Embracing Disruption

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An Invitation to Believing Bigger By Marshawn Evans Daniels

About 10 years ago, I was running a very successful professional sports agency and doing national television on a regular basis. I was traveling around the world as a speaker and promoting my new business success book that had hit #1 in the Women & Business Category. To top it all off, I was newly engaged to a man that seemed to be Prince Charming, and I was getting ready to become a bonus mom to his three children.  I was on cloud nine.

So much so that I closed down my professional sports agency—the fastest-growing female-owned sports agency in the nation! —for love. My fairytale turned into a nightmare six days before my wedding, when I found out that my fiancé was cheating on me. Talk about a rude awakening! Not only was I heartbroken, but I was broke, too. After studying Isaiah 48:21, I found myself in the middle of what I now refer to as a “split rock” moment—a place of divine disruption. It reads:

They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts;
He made water flow for them from the rock;
He split the rock and water gushed out.

(Isaiah 48:21, NIV)

The rock here represents a hard place in which we feel abandoned, and where the circumstances seem impossible to survive.  But through the tears, I’ve learned that what seems like it’s meant to destroy you is actually intended to develop and deploy you.

New life—streams of living water—flow from difficult places. We’ll never really know why things happen the way they do. But I do know disappointment and disruption get our attention and open us to divine reinvention. God is not out to punish us, but I am certain He takes every opportunity, no matter how messy, to prepare us.

Perhaps disruption has landed on your doorstep, too. What appears to be happening to you is actually happening for you because of something greater within you. Disruption is an invention to shift into a higher dimension of purpose and calling. The shift might not have been caused by God, but it can certainly be used by God to catapult you into destiny.

Adversity comes to align you with a greater version of you—a you that God has been trying to unleash for far too long. Disruption detaches us from who we think we are so that we can become who we really are. 

let’s just go ahead and be
what we were made to be…

(Romans 12:6, MSG)

As I rebuilt my life, from being stuck to building a successful company and finding new love again, I realized that every woman will have her virgin hope defiled in some way. Disruption does not discriminate. And it’s not a sign that you’re broken. It’s actually proof that God is building something magnificent in you that will bring forth His glory.

As I started working with women to help them reinvent their lives, I found that each of us has a unique mission and message. I discovered a pattern – 5 Stages of Divine Reinvention and Purpose.

When we look at our lives, we see a mess. However, God sees a map! I call these five stages The Purpose Map™.   It isn’t about steps. We can’t rush it any more than we can rush pregnancy. The map shows us where we are on the purpose journey, and makes clear that we are all called to impact and influence. No one is exempt. Most never make it out of stage Two. It’s time to change that. God calls us to reinvention, not retirement.

Stage 1: DISCOVERY. This is where we’re taught the dos and don’ts of life— we’re taught to shrink, settle and play it safe. We ask the question, “Who I am supposed to be?

Stage 2: TALENT. We pick a lane, start climbing the 5 success mountains, and master mask-wearing.  We ask, “Who did I decide to be?”

Stage 3: THE GAP. Disruption, or simple discontent, flips our life upside down and we find ourselves in a wilderness – an in-between place of transition. We’re trying to figure out who we really are, what we really want, and what it’ll take to reinvent – to trade success for significance and let go of what no longer belongs.We ask, “What is happening to me?”

Stage 4: GIFTS. We uncover untapped potential, life-changing gifts and our ultimate superpower—our voice.  We ask the question, “Who was I really designed to be?”

Stage 5: INFLUENCE. We step into our life mission and the bigger impact we’re here to have. We are all called to lead. Finally, we ask, “Where am I now being led to lead?”

No matter where you are, know that you are indeed on a necessary path.  Disruption makes room for us to experience a fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit and God’s restorative power in such a special and intimate way—and in such a way that we can share with others to lead them into destiny, too. 

“…I raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might display My power in you and
that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

(Romans 9:17, NIV)

In the middle of pain, purpose is calling.  There is a mission with your name on it. You must believe bigger to perceive it and seize it.  When we change the way we think, we change the way we live.

This article was extracted from the premier issue of Thrive Magazine (Spring 2021). Learn how to get your copy of Thrive Magazine by visiting us here.