My Faith Walk- Part 2

by | Dec 2, 2022 | 1 comment

It wasn’t long after Richard and I moved to Boise, that I started looking for a church home. I figured it would be a great place to start meeting people…which was something I needed, since I didn’t know a soul in Idaho!

In addition to starting a new job with a Boise law firm, trying to establish myself as an Estate Planning Attorney in a new town, and trying to make new friends, I also was faced with the stark realization after trying to start our family for 15 months- to no avail, that I would need to see a fertility specialist.

I think it was about the year mark, that I started to think that maybe, just maybe, God was punishing me for all of those years that I was away from the Church. That I wasn’t good enough…that I hadn’t done enough “good” to deserve to be a mother.

{Reflection: How interesting that even after having given my life to Christ for decades, I still wasn’t getting the notion that we are SAVED by FAITH, and not works!}

And yet simultaneously, I desired to know Him. My heart had a God-sized hole in it, and deep within me… beyond the Enemy’s attempt to convince me that God was to blame for my infertility, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I wasn’t really being punished.

In January of 2010, I meet with an IVF specialist, who told me that I needed surgery before I qualified for IVF. After surgery, he told me that I had one of the worst cases of Endometriosis that he had ever seen.

Fortunately my surgery was successful and in the spring of 2011, we embarked on our first IVF transfer. This was an adventure that was a huge leap for us- financially and medically….

During this time, we started attending a local Methodist Church. I especially loved the contemporary music and contemporary service… which was SO foreign to me coming from a Catholic background!

A band? Jeans to Church? Coffee IN Church?!?

I felt like I had landed in an alternate universe! Ha ha ha

But I’ll tell you something, in singing the contemporary worship music, I FELT the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way that I never had before.

We really enjoyed the Pastor, and I thought I had found my Church home. It was a very big church, and I have to say that although people were kind, no one really went out of their way to get to know us.

So I always felt like an outsider…no matter how frequently I attended.

Yet, every time they would offer the opportunity to come to the front to be Baptized, I felt a nudge to do it. Every time I would chicken out. I thought I was too old…or that it would be weird.

We attended our new church regularly, and really enjoyed the Pastor.

I felt like I was getting back in more of a “Spiritual Groove”. I was praying regularly and having quite time on occasion (which was more than I could say for the previous years!)

The closer we got to our IVF transfer date in May 2011, the more I was just certain that the Lord was going to FINALLY bless me with a child.

I knew the stories of women in the Bible that had to wait and wait for a child…and I figured that surely 3 whole YEARS of waiting while everyone else I knew was getting pregnant was sufficient. Surely three years of tears, an intense surgery, shots, doctor visits and a hefty financial investment in IVF was a sufficient sacrifice…and now God could use that story of the birth of my child to glorify Him

I was wrong.

Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, I had a miscarriage.

One week later, my beloved grandmother, Carmen, passed away. I was completely devastated. One month after that, our family priest (the one who married me and Richard) was brutally murdered.

They say when it rains it pours…that’s an understatement.

My entire world was rocked and I was SO angry at God. This wasn’t FAIR.

I had waited for three years…wasnt’ that enough?!?

Again, I wanted to know what I did to deserve this?

Surely I wasn’t the WORST person in the world…why was He taking everything from me?!?

During this time, my sister-in-law, Kendra, gave me the devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sara Young.

I graciously received it, and then proceeded to toss it into my night table. At the time, I wasn’t interested in Jesus calling me about anything! He wasn’t giving me what I wanted- so off I went to pout (a/k/a indulge in food and wine) and feel sorry for myself… not surprisingly, I disconnected from Church as well.

A few months later, I felt a nudge to read that book, so I started with the page for that date. I liked how short the message was, and I felt like it was exactly the encouragement I needed for the day. I did the same thing the following day, and again- I was encouraged.

This book soon connected me back to the Lord…

During that time I decided that it was time to make it official, and I became a Methodist. Now that my ultra Catholic grandmother had passed away, I felt I was “safe” making the switch.

I instantly felt better and more aligned. No confessional booths and everyone was welcome at the table for communion.

In the late fall of 2011, I started my very first annual 21-Day Daniel Fast based on the recommendation from a friend, to read the book “Fasting” by Jentzen Franklin. (This actually led to a 6 year tradition of a 21-Day fast every January! I’ll share more of that in a future post.)

