Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Journey {part 6}

The Journey {part 1}
The Journey {part 2}
The Journey {part 3}
The Journey {part 4}
The Journey {part 5}

Do you remember how I said that I had fallen off the face of the planet as far as leadership at church was concerned?  Well, God began a work of slowly plugging me back in.  As I look back, I can see how God had used my discontentment to prune some things out of my life so that he could bring me in to the areas of focused ministry that He had for me. 

One of those areas was the Children’s Pastor search committee.  I don’t know if you can tell from the last couple of posts about it, but I can tell you that being on this committee has been one of the most both affirming and humbling experiences of my life.  I have never fasted and prayed and focused on something so intently before.  There have been times due to relational issues and I think the enemy trying to get inside my head that I have been headed to a meeting fully ready to walk away from the whole thing only to have God truly do a work in my and I think in other people’s hearts as well. 

Once we made the decision to stay back in August, Mike and I also began the work of looking for a place to connect within our church.  We were looking for a Sunday morning group where we could both be discipled in real and relevant ways while building relationships with those around us.  If we were really going to last at the church, we had to find some place to fit in.  And while that proved difficult, we finally came in contact with a Sunday morning group in January with whom we click and can connect.  Largely I think due to the changes God as made in our own hearts as we sought Him.

Also, God put in me the desire for a particular Bible Study to be offered in our regular Bible Study times on Sunday evenings this winter.  Last fall, I emailed our Women’s Ministry director and suggested this particular study and said that I would even be willing to facilitate it if they needed me to.  Well, as they say,timing is everything and the Lord orchestrated this timing so incredibly.  The study was 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney.  I could probably write an entire series of posts on the impact this study has had on me, so I won’t go into all of that here.  But I will say that if I had been so scattered and strung out with so many other things, this opportunity would have passed me by and OH what a blessing I would have missed.  The 15-20 ladies that came and participated in that study with me were all such a blessing to me.  I count it a privilege to have served them.

The Lord has even brought VBS back into my life and I have a new and rekindled fire in my bones about it.  I’m truly excited to continue in my role on the coordinating team.

You know, I started out this series of posts talking about Mike’s layoff and our resulting personal financial difficulties.  Clearly that has not been the only thing going on here, but it has been part of our reality and has been a big influence in the way I have viewed life and ministry over the last year.  The result being that while our personal financial situation hasn’t changed that much in the last year, my focus in ministry has.  I have days when I think there’s no way we’re going to make it, but we do.  And God has me in areas of ministry that I never would have imagined possible for me.  And they wouldn’t have been if I had stayed where I was and had not allowed God to a redemptive work in my life  by removing everything and then letting Him put the opportunities for service before me.

It’s an exciting time for us in our church.  The discontentment that I felt was a call to effect change caused more change in me and in my focus than it did in the church itself.  And after 13 years, I am asking God to help me fall in love with her again.  I want Him to renew the love that I initially had for this body of believers.

I know He can and will do it.

It is also an exciting time for us personally.  We sensed in the last couple of months that we needed to do more to cut our expenses and have put our house on the market to try to lease it out.  While not much has happened on that front, we did what we felt God was telling us to do and we are leaving those results in His hands.  Our kids may or may not be able to attend their private school next year, but again, that is something we are leaving in God’s hands.  It nearly kills me to think of having to take them out of their school that we all love so much, but if it is what God tells us to do, we’ll do it; again,  trusting Him for the results.  More jobs and projects seem to be coming Mike’s way this year which is excellent news.  But, one thing I have become sure of is that I had placed too much of my own security in the job and the income we had.  The bottom line is that I want HIM as my security. 

I know He will be.

There have been several times over the last year that I have said something like “I just want to go to bed and fall asleep for the next year and a half and wake up when all of this is over.”  However, what I always heard God say to me in response was, “But then you’d miss out on the blessing of the journey and watching me use all things for the good of making you more like my Son.” 

I believe it’s true that God cares more about our holiness and Christ-likeness than He does about our comfort.  And it seems that I was at a point where my comfort needed to be shaken up a bit to make me more like Christ.  But, friends, this is a journey that will continue until I breathe my last here on planet earth.

And while this specific series of posts is done, I know that this Journey God has me on is not over.  I am still working to fully process all that has happened and continues to happen and apply truth to affect change in my heart and life.  That part is truly a journey that will last a lifetime.

Thanks for reading and coming along with me on this journey.  I hope it didn’t bore you to death and that it is seen as a story of hope and how God can work to bring change where it is needed most… in our own hearts.  I love and appreciate you, my dear readers.  All 10 of you. ;)


Kim said...

I haven't commented before but I wanted you to know that you have another reader. It was encouraging to read your "6 parts". We have an interim pastor now and I was convicted through your writing to spend more time praying, fasting and waiting to hear from the LORD before I have an opinion. God Bless.

Melinda said...

What a story, my friend! What a work that He's done and is still doing in you! Praise Him!

Hugs to you, and much love,