That fall, there was a men’s retreat scheduled out by the ocean. I signed up and got a group of guys together and we drove out in our family minivan. A great time to talk and learn more about each other before getting to the hotel. That first night was incredible as we worshipped, heard the Word preached, and then had time of prayer and being prayed over.
It an incredible weekend and an incredible time to spend with God and other men building and growing relationships.
During this time, I received a message that I was supposed to get involved in my community. So I pressed deeper to understand what that was supposed to be. God spoke to me about joining the board of the homeowners association. Not sure what that meant, I looked into it and had a meeting with some of the board meetings. Speaking with them they explained the board and also tried to see if I might be more interested in a committee because I would get a quarter of my dues back, but that isn’t what God had called me to do, so I passed and registered for the next election for board members.
The community came together for the annual homeowners association and my name was on the list. After the election, I learned that I had been elected to be on the board. We had the annual board retreat where the election for the various positions within the board took place and I being new and also based on the nominations and votes became the secretary. I learned a lot about the community that first year and got to be a part of many big items and topics that came up in the community from traffic to safety, roof materials to colors, nearby community integration like annexation and new road construction and other political items. As the next year came, God started to prompt me to step up to be president. I didn’t feel qualified or ready for such a calling and resisted and pushed back. During the board elections I ended up getting nominated and elected as vice president. It was very interesting the things I learned through this new role from process and procedures to additional responsibilities. As the year went on, God continued to press in my mind that I needed to step up and step out to be who He was calling me to be. I continued to resist feeling I wasn’t ready. Next thing you know there is a riff in the board and a group were getting together to try and oust the existing president. During the process God continued to say step up, step out of your comfort zone, step in to what I have for you, but I continued to resist. As they removed the former president and a new election took place, I was reinstated as vice president while another board member stepped into the president role. Since the president wasn’t there, I was leading the meeting and abstained from the vote as there was no tie to break. It was only a few months before the next annual election and board nominations. God continued to prompt and I continued to press back. One day while at the gym after working out, I hopped into the hot tub to wind down and I heard “you will be president or you will be nothing, you choose!” The voice was loud and startled me as I looked around to see nobody in the room. Nothing didn’t seem like a good option and so I agreed. I chose to be obedient to the calling God was putting into my life rather than needing to be qualified to take on the role He was asking me to step into. As we got closer to the nominations of new board members, one of the members’ mothers was diagnosed with cancer. She offered to stay until after the nomination and board election before stepping down which would mean we would need to add an extra person to the board. I told her that if God wanted me to be president, He would make it happen and that it was important that she focus on family and her mother. So she did which meant we needed to add one additional person to the board instead of the usual 2. So we had the annual association meeting and added 3 new members to the board. Driving up to the board retreat I remember praying God, not my will, but Your will be done! So it came time to have the nomination and the vote. Two of us were nominated to be president (and guess what, I was one of them) at which point everyone got to vote. They took the ballots and did a count and I won. Wow! I wondered what God had planned and in store for me. I wondered what was going to happen that He needed me to be in this role. After the retreat I was talking to the staff and to my surprise, I learned from them that had the other person won, they would have quit on the spot. Wow! I had no clue. I was totally unaware of their view and the status of the staff of the association. They now reported to me and I had the staff responsible for taking care of the community of approximately 10,000 people and 23 divisions of single family homes, 9 subdivisions of townhomes and condos, and 2 apartment communities. So many amenities for the families of the communities from 2 swimming pools, basketball courts, walking trails,… During my time I had to help lead the board through staffing changes, board member challenges, hiring new director, security changes, insurance policy changes, budget adjustments, and so much more. I still remember the conversation with God when all of a sudden I needed to hire a new director for the association. I told Him that since He wanted me to be the president, He was going to need to help me with wisdom in picking the new director. The interesting part of this was the He put the name Rich into my head which made no sense. So we put together the job description and got it posted. We got 2 candidates and setup interview loops with 2 other board members and myself. Want to know something interesting, one of the candidates name was Richard. So we went through the interview process and it came down to me needing to make the decision. Based on the interviews 1 of the board members chose 1 candidate (not Richard), one said he felt either could do it, and I felt from the interview process as well as from a feeling in my gut that Rich was the man. So I went with Rich. And what a great hire he was. God provided! God had needed me in such position for such a day and such at time as this. There were so many changes and so many decisions that were needed and He provided wisdom beyond myself for each one so that the community would be setup for success and would be covered and moving forward meeting the needs of the community and providing the services the board was supposed to do.
Want to hear two interesting side notes around the hiring decisions?
- After Rich had accepted the role and started leading the office and facilities staff, I received a letter from a member of the community thanking me for having hired Rich and went into details how he was doing such an incredible job, validating what God had prepared in advance for me to do. [Goodness of obedience]
- I later found out the other candidate we interviewed was actually related to one of the board members, the one who was in the interview loop and also the one who was choosing the other person (not Rich). When I realize how God had protected me by providing a name, I was so grateful. When I realized how we could have had a legal situation on our hands had things gone differently, I was so grateful. [Goodness of obedient, Protection of God]
That was an incredible 3 years where I continued to watch do incredible things in and through my life, at work, at home and in my community as a volunteer on the board.
He stretched me to step up! He stretched me to step out! And because of my obedience He took care of the community He had called me to step up and step out to serve.
God is so good! Over this time He spoke into my life on many things but that is a story for another day!
Remember to obey the still quiet voice! You don’t want to have to hear the loud booming one.
Praise be to God!