In this 21-Day Fast, I felt so closely connected to the Lord. He placed messages on my heart- including a promise that Richard and I would have a son. I began having quiet time regularly, and each morning before I did anything, I read my Jesus Calling devotional.

Then on December 17th of 2011, something absolutely crazy happened.

I opened up “Jesus Calling” like I always did, but on this day, I felt a nudge to read a random day, so I did.

As I read the message, a warm sensation filled my body and I felt the Lord was speaking to me directly. It’s hard to explain–it wasn’t audible, but the message was firmly placed on my heart.

The Lord was calling me to quit my full-time job as an attorney.

I. Was. Floored.

God. Calling ME. Natasha Hazlett.

Quitting my cushy job as an attorney.

It was all almost too much to handle.

Then a phrase was placed on my heart… “I would lead an army of entrepreneurs who would be beacons of light in the darkening world”

What. The. Heck?

A “beacon of light”? “Army of entrepreneurs”?

It was crazy.

I knew I wasn’t imagining it, but it was so WEIRD. I don’t talk like that…and at the time I was a very risk averse person…

So I ran out of the bedroom to tell Richard what had just happened. He was as shocked as I was. The more we discussed it, the more real it felt.

Maybe, just maybe, I was being called by God.

“But NO!” whispered the Enemy. “God doesn’t talk to people like YOU! You don’t attend church regularly, you swear like a sailor, AND you like to drink wine!”

I agreed. So I started to reason with God, letting him know that I was fairly certain he was making a mistake. I suggested that my sister-in-law (who was a Deacon in the Church )was for more suited for a “Calling”.

I mean, I’m not even “religious!” I protested in one of my prayer sessions.

Then I started bargaining…asking the Lord to push off this quit date… like maybe in a couple of years when business started to pick up more. I mean, we NEEDED my cushy law job to have extra money to invest in our business!

But, the Lord stayed firm. I was being asked to quit my job. To leave my safety net. To go all in in Faith.

So, then I started thinking that perhaps I was crazy. I mean, does God even really “Call” people like that anyways? Aren’t callings for Priests and Pastors or people in the Bible?

(Yes, this was all running through my mind…)

As if on cue, I met a woman who was way further down the spiritual maturity path… and when I told her (and one other Christian friend) about my story…. BOTH of them confirmed that what happened was truly a calling from God.

Man, oh, man! It was the real deal…so I had a choice to make… would I obey the Lord or not?

Now I may not have been the “best Christian” but the moment I knew the Lord tapped me for a mission- I wasn’t about to say no. So I said “YES…but I’m going to need some signs along the way that I’m not crazy.”

The first came from a friend, who had a vision for me, she saw a calendar with a date of August 1, 2012.

That one didn’t sit well with me one bit, so I did what lawyers do best… I started negotiating with God. Arguing that at least December 31st sounded better…. I wanted a full year to prepare…not 7 months!

But the Lord was firm… in fact on June 14th, I felt the nudge to pick up a book that Kendra had given to Richard for his birthday back in 2010. It was a book called “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller.

As I laid in bed to start the book, If felt the Lord nudge me to count out 48 days from that date…

August 1, 2012.

I. was. floored.

Y’all, I cannot make this stuff up.

Clearly the Lord wasn’t joking. I was being asked to quit my job, so I began preparing in earnest for the biggest leap of faith in my life.

God is SO good, that He even wowed me with one more “Slap you in the face to make sure you get it” experience. The sermon series at our church leading up to my quit date was entitled:

“Answering the Radical Call: How God Called Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things”.

Message received.

All I needed to do was 100% trust in the Lord, then walk into my bosses office and quit my full-time job to go full-time in our business.

That was easier said than done.

Want to see what’s next? Continue to Part 3- the Giant Leap of Faith

Did you miss the Other Post in this Series?
Part 1

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Cain

    Wow! So many commonalities with how we were raised, how we felt when we experienced new church homes AND just recently, my ‘negotiation’ with the Lord!
    Thanks for sharing this Natasha! It confirms so much for me and has me rethinking as well!

    ‘Jesus Calling’ got my husband and I through some of the toughest times in our lives together!

    Reply

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