Dropping My Nets With a Poker Chip

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’  And immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
Mark 1:17-18 (ESV)

The Back-Story (Long, long ago, in a kingdom far, far away… Just Kidding, 5 years ago)

A couple of years prior to Dropping My Net With A Poker Chip, our family had recently moved to a neighboring town, and we had settled into a new home. Life was different because we no longer had a 52 mile round trip commute between work, activities, and home. As a working mom, it was a blessing for our schedule and my weary mind and body. We had also settled into a new church with a new community of believers. We were definitely in all kinds of uncharted, uneasy waters.  

But God.  

Shortly after the move, I was given an opportunity to take a job in a neighboring school district.  This school district was much smaller, and I would no longer be in the same building with all three of my children.  I was resistant with several reasons to be: I was established professionally. I had many close friends, more like family, in my current work setting.  John and I had made friends, and our children had established their “best friends”. Life was good.

But God.

He began stirring discontent in my spirit and after much prayer, John and I had confirmation that this new position was the best decision for our family.

God blessed our obedience and placed me in a working environment alongside many members of our new church family. It was still hard; I’m not going to lie. The hardest part was not being in the same building with all three of my children. Yet, my children adjusted remarkably well. I had surrendered to God’s plan for our family, and now I had to walk by faith and not by sight. After what felt like months of vigorous shaking, the snow in our snow globe life had finally started to settle.

But God.

God took hold of my snow globe life and inserted his own plans for us, taking me on a journey that allowed me to see Him for His Glory.  God had other plans in store for my life.

The Question:  What nets would you leave to follow Jesus?

When we arrived at church on a cold, January Sunday morning, we were handed a poker chip that read, “ALL IN”. Now girls,  I was raised in a little country church, and we didn’t get poker chips. This token indeed sparked my curiosity. As our pastor preached, God began to stir my spirit throughout His message.  However, my flesh began reminding my spirit that the snow had just started to settle.

I knew He was calling me to do, when I wanted to just be.  

He was calling me to drop my nets.  I told Him that we had just gotten settled; we were good: My family was in my net. My friends were in my net. My lifestyle was in my net. My finances were in my net. My own aspirations for my life personally and professionally were in my net. When I realized what God was asking me to do, I was taken aback, but God then took me low.

The Surrender:  My net-drop journey began.

When the invitation was given, I surrendered to be ALL IN.  I didn’t fully understand the details of what my decision meant, but what I did know was God was calling me to be ALL IN for Him. I trusted Him. I surrendered.

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

Immediately, my flesh began doubting my capability to live out this promise to the Lord, but I was certain I had heard Him call me to surrender all of me, and all my nets, to Him for His purpose and His glory.

“He must become greater, I must become less.”
John 3:30 (NIV)

I chose that Sunday morning to surrender all my nets: my desires, my dreams, and all the plans that I thought would be best, not only for me, but also for my marriage and my children.

That is the day my story of falling in love with Jesus began. It was the beginning of 2013, and now my story continues as God unfolds this journey with Unfolding Ministries.

The Journey: Walking in the shadow of His wings.

Throughout this journey, I will be sharing the messages God has created out of my many messes. As we link arms, may we encourage and exhort one another in love as we walk worthy of our callings. God has predestined each of our steps. We must keep walking, remembering to take one step at a time.

“Trust in the Lord will ALL of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways
acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Time to Unfold

  • Read God’s Word:  What is God asking you to surrender, regardless of your back-story?
  • Pray:   Ask God to give you strength and discernment in that surrender.
  • Do: Be obedient; drop your net! He is waiting to unfold your glorious journey.
  • Repeat

This week, we invite you to leave us a message about what God is asking you to surrender to fulfill John 3:30. Let us know how you are living out the truths He sprinkles into your spirit.

All In for Jesus,


Heather McVey, a speaker and accidental writer, has a passion for connecting the dots of God’s Word. Her mission is focused on teaching women how to unfold the scriptures within their own life, encouraging and equipping them to walk worthy of their calling. Learn more about her in Meet Heather.

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