Get Out Of The BoatJul 12, 2023
Have you ever met someone who you know God purposely placed in your path?
This recently happened to me. I registered for an upcoming event in our diocese and was connected with the coordinator. The moment I heard her voice I had the feeling that I would like her. After a long conversation, Rose Mary agreed to join my weekly radio show/podcast so that I could interview her about a new ministry she was starting in the Nashville diocese. As we recorded the show a few weeks later, it was as if we had an instant connection. We easily chatted back and forth while quickly coming to the end of the show.
There were so many parts of Rose Mary’s story that I could relate to, but one in particular was when she took a giant leap of faith to come to Nashville with her daughter’s family. In California, Rose Mary was very active in a ministry called Magnificat. It is a beautiful ministry for Catholic women that encourages them to grow in holiness by opening themselves up to the Holy Spirit and embracing the gifts and talents God has given them. Rose Mary shared that she was hesitant to leave behind the Magnificat group who she had been with for many years. During her time of hesitation, she talked with her spiritual director, who promptly told her to “get out of the boat” and move to Nashville!
It was the words of her spiritual director to “get out of the boat” that kept swirling through my mind.
Like Peter, I have a desire in my heart to step out of the boat, but that desire often isn’t enough. The problem is that I have a bigger desire for comfort, familiarity and certainty. I know that when I am in the boat I am safe and can see around me. In my mind, stepping out of the boat means facing my fears, embracing the unknown and being willing to fail.
The truth is that Jesus is waiting in the water. He is not asking me to step out on my own. It is me who often forgets that he is there waiting. He is circling the boat waiting for me to jump in. He is waiting for me to stay focused on him so he can lead me in the right direction, teach me a lesson and show me how to help the next person who needs some encouragement to step out.
As I talk with Catholic Moms in the Middle, a common theme is that midlife women feel called to do more.
They have an overwhelming desire to grow deeper in their faith or to serve in bigger ways, but they get stuck in the boat by worrying about the when, where, who and how. I am sure that when Rose Mary’s spiritual director encouraged her to “step out of the boat” that those questions instantly popped into her mind.
How would it work?
Who would support her?
Where would she host the meetings?
When should she start?
Those are familiar questions that have kept me stuck over and over again. Can you relate?
Where do you feel called to serve, but tell yourself you aren’t qualified?
What is the dream you have in your heart that you ignore?
What sets your heart on fire for the Lord?
Right now, God is calling me for more!
In fact, I am literally stepping out of the boat as I write this. The conversation with Rose Mary is what prompted me to get out of my comfort zone. I have signed up for a week-long healing conference. A few weeks ago, this wasn’t even on my radar. In fact, I didn’t even know who the lady was who was hosting it. In a conversation with a trusted priest, he told me to check out her ministry. At first, I had all of the same worries and fears about doing something “out of my comfort zone” with people I don’t know. As I listened to the ministry leader, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. Her words set my heart on fire. I wanted to learn more!
You know how there aren’t really any coincidences in God’s Kingdom? Those things we call coincidences are actually God’s way of showing us where he wants us to go. In my case, it is God encouraging me to “get out of the boat.”
Stay tuned! I’ll keep you posted on my experience and how the hand of God was present before I even went to the conference!
You can listen to my interview with Rose Mary on my podcast, Catholic Moms in the Middle.
Click here to learn more about the amazing ministry that Rose Mary has started in the Nashville area. Their first event is Saturday, August 19th with Fr. Don Calloway as the speaker. You can reserve your spot here.
Jennie is a Catholic Life Coach, Podcaster, Weekly Radio Show Host on Nashville Catholic Radio, Speaker and founder of Catholic Moms in the Middle. After 26 years of working in Catholic education, Jennie felt God calling her "to step out of the boat" to serve in a new way. In her new ministry as a Catholic Life Coach, she now equips and encourages middle-life moms to reconnect with who they are and their unique God-given purpose so they can embrace midlife with joy and confidence.