A Father's Legacy of Daring Faith

06/18/2016 .
Clayton Heilman  .  Storyteller

As he stood atop the massive water slide, six-year-old Colby had a big choice: take the casual, sloping slide down, or take the slide with the spine-tingling, straight-down drop. Chad gently encouraged him, “You can do all things through Jesus who strengthens you.” As Colby made his choice, Chad followed, climbing into the tube just moments before the rapid, breath-taking drop. It’s moments like these that remind Chad of the importance of his legacy as a father.

Years before, as a young married man, Chad visited Saddleback Church with his wife and discovered, for the first time, Jesus loved him and wanted to have a relationship with him. He had gone through his entire life without that awareness. Now, Chad knows he can’t live without it. And, he wants to give his family what he had missed all those years: a foundation of faith that stems from a thriving relationship with Jesus.

As Chad sought to build that family legacy, he struggled to find balance between his family, church, and career. His daily commute from Orange County to Los Angeles rarely allowed him to return home to see his kids before they went to bed. He simply needed more time in his day.  

When Pastor Rick began talking about Daring Faith, Chad felt inspired to believe God would open up a better opportunity closer to home. To Chad, investing in his wife and kids while keeping God at the center of everything would help him build the legacy he envisioned.

At first, his situation got worse. He had worked from home occasionally, but that privilege was taken away. Chad found other open positions, but none of them felt right. Chad prayerfully considered them, but he didn’t feel comfortable pursuing them. “I thought it would be silly not to go after these jobs, but I felt they weren’t part of God’s plan,” Chad said. Some of his close friends questioned his judgment, but he remained undaunted. “There were points that it got rough,” Chad said, “but we knew God would deliver.”

A friend introduced him to an opportunity closer to home in Irvine and, after the initial interview, Chad knew this was the job God had in store for him. “There were several nights I hardly slept at all,” Chad said. He wanted to take the time to pray for God’s direction, even though the job seemed perfect. He had waited patiently, passing up other enticing offers, but to Chad, it was worth it.

After accepting the position, Chad felt a sense of peace knowing he was following God’s direction. Now that Chad works closer to home, he has more time to focus on things that matter — building his relationship with his wife and children and serving with Saddleback Men. He has more time to play with each of his kids each night before they head off to bed; building memories that will last a lifetime. “God has helped me realize that the biggest thing I can do is leave a legacy for my children, that my first ministry is my family.”

Recognizing the need for God’s direction has been a gradual progression in Chad’s life. He’s always aspired to learn more, but has stayed flexible and open to God’s plan along the way. He didn’t develop the humility to ask God for guidance overnight. As he took moments to pray for direction and allow his faith to be challenged, he found his relationship with God steadily growing.

To Chad, exercising daring faith is an opportunity. “It’s recognizing the preciousness of the gifts God has placed in your life. There will still be many challenges, but trusting God through it all is most important.”

Click HERE if you'd like to learn more about Daring Faith.

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