Updated: Nov 14
By Tracy Hatch
Brave Women Series - Tracy's Story
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” I’m a planner, yet the more I try to plan my life the more God tends to graciously disrupt my plans. One of those times began in the fall of 2020. I sensed God stirring. So, I leaned in and tried to pay attention to what He was doing.
At the time I was consumed by a high-pressure secular job. I loved the work and frankly, I was quite good at it. Though the salary was nice and the title enviable, the stress, pressure, and lost time with loved ones were taking a toll. My plan was to tough it out for another 8 years, then retire early and find a fun job. But God had other plans.
For decades I was careful about how and with whom I discussed my faith at work. As an executive working in what I referred to as the land of Babylon, sharing my faith openly would have easily ended my career and caused economic consequences for me and those I loved. A Christian worldview is definitely not tolerated in Babylon.
"As an executive working in what I referred to as the land of Babylon, sharing my faith openly would have easily ended my career and caused economic consequences for me and those I loved. A Christian worldview is definitely not tolerated in Babylon."
Yet slowly and deliberately He began to remove my hesitancy. He was making me brave.
Several months later, not coincidentally, I learned a local church was looking for an executive director. My spirit unexpectantly quickened. I applied. The job offer came, and I bravely accepted.
I felt a bit like Abraham – asked to set out upon the great unknown and go to the place God would eventually show me. Like Abraham, I felt like I was leaving my native land behind. In addition to the loss of salary, I also was leaving great benefits, a system that I understood and had navigated quite successfully for 25 years, and colleagues that I genuinely loved. But, in a sincere desire to follow God wherever He led, I set out on the journey.
You see, leaving my public-sector job and going to work for a church – especially a Bible-believing Christian church – was more than just a job transition and a steep pay cut. It was a one-way ticket. I was putting a permanent stake in the ground and publicly acknowledging my faith and beliefs, which are misunderstood and therefore often cancelled in favor of the secular narrative. I knew it meant that I likely could never go back and would likely never again be accepted by my former peers.
"I was putting a permanent stake in the ground and publicly acknowledging my faith and beliefs, which are misunderstood and therefore often cancelled in favor of the secular narrative."
And not everyone in my life was supportive, at least not at first. Change always stirs up fear and questions. But brave women know when they’ve heard the voice of God, and we know the best place to be is in the center of His will. Where He calls, brave women follow.
"Brave women know when they’ve heard the voice of God, and we know the best place to be is in the center of His will. Where He calls, brave women follow."
As is His nature, God has been so faithful and gracious. He has met every need and has made the transition much easier than I expected. In some ways I feel like a whole different person. My quality of life has dramatically improved, my stress level decreased, my time at home and with family increased, and my commute is a fraction of the former distance.
I could never have known the plans He had for me. Since stepping out into the brave unknown I started a not-for-profit ministry (OneTen Ministries), wrote the Finally Free Forgiveness curriculum and held several forgiveness retreats for women. I've led two Bible study discipleship groups, published a book on prayer and have another book on the way. None of this would have been possible if I had stayed in the land of Ur.
And none of this was my plan. I never aspired to be an author. I never dreamed of starting a ministry. And I never expected God to give me a front row seat to see women set free by embracing the lifestyle of forgiveness. Helping women and teen girls open the scriptures and come to know, love, and follow Jesus has been the absolute highlight of my life. So far, dozens of lives have been impacted for Christ, including mine.
"Helping women and teen girls open the scriptures and come to know, love, and follow Jesus has been the absolute highlight of my life. So far, dozens of lives have been impacted for Christ, including mine."
While I am sojourning closer to my promised land, I am still in some unfamiliar, unsettled territory. There are still some obstacles on the horizon. Yet, I know that God is faithful. His plans are better than my wildest dreams, because He alone can do exceedingly and abundantly above anything I could imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Oh sure, there have been challenges. But I shudder to think of what I would have missed if I had followed my plan instead of His. And best of all, bravely exchanging my comfort for His calling will pay dividends in my life, and the lives of the women I serve, for all eternity.
"Bravely exchanging my comfort for His calling will pay dividends in my life, and the lives of the women I serve, for all eternity."
© 2023 Tracy Hatch, LLC. All rights reserved. Reposting is permitted with proper credit.
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Tracy Hatch is an avid writer, dynamic speaker, and experienced executive with a passion for helping others come to know, love, and follow Jesus as Savior and Lord. After 15-years of public sector c-suite positions, she is now the founder of the non-profit OneTen Ministries and EnoughLife.com and serves as the executive director of a multi-site church. Tracy is the author of A Powerful Prayer Approach: Six phases of life-changing intimacy with God and Finally Free: The Forgiveness Lifestyle, a curriculum she teaches at her Finally Free Forgiveness Retreats.
Tracy and her husband have two precious fur-babies and live near Minnesota’s twin cities. Connect with her at TracyHatch.com. Follow OneTen Ministries on Instagram and Facebook, as well as ThisEnoughLife on Instagram and Facebook too.