Positioning for Breakthrough.
November 1, 2019
Have you ever wanted to make a move only to discover that when you weighed the possibilities you simply did not have the margin in your life to do it? Maybe it was a new home that you found at a really great price. Maybe you stumbled upon an amazing business venture with a great financial return. Whatever the opportunity, you missed it because you were not prepared physically, emotionally, spiritually or financially.
Well… My pastor, Dan Stallbaum, has written a book that is designed to help keep you from ever missing an opportunity like this again. It is called, “Positioning for Breakthrough.” And let me tell you… The message in it is good. In fact, when we heard his message ten years ago, my husband, Landon, and I had no idea that the direction of our future would hinge on whether or not we implemented the principles found in this book.
After hearing Pastor Dan’s message, Landon and I discovered the extreme importance of being prepared for whatever opportunities God had in store for our future. Our hearts desire was (and is) to steward our lives in a way that would allow us to follow the Lord’s leadings- whatever they may be. We never wanted to be forced to say “no” to any opportunity the Lord brought us due to poor planning or a lack of margin in our own lives.
At the time, finances were our biggest hindrance to being able to say “yes” to the Lord. So we established a plan to become debt free. Because we were already living by Godly principles, the only debt we had was our home. We committed to live even more modestly in order to pay off our house in ten years, thus creating margin for whatever road the Lord would take us down.
When we made this decision, paying the house off this quickly was a stretch that would test our faith and commitment level. But, when the housing market took an unexpected nosedive, our concerns reached an all time high. Nonetheless, we remained faithful to the plan we believed God gave us. In the end, despite the cost of moving and the money we lost in the housing market, by the grace of God we were able to pay the house off in ten years plus a few extra months.
In June of 2016, we became 100% debt free. Of course, we had no idea of the turn of events that was about to take place in our lives.
Let me share the backstory. I promise, it will all come together in the end…
For many years, Landon had been in a steady, fairly secure job working in professional baseball. He worked for the St. Louis Cardinals as a Minor League player. Then for the LA Dodgers and ultimately, the Washington Nationals as a Strength and Conditioning Minor League Coordinator. Somewhere early on in his career, he began officiating Park and Rec. Basketball as well. He never intended for officiating to become a career. It was simply a way to make a little extra money doing something he thoroughly enjoyed. But as time progressed, Landon’s officiating career began to make advances we never imagined.
Fast forward a few years… Landon and I began to feel a stirring from the Lord for Landon to move away from professional baseball and into full-time college basketball officiating. Refereeing basketball would leave 7 months of the year free to do Kingdom work. However, in the short term, this transition would be a huge pay cut. After much time in prayer, we ultimately planned for Landon to retire from professional baseball in the spring of 2018 or 2019. However, the Nationals decided to move their spring training headquarters to West Palm Beach in 2017 instead. With the stadium so far from home, we were left with two options: 1) Leave our home, family, friends and church to move to West Palm Beach. Or 2) Leave baseball early and step out into the deep.
As we prayed, we did not feel peace about uprooting our entire family to make the move southward. So, rather than go where finances would be easy, but God’s peace would not come, we made the choice to leave baseball and start afresh on the journey the Lord was calling us to. This decision would have never been possible had it not been for the teaching we were so blessed to receive outlined in the book “Positioning for Breakthrough.” If we had not created financial margin by paying off our home, we would have had no other option. At a critical time in our children’s lives, we would have been forced to remove them from the security of all they have known- to a new school in an unfamiliar city with new friends, a new church, a new home, new pressures and every other thing that comes with moving.
While the story continues to unfold, there is still much uncertainty. The years that followed these decisions have stretched our faith and caused us to draw closer to Jesus than we have in years. Regardless of it all, there are a few things I am confident of… God’s timing is impeccable. His provision is certain. And His faithfulness is never ceases. All those years ago, we heard a word that the Lord used to position us for breakthrough. I am so grateful we heeded the message. Only He knows what all will come from our obedience, but I am convinced we have only just begun to see His goodness unfold.
If you would like a copy of Pastor Dan’s book, “Positioning for Breakthrough,” click here. I have no doubt you will be blessed beyond measure in the same way my family has been.