First, “srsly” isn’t a typo, just my lame attempt at being clever – especially since this blog title might be a little jarring for some. Trust me, what you’re about to read is ALL GOOD. It’s 100% goodness up in here.
And yes, after almost 14 years, I’ll be leaving my full-time staff position at CedarCreek Church. My eyes get a little cloudy just a bit looking at that last sentence. Okay, deep breaths. (That’s for me, not you – ha!). If you haven’t seen my “ThankFULL” message at CedarCreek this weekend, you might want to check it because I’m talking about my exciting news during the talk. So, I decided to share this post and some pictures of just a few memories that I’ve had over the years.
I know that there are folks scratching-n-sniffing for some type of secret story or conspiracy. If you’re looking for some kind of “What-aren’t-they-telling-us” story about my departure, you’re going to be disappointed. Friends, here’s the real story:
- The reality is that I’ve been working TWO great jobs for the past year – my full-time Creek job and my hobby-turned-calling as an author. I’ve been trying to do both and frankly, by August I realized that I wasn’t doing either of them as well as they needed to be done. Both roles needed 100% and since there is only one me, it was time to let one go.
- My decision was driven by the need to focus on the ONE thing – connecting with women. My main thing will be speaking – whether at MOPS groups, churches or conferences. Here’s how it works: the goal of speaking is to inspire women to connect with Jesus’ heart and direction on a particular topic. After the talk, books equip women to learn, understand and apply what inspired them during the talk. If I truly want to connect with women for the long-haul, it starts with speaking. While the elders were generous with their permission for me to speak, the truth is that the speaking side of life takes more time than I have available.
- Change is hard, but I’m really excited! Ben’s excited, too. Okay, it took him a few minutes after I told him the news, but he’s been leading the “Go-Barb!” cheer. The elders are excited, too. One of my greatest encouragements was that CedarCreek Founding Pastor, Lee Powell, wrote a great reference for me to share with new churches who have no idea who I am. His words blessed me and I am so grateful for them.
“What’s next for you, Barb?”
Let me start with what’s NOT next. First, you’ll want to scrub any mental images of me rolling around in piles of $$$ like authors, J.K. Rowling or Jodi Piccault. I’m a newly published Christian author who’s still learning the ropes. I’m not leaving my staff job because I’ve sold tons of books. Truth is, I haven’t sold tons of books, but I’m working on it. One of these days, it would be cool to join a speaking tour like Women of Faith (WOF) but I’m looking forward to wherever God sends me to speak. (This is fun: Later this week, I am writing a blog for the WOF newsletter, but they really have no idea who I am – ha!)
All I know for sure is that God is calling me toward a new direction in this season of my life.
So, what IS next? I’ll be in full-time ministry as a Christian women’s speaker and author. I have a number of speaking events lined up for early 2016. I love speaking. If you’d like to see where I’ll be speaking for the next few months, check out barbroose.com/speaking. Feel free to share up this link with friends at other churches who are connected to their women’s ministry. (Make sure to tell them that you know me so I’m not just some random black woman with a big smile sitting in their inbox.)
I’ll also be writing. Lot’s of writing. I need to become a much better writer and that will take time and hard work. There are some writing projects in 2016 that I’m looking forward to diving into as well.
Also, I’ll be speaking a couple of times in the coming year at CedarCreek. Ben asked if I wanted to still speak occasionally and I was like “FO’ SHO!” I appreciated the ask and I’m looking forward to it. I’m actually scheduled for a date in February and looking forward to it! (By the way, our family will still be attending the Creek…)
Finally, I’ll be working on building new relationships with other Christian women speakers and authors and I’ve got a chance to explore some new ways to connect with women.
Are you scared?
Honey, they don’t call it a “leap of faith” for nothing! I’m running toward the edge of the great unknown and the only thing I can do is tuck my knees under and fold my hands to pray that God keeps me from falling.
Am I scared? YES! I’m leaving a great job that makes a difference in our world. I’m leaving a group of people who been like family to me for over a decade. I’m leaving a good salary complete with great healthcare and a retirement plan. Scared? HECK YEAH! And, every now and I ask myself: “Are you crazy?”
Yet, I feel that God is calling me to open my hands and trust whatever He will put in them or even, take away.
My concerns and worries aren’t anything special – and not even significant. Fact is, there are Christians all over the world putting their VERY BREATH AND LIFE on the line for the Gospel. So, while there are practical things in my life that are real concerns, I’m aware of how insignificant those things are in the light of eternity.
Over the last 14 years as a staffer and 19 years as a CedarCreek attendee, I’ve seen thousands of lives changed and transformed for eternity. What would be scary was if I was leaving my Creek job and cutting myself off from opportunities to help others discover life transformative power of Christ.
I have no idea how God will use my life, but I’m going to open my hands and let God put in or take away according to His plan. Just so you know, that last sentence was tough to write because I’ve been alive long enough to know that some of what will go in and what will come out will hurt – even devastate me at times. Yet, on the same note, God will also overflow my heart with peace, joy and fulfillment. My main job is to trust that God will be faithful and good in both sets of circumstances.
“What do you need? How can we pray for you?”
I’m so glad that you asked! I’m not shy, so here’s a list:
- Pray for FOCUS. I want to travel in the lane God created for me. I’m not trying to be Lysa TerKeurst, Priscilla Shirer or the other amazing women that do what I do. I want to focus on God to see the direction where He calls me to do.
- Pray for NEW CONNECTIONS. I know that God has given me a message for women that can transform their lives. I’m praying for opportunities to share this message wherever God would lead – even if it’s out of my comfort zone.
- Pray for PROVISION. There are some specific things that I am praying about for 2016, mainly speaker and writer development and leadership mentoring that I’d like to participate in this year. Pray that God will provide according to His plan for me. (By the way, I’d challenge you to create your own “getting-better” wish list. My “wish list” is at the bottom.
- Pray for FAMILY. Transition can be tough. No complaints, friends. I totally get that people have it much worse than Casa de Roose. Still, we’re navigating all of the relationship and economic issues that come with transitions. On top of that, my oldest daughter leaves for South Korea in two weeks for her first assignment after graduating from West Point. Pray that our dependence will be on God and that we choose to live with ThankFULL hearts at all times.
Thank you for checking out my exciting news! Again, I’d like to thank everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging to me. I’ve been so very blessed by all of you.
MY 2016 DEVELOPMENT WISH LIST (click on the titles to find out more about these)
She Speaks Conference hosted by P31.org and Lysa TerKeurst) – if you are a Christian woman and you want to speak/write for an audience, THIS IS THE CONFERENCE! I’ve been twice and it’s amazing!
The Storyline Conference hosted by Donald Miller
Catalyst Conference (either two-day or one-day event)
Global Leadership Summit hosted by WillowCreek Church
Books-n-Such Literary Agency Retreat – hosted by my literary agency for the writers.