to do. But now, I am learning a new way, one that is rooted in full trust in God and His perfect plan for my life. I do not know what the future will hold, but He does and that is all I need. In fact, it is more than I need. I am having a blast journeying with God!

Q. What advice would you give to someone who may still be ‘in the boat,’ so to speak?

A. My advice would be twofold:

Ask yourself, what is really your God-given responsibility and to whom?  Asking these questions of myself, allowed me to gain the clarity I needed to see areas of my life that was I carrying responsibility that He had not given me to carry.  When I started making changes in my life to become more aligned with what He says I am truly responsible for, then I began to experience more capacity both in time but also mentally and emotionally. 

Be vulnerable and authentic at His feet. Allow the work of the Holy Spirit to be done in and through your life. If you find yourself, like I did, not willing or capable to leave the “boat,” ask yourself, “Why?”  What about your operating system needs to be re-wired with Truth? Then allow the Holy Spirit to prepare your ears to hear Him say, “Go,” and your heart to be so surrendered that you “get out of your boat and go!”  

What about you? Are you currently in a ‘between’ season? If so, we would love to be a resource for you on your journey. Know that our community is here to help you get clear, get free, and get going.

Getting connected with a group of like-minded peers and a Halftime Certified™ Coach to create a custom, holistic plan for the days ahead could be a great next step. How could our fellowship of friends best come alongside you?

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ABOUT OUR FEATURED ALUMNA, CARRIE PARK:

Carrie became the first in her family to obtain a college education, which she accomplished in 1996 with a BS in Accounting and Business Operations from DeVry University.

She started her career inside a small wealth management firm in Ohio as an accountant focused on tax compliance and accounting services. In 1997, she obtained her CPA and met her husband, which led to a move to New York City.  In NYC, she joined Shapiro & Lobel, LLP as a tax accountant in a small CPA firm that served Broadway and LA Entertainers, Directors, and Professional Athletes within the wealth management sector.  An opportunity later opened to join Rockefeller Capital Management, a wealth management firm for ultra-high net worth families, as an Accounting and Tax Manager, focusing on accounting, tax, and financial planning for the family office clients.

In 2006, the Lord made it clear to Carrie and her husband that it was time to move closer to her husband’s aging parents in Texas.  Grant Thornton, LLP recruited Carrie to their Dallas office to head up their Family Wealth Department.  Over the next few years, as the rhythm of life continued to evolve with a growing family and care for aging parents, the Lord started to churn a desire to serve Him in a different capacity, that of the nonprofit sector.  This path led her to take the Director of Planned Giving position with the Dallas Seminary Foundation. Her tax compliance and financial planning background allowed her to help others create an estate plan incorporating charitable giving.  She later took on the Treasurer role within Dallas Seminary Foundation as well, where she managed a $7m budget and oversaw $35m of assets under management.

In 2017, Carrie turned to the Higher Education sector professionally and took a position with Baylor University as the Assistant Vice President of Information Systems and Donor Records before moving to the University of Wisconsin Foundation as the Controller.  She is currently the Vice President over Gift Services and is co-leading the Foundation’s Salesforce CRM and Oracle NetSuite ERP system implementation. Her passion for serving others continues but this time as a mentor to staff.  She oversees $4B of assets and a budget of $50m.

Carrie and Billy have been married since 1998.  During these years, the Lord has gifted them, five children.  They attend Blackhawk Church in Middleton, WI.

To read more devotionals written by Carrie or inquire about speaking engagements, please visit her website.

 

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Credits:

Waves Photo by Thierry Meier on Unsplash

Bonnie Patterson
Passionate about curating spaces and experiences that allow others to connect and grow, Bonnie Patterson serves as Programs & Marketing Coordinator at the Halftime Institute.

Bonnie grew up in Carrollton, TX and is a proud member of the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2018 (Whoop!). She returned to the DFW area upon graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences and minor in Business Administration.

Bonnie began her career working in a retail marketing capacity for a local beauty brand. Having benefited first-hand from a Christian leadership development program, she was excited to discover the ministry of Halftime and joined the team in July 2019. She enjoys spending time with friends, pursuing creative outlets, and is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary in the Media Arts and Worship program.

A foundational verse in Bonnie’s life is Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”