on being a squad mentor (or not…) part 2:

During the summer of 2013 I heard God speak. It wasn’t in one of those lightning bolt ways (is it ever?) but more a quiet nudge in my spirit… your role at Adventures will change. I will give you a position that requires more leadership than you are using now. 

I got the sense this change wasn’t coming any time soon, so I put that word in my back pocket and went on with life.

A year later (July 2014) one of my team leaders on the field wrote me the following in his weekly update:

Hope, through a moment of prayer, I feel like God is showing me that He has a new role in mind for you in the near future… I have the sense that this new role is something larger than you’re used to, and may make you nervous at first, but the things He has done in you in the last few years have been a time of equipping you for the task. You have reason to be confident in Him, so “go for it.”

I emailed him back, saying I had no idea what this meant but it confirmed what I believed the Lord said a year earlier.

A the end of August I went to Malawi for a debrief, and while I was there a girl named Cait told me about a dream she had in which I told her I was no longer a Squad Mentor. She laughed about it like it was a pizza dream, but I looked at her with earnest eyes and said TELL ME AGAIN because I knew it meant something more.

Mere days after coming back from that debrief I was offered a new position – program director of our high school and college age trips. As my bosses explained to me why they thought this would be a good fit for me (and ways in which I would have to grow), all I kept thinking was this is it, this is it, this is God…

Other opportunities had previously come my way, and at the time I wondered if that was what God was talking about. But when I was offered this role there was no guessing, no wondering. I knew.

There’s a deep, satisfying sigh of relief that comes with the confirmation of hearing God’s voice. I believed God had spoken about this over a year ago, but up until that moment in Steve’s office it was all based on faith and quite honestly, that’s scary. I’ve been wrong before. Being wrong about hearing God’s voice kinda messes you up, because the next time you hear him speak you’re like, “is that you? me? am I crazy?” and “can I trust you?”

God is so good to not only speak about this a year before, but to bring two other confirmations along the way. He knew I needed those nudges, those hints as to what was coming, so I wouldn’t be completely knocked off my feet by change.

Like I wrote in my last post, I loveeeee being a Squad Mentor. It’s such a great fit for me – it’s been such a gift to me.

At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily challenge me anymore, and I believe it only uses my gift packaging to a certain extent.

So I get why this transition is happening now, and I’m excited for what’s in store with this new position. But it’s still hard. I’m leaving something I’m good at – something I love – for something that is over my head and somewhat unknown. That scares me.

Two weeks ago today I came to Starbucks (where I am now) and had it out with God via my diary. I wrote honestly, with tears falling like raindrops on the table. I confessed feelings of resentment toward him for taking away something I loved (even though I’m chosing to let it go) and I allowed myself to grieve, to feel the pain of loss.

Then I wrote truth: this new role will become my dream job, and I will look back and see how God spared me from squad mentoring. Even though it kills me right now.

And then I thanked him. (Cue more tears.)

Thank you for giving me the Squad Mentor position – I believe you created it just for me. Thank you for giving me 2.5 years – for giving me G, M, S, C and F squads. They all hold such a dear place in my heart. The countries, the coaches, the racers, the squad leaders. Thank you for teaching me even more about your grace for people. Thank you I’m getting promoted and not fired. Thank you for making it so obvious – I never doubted this was all you. You are so good to me. So good. 

I’m less emotional now that it’s been two weeks, but even in this moment – reading those words for the first time since I wrote them – I feel tears creep up around my eyes. They won’t spill onto the table this time, but they’re there… representing the grieving that is still taking place. I don’t know how long it will take.

This I do know: I’m more excited. I’ve been praying for God’s heart for this new role and I can tell it’s being etched on my heart like an Etch A Sketch. Slowly, surely.

I’ve been praying more in general. God I need you, I need you, I need you… and he keeps coming through. My faith is growing.

I’m a firm believer that God breaks our hearts in order to give us something better (if we let him)- I started believing this on my race and have had seen it play out many times since then. Oh, my heart has been so broken along the way. But I’ve also been blown away along the way.

So yeah, my heart’s a little broken right now. But it’s also pumping with hope for what is to come…


With God, it’s always going to be better than before.



About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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12 Responses to on being a squad mentor (or not…) part 2:

  1. alysseay says:

    Woohoo! I am so encouraged by you and your honest and vulnerable walk with Jesus. I am excited by the changes and how I see in you how Jesus continues to bring us places where the Spirit works deeper and deeper in our hearts. And I love that… He breaks us open to give us more. Love you Hope.

  2. Andrew says:

    This is so great! I knew something good was coming for you.
    Can’t wait to see and hear how all of this pans out and what God is going to do through it through you.

  3. Chris - the dude's wife says:

    oh girl – please come have a cinnamon coffee muffin with me and let’s chat! This is big, but not too big, of course. You go this …and so does He.

  4. Jen says:

    “With God, it’s always going to be better than before.” I love.

  5. Missy says:

    This is so great Hope! You will be AWESOME!

  6. Richard Mendola says:

    As always, I am so pleased to be your Dad, and see you follow God in all his ways. He will make your paths straight.

  7. Bill Swan says:

    Love walking the journey with you girl. Thanks for being so…you all of the way through it.

  8. Katie G says:

    Hope this is really beautiful. Thanks for such a gental reminder about grieving and thankfulness. This is good.

  9. HOPE! I love you. And am so proud to call you my best friend!

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