How to Respond When God Asks You to Move On

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Walking in your purpose will require moving on from some people and places that in this season have you looking like a picture of catastrophe and discomfort. You must come to terms with the expense, time, and the loss of obeying God and letting them go.

I don’t mean to be superficial, but one of my most devastating experiences was outgrowing my favorite pair of light-blue jeans. I could dress them up or turn them into the perfect comfy, casual look. I loved them because they were a no-brainer staple item to go to, and the fit was incredible. They made me feel confident, comfortable, and ready for anything.

But one day those jeans with the perfect amount of stretch just didn’t fit. No amount of sucking in or jumping up and down was going to get me into them. I had to come to terms with letting those jeans go.

Just like those blue jeans, no amount of dumbing down your created self or compromising to be accepted is going to do the trick. Conformity has done its best to keep your created attributes from being a disruption to some, and you still have not found success rekindling the groove you once experienced and appreciated in those rooms. You loved them because they were a no-brainer go-to, and you loved how being with them made you look and feel. But one day you realized they just don’t fit.

If only “they” were a pair of jeans, you would have gladly retired them and purchased a new pair a long time ago. But instead of an article of clothing, we are talking about people, relationships, history, community, and seemingly your identity, too. We are also talking about leaving your job or church, moving to another province or state, closing the doors on your business, or letting a friendship go. These connections seem to have grown an umbilical cord, and severing them feels like losing your lifeline. Aligning this part of your life with your created self might be the hardest adjustment you will have to make. You’ve known it for some time. You wanted them to be the one to launch you, see you, understand you, affirm you, or mentor you. Your fondest memories include these places and people, and moving on from them feels sinister. They served a season of your life well. You may not have caught a glimpse of your created self without them, but you most certainly cannot tap into where God is taking you without the courage and the obedience to move on.

Need some encouragement to strengthen your resolve to move on? Download these myth busters and a prayer for boldness.

When God starts stirring you to move on from the people and places you call home, it can be too painful to confront. It’s one thing to acknowledge how the actions of others have contributed to shaping your curated self. With Jesus and therapy, you can identify how the words of a former boss or your fourth-grade teacher are the reason why you doubted your greatness all those years. That mental block was not your fault. That was on them. Not you. But it requires a deeper personal level of vulnerability, honesty, and ownership to acknowledge that your current delayed fruitfulness is being held back by your own hands. Attempting to coddle your insecurities about stepping into alignment with your created self, you have pacified your budding purpose by remaining in comfort zones God told you to leave and drowning out the conviction of Holy Spirit with the noise of the crowd.

Is God nudging you into the unknown? Has the paralysis of analysis produced inaction in your life? Are you rehearsing all the possible What if . . .? scenarios moving on might produce? Walking in your purpose will mean making faith moves with no forwarding address. It may even feel like you’ve been benched or downsized. Sometimes moving on doesn’t feel like moving on at all. Sometimes moving on feels like losing.

What about your hands? Are they helping build you or bind you? It’s natural to want to protect and preserve the things that are important to us. But with God, please know He promises this: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

I would never share something with you I haven’t tried, tested, and proven for myself. I lost a lot that day. Obedience is not transactional. You don’t give God your yes and then He promptly gives you the details of what’s next. Nope. Obedience is transformational. Your yes along with your process takes you through a metamorphosis: a shifting from your curated self to your created identity. Whether you are staring at God’s eviction notice or packing up obediently to make your move, you can be comforted by knowing that in God’s economy, losing equals winning.

I can only imagine that if it was that difficult for me to birth the writing of this story, it might be just as difficult for you to work through your own unboxing of your relationships. So let’s pause and pray for a dose of clarity and courage before you proceed.

Prayer for Holy Boldness

Father, I am thankful that if anyone knows what it feels like to have to obey a hard request, it is You. Help us activate the holy boldness required to step out of what is familiar and move in radical faith as You align us with a greater measure of our purpose. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This article was excerpted from the book, Courage and Confidence: A Bold Guide to Unboxing Who You Were Created to Be by Nicole O. Salmon.


Nicole O. Salmon is an author, speaker, and pastor. Before launching her coaching firm, Nicole worked for over twenty years with organizations serving communities experiencing marginalization. Nicole is a certified life-skills and marriage coach with a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry and certifications in adult learning and cognitive behavioral therapy. Together with her husband, Evon, and their five children, she lives a full and purpose-filled life in Brampton, Ontario.

1 thought on “How to Respond When God Asks You to Move On”

  1. Thank you for the thought that “obedience is transformational…not transactional.” I feel like I am one of those practicing such.

    I need to be assured, by HIs Word, in losing and trying am winning economically.


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