Friday, June 10, 2011

That First Step's a Doozy

Let me just start out by saying that I have a really good head on my shoulders. I usually analyze, rationalize, and spiritualize pretty much everything. I am one of those people that plans and by planning I am talking about a detailed map from point A to point B.

Until now.

I was faced with a decision to make and I didn't have a map. Nothing but the first step and it sure was a doozy.

I should probably start somewhere near the beginning to tell this part of my story so it makes as much sense as possible.

We began to attend Grow at The Gathering which is a leadership training program. During the first group of sessions we began talking about radical steps of faith and I started to pray for God to reveal what that meant for me. Was it a mission trip? Did I need to give something away? I really had no idea what it was to be. For years I have been volunteering in children's ministry and knew that God had placed that calling on my life, so maybe it could be something to do with kids.

Then we had the Refuge Conference at church and I was able to hear three fantastic pastors speak. The one that really hit home for me was hearing Bil Cornelius share his testimony. Listening to him share about his prayer life was exactly what I needed to hear along with everything else he was speaking about.

Then it came time for us to pray together as a group which we did every night, but for me this time was different. I wish I could put this into words better. I wish that just for a moment I had those words. The most I can say is that I definitely had a God experience during this time of prayer. The kind that I have never had prior yet have had frequently since and still can't put it into words that don't sound crazy to most.

These are the things that I was hearing in my head:

"What would you be willing to give up to see one of My children get saved?"
"When you say that you want to serve Me, what does that mean?"
"Are you ready to give Me everything and I mean everything?"
"Can you put aside your plans for Mine?"

I was in tears pretty much from the beginning. One because this was new and more clearly than I had heard from God before. Two because I knew in my heart that this was going to be the beginning of that radical step of faith that I had been praying about for months. God just wasn't asking me to step out of the boat. He was rocking the boat and telling me it was time to jump.

I went home that night and shared my experience with Donnie. Little did I know that he had a similar experience the night before after hearing Steven Furtick speak. We were both hearing the same thing within 24 hours. We hit our knees that night together like never before. We also shared this with a few people and asked them to join us is praying.

Exactly three days later I jumped.

I turned in my two week notice at work.

We (Donnie and I) know that God was asking me to quit my job to serve our family and in children's ministry. The thing is He has only revealed that first step for now and we knew we needed to obey Him. Yes it will mean adjusting our finances a bit, but we have already seen God working in that. We are already seeing the fruit of this step in our boys.

Truth is that I am completely out of my confort zone in taking this step as like I said before I am a planner at heart who likes things detailed out. That isn't what this is about though. It's not available in a map. It is about surrendering all my plans for His plans even if it's only revealed one step at a time. To completely trust in God's plan in His time in whatever direction He might take me. For someone who usually likes having all the answers I am experiencing a sense of peace that can only be explained as being from God.

I am not sure what this means for me in children's ministry. I have had a conversation with our children's pastor. I have had more of an opportunity to chat with a few churches about small groups and children's ministry in general. I have had more time to connect with other people in children's ministry than before which has been fantastic. I have been doing alot more reading and writing about children's ministry. I am still praying for direction in this area.

As I continue to pray for God's direction in my life, I am living in expectation and excitement for what that next step might be.

That first step's a doozy.

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