I know I'm a little late in posting... actually, I've been lost lately.
Much (an not much) has happened in this past year. But I can sum it all with this one verse:
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1God led me to do the unexpected. Out of my very mouth unimaginable words poured forth, "I'm stepping down." Say What?!?! Who... Me... Yes! And there I sat, in tears, knowing that these very words were not spoken by my will but by God's very Spirit.
You see, I'm not an educated person like most of my peers. I didn't go to college. I have no degree, or even an AA. And though I had no title to define me, I was defined by service and ministries.
In a very inconspicuous way, these works were idols in my life. I was going to church to serve, and without notice my attendance for God alone was less and less. Don't get me wrong, I didn't drift from God. On the contrary, my service was for Him. But I was all works and neglectful of my own heart. The words of Jesus echo loudly to me concerning Mary, "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42.
The next day I sat in my car crying. I doubted that God had spoken through me. I was afraid that this decision was the wrong one. I feared that this decision would affect my youth girls and the various ministries I was involved in. Worst of all, was I trusting God or cowardly running? I wept bitterly. At that moment I knew I needed to hear from God. I read from Jack Hayford's YouVersion Plan, Praise In The Presence of God:
God Is Our Reward
God never demands a sacrifice for the divine pleasure of smelling its aroma or because He needs us to tickle His pride. The objective is our release—our growth.
God asked Abraham to offer Isaac. Not to exploit Abraham’s emotions or to destroy Isaac, but to take away forever Abraham’s fear that God might not have his best interest at heart. Only in worship do we draw close enough to discern God’s true nature and loving heart.
God gave Abraham no immediate monetary reward for worshiping Him, but the reward was immensely grander—God Himself! (Jack Hayford)
God was asking me that very moment to willingly offer my works. Not to exploit my emotions or to destroy these ministries but to take away forever my fear that God might not have His best interest at heart. It was in fact through this act of worship that I have been able to draw close enough to discern God's nature and loving heart. He has been my shield these past few months, my exceedingly great reward.After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1
The sacrifice was more than just stepping down from serving at church. It meant seeking a place of refuge where He would restore, revive, and renew me. Even I can recognize that old habits don't die so easily. I prayed for God's guidance and He provided such a place. Remember, God's objective through our sacrifice is our growth. And I have been growing. That is something beautiful that can not be taken from me.
I can't put to words all that He has been revealing to me, or even what He is stirring in my heart. But I can tell you this, He is making me new.
I have been lost with reason. I've been enjoying my reward, God himself.
Anywho, now that I have brought you up to date...CHEERS to the fifth year!