• Dorthy Richberg

Strong, Brave, Fearless

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Many of you already know me as Jaxson’s Nana, Jordan, Alissa, or Ryan’s mom, or Glover’s wife. I’m also known as a corporate executive, business owner, wellness advocate, teacher, and absolute funny person! (Okay, maybe just me and my husband think I’m super funny). But what you might be surprised to learn about me is that last year, because I’m God’s daughter, I traded in part of my comfortable salary for a not so comfortable, long walk with God through the parted Red Sea floor.

Did I say "not so comfortable"?

As a high achieving person who always has a plan, goals, and expectations, you must know that I did not embark on this journey without serious consideration. What that means is,

I.... moved.... slowly....

First, it was because I wanted to be sure this was from God. There was too much at stake for me to make a significant change on a whim or a feeling. It was important for me to ask, “Is this You, God?” I didn't want to misinterpret the direction and end up dealing with the consequences like with Sarah and Hagar.

Second, this was a really BIG move and required really BIG faith because it impacted our entire family and our future. My husband and I needed the security of knowing this Word was from the Lord so we could STAND on it in faith and return it back to Him during the times when things didn't look like they were lining up. Because, you know, no Word from God could ever fail.

But consider, for a second, the magnitude of what I was being asked to do. I had been a high level executive at my company for over 16 years. I had earned the respect of my boss, my peers, and my employees as a person of knowledge, authority, and influence. I made a very good salary that allowed me to be generous. And did I hear You just say I need to downsize myself? Not quit outright, but climb back down on purpose?

Y'all, we spend so much time, climbing the corporate ladder and gathering tools to get to the top, I did not know how to climb back down and continue working at the same company. I mean, who does that? Initially, it made me nervous even thinking about how to have the conversation with my boss. I had no idea how to start. It took a few months of prayer and waiting and the Lord opened up a perfect opportunity for me to mention it. It felt like a victory to finally say something! It was understandable that he really didn't believe me. He thought I just needed a vacation. I mean, who seriously does this?

But I brought it up every month and reminded him of my intent to downsize because it was important I walk obediently. The Lord gave me a certain time frame to transition and I was afraid of not being in position. I made a plan to divide up my position into the parts I wanted to keep and the parts I would hand off to others. It was important to me that the plan served both me and my company. I still loved this company and wanted to ensure I did everything in my power to help it continue to be successful and profitable. I wasn't leaving completely. I was building a succession plan and hiring and training the two people who would learn to walk in my shoes. I was still keeping a very critical function in the company.

Might I mention that during this same time frame, I also had the pleasure of having my super cute 1 year old grandson full-time while his parents were deployed in the Navy? Let me just say that God is so awesome in how he does things! He knew exactly how I would respond to all of Jaxson's needs during this time: daycare, doctors appointments, the way he needed to snuggle with his Nana, and his super cute face! Yep! I was right there for all of it and a very willing participant! Taking time off from work because Jaxson was the priority was good training for what was to come. If you haven't seen his cutie pie face, swing by the photos on my about me page or my Facebook page to be blessed!

God knew how hard it would be for me to relinquish some of my 20-year work habits without a monumental intervention. God choosing me to have Jaxson was a super blessing! Me choosing Jaxson was an absolute non-negotiable and a welcomed respite that kept me motivated to follow through on the downsize plan to have more time freedom. Though I could see what God was doing, I was still in awe. Having Jaxson with me was only temporary. God had bigger plans for my time freedom after he returned to his mother and I needed to get ready.

I made small strides and investments toward my purpose choosing to trust God. It's easy to think about walking in your purpose, but when given the opportunity to walk it out, that's when your mettle and faith are tested. I was afraid to fail, and part of me was equally afraid to succeed. I felt small and unworthy of what God had planned for me in this next season. Even still, I started working on projects and putting things in place.

That's why I liken it to walking the parted Red Sea floor. You know you are following God. You know only He can make this way. All you can see is the path before you and the mile-high walls of water around you. Even the menacing and suspended sea creatures are looking at you like, "What you doing here?" You pretend not to be scared but it's so unfamiliar and awe inspiring, all you can do is praise God and keep on moving!

People often think being a Christian and walking with God means your life becomes easier. With all the messages about grace and prosperity, it’s easy to think following God means knowing more and having more. You think about the promotion. You think about the bigger house. You think about the blessings. You never think about the setback or the wilderness experience up ahead. You think you made it out of the bondage in Egypt and are headed to the Promised Land but never imagine, there might be an entire Sea to cross. Following God can sometimes require less stuff, less money, and an uncomfortable and unknown faith walk back down the ladder.

But God is faithful to finish the good work He began, and I am His daughter. I know that there is something greater on the other side of His request and I want the life He imagined for me more than what's familiar and known! I sit in the palm of His hand and nothing can touch me unless He allows it. Just as I want to protect my grandson and help him grow into his greatest potential, God wants that for me all the more!

So there are times when following God can be hard. But there is definitely peace in His protection that surpasses all circumstance. I know if I’m following Him, I have everything I need and I'm on my way to victory.

So as I’m walking, I can be strong.

I can be brave.

I can be fearless.

I can speak to those sea creatures and tell them I'm just passing through.

I am an unstoppable force because this is His plan for my life and not my own.