Over the last 5 years, I have witnessed the hands of our Lord work in my life. It started when I sat down to write Safe Under the Willow. God was preparing me for a specific reason. A reason, I didn't quite understand until 4 years later and even now I don't know the entirety of it all. And to be honest, I was humbled tonight after I learned it wasn't just my life that involved that purpose but many other lives-lives I never knew about 5 years ago or even 6 months ago.
When I first started writing, I knew that I wanted to help people with truth from my story. To offer those who read it words so powerful it etched into their hearts hope and meaning. I wanted people to reach for God so they knew where to find healing and restoration. Now, months before it's release, I still want that only the fire has ignited into an inferno- it's the need to use my testimony to help others.
Last year around this time, I spoke at a benefit dinner regarding domestic violence. It was the very first time every bringing my story out to the public and I was a nervous wreck. And I certainly wasn't aware of why God had me doing such a task I felt I wasn't capable of doing. After everything was said and done, I knew God had a special calling for me to submit to. I trusted in Him giving Him every piece of me that I could offer; my body, my mind, my heart. All to HIM. I plunged into a ministry head first and again, He was preparing me for what was in store next. I was called away from that- it hurt, I didn't understand, and I wasn't sure what to expect next. And I wasn't only called away from that ministry, I was also called to a different church. I was devastated thinking how much I loved where I was...I didn't want to leave. Until... well until one Sunday in November. The kids and I were ready for church and about to walk out the door. That's when God moved my husband to say, "Hey, do you mind if we go to another church today?" I prayed for guidance from our Father knowing He knew what I should do. I knew this was His answer- so I welcomed the invitation to go to another church with open arms. That morning the pastor kept talking about someone he knew that was leaving a ministry. I believe he said about three times this wasn't what he wanted to preach about this morning but he felt God laying this on his heart so heavy he had to talk about it. And I knew exactly the reasoning behind it. It was my answer. The guidance I was desperately seeking. So we began attending that church regularly (and still do). A couple Sundays had passed and I finally worked up the courage to talk to the Pastor about the first sermon I heard from him. Here is another pivotal point in the divine works of our Lord. This was the reasoning to why I was called away.
John 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
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A new ministry is about to start because of that move to another church. It's not mine, it's not the churches- this is God's ministry to serve those in need of healing and restoration due to domestic abuse. Refuge Under the Willow is something I have dreamed about starting for 5 years. When I was writing Safe Under the Willow, it was always a desire I had to work in a ministry such as this. Here we are after half a decade, about to start things up. Wow! I believe Saturday will be a special one in regards to all this. The church is hosting a women's breakfast and God has blessed me with being their guest speaker. It's an incredible honor and I have prayed asking God to help me deliver the message He wants me to give. Everything is prepared as far as what I will say and I keep praying the Holy Spirit will anoint me to touch others in a way God knows they need it.
Tonight, I was shown just a glimpse of something bigger than I originally thought this was all about. You see my friends, God doesn't just work in one persons life- He works in all of us. I was truly humbled as I listened to the words of a woman who told me to stay obedient to the Lord. To follow His lead because there's something bigger in store that we can't even imagine. She confided that when the Pastor told her I spoke to him, she shook in her seat. Shook?? I don't know what all this means but I do know it's the divine works of our Lord that is paving the way to bring glory to His name!!