Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"...i am doing a new thing..."

{forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. see, i am doing a new thing! now it springs up; do you not perceive it? i am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.~isaiah 43: 18-19}

life in our household has been quite eventful for the last few weeks. to say that God has been at work seems almost to be an understatement because it almost seems as if He is completely turning our world upside down...in a good way. throughout my journey with the Lord, i can truly say that He has taken me places and given me opportunities that i never would have dreamed or imagined could happen. i am so thankful that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts! because i am so clearly not as imaginative or creative as He is. {total tangent but isn't it awesome, humbling, amazing, breathtaking, astonishing, and downright crazy that the Creator of all things is interested not only in the big things but in the little things, too? His presence in my life is just plain overwhelming.}

the calling into fulltime, vocational ministry came as quite the surprise to my fifteen year old self who had not even really begun to consider what i would do with the rest of my life. i remember my encounter with the Lord as if it were yesterday and clearly remember the overwhelming sense of His presence in that moment. i made a promise to the Lord that evening, even though i could not completely comprehend all that it would entail {who am i kidding? even 15 years later, i still don't totally comprehend all of it} i was certain of two things: 1) God was calling me into ministry and 2) whatever...and i meant whatever He called me to do or wherever He called me to go, i would do it and i would go. the Lord has brought that promise to my mind many times as i have walked this journey called life with Him. He reminded me of my promise to follow Him with reckless abandon when He called me to the one university that was NOT on my top ten...or top five list my senior year of high school {but is choosing a school for sports really the right motivation, anyway? yeah, i didn't think so}. He so vividly reminded me of my commitment to be faithful to this calling as my parents left me in ft. worth, texas, for seminary...all alone...in the ghetto in ft. worth...in the DORM, and He brought to mind my promise to be obedient to this calling as i stepped into a fulltime staff job and encountered my fair share of frustrations, struggles, and hard days.

the thing is, ministry isn't easy but i'm sure you already knew that. there were many days that i felt like giving up but simply couldn't because in the back of my mind and in my heart, i remembered a promise. a promise i made to the Lord to be faithful to this calling and to be faithful to be obedient to His leading. sometimes, the Lord calls us to do things that make sense and other times, His leading and His call simply don't make sense to us but we are still responsible to be obedient.

i realize that's a super long introduction to this new thing the Lord is doing in my life and in our family but i believe it's necessary...not just for you but for me, too. sometimes it helps to look back and reflect on how the Lord has worked and see His fingerprints on the past to remember that He is quite in control of the future. {again, i'm sorry...a tangent.} the Lord has been quite clear to both me and to joel that He is leading us in a different direction in our lives and as a result of this new direction, i have resigned my position on staff at my church. it's taken me about 5 minutes and about a million different sentences to finally type that last sentence. it's hard and sometimes obedience isn't easy. don't get me wrong...we are very excited about all that the Lord is doing in our lives and this new direction He seems to be leading us toward but it hasn't been an easy decision or one that was made quickly or taken lightly.

where exactly is He taking us? i don't know. joel has felt the call to ministry, specifically to preach, for a while now and i believe the Lord is getting us ready for this next step in our journey. i am beyond excited to have the opportunity to support my husband in ministry AND to minister with him. i do know this, i am as certain and sure of my calling today as i was when i was fifteen years old and just like that fifteen year old girl praying on the steps of that altar, i don't know the specifics of what or where or when the Lord will move but my promise to be faithful and obedient to the call is as steadfast as ever.

God is God. because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. i will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. ~ elisabeth elliot



Valarie said...

I'll say it again...BEYOND your beyond girl! I just can't wait to see where the Lord will take you guys and use you. Sure wish it didn't have to be away, though!

Love ya.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

sweet friend...i read this...and then prayed immediately for you. i know, i know, and i know some more that this was not an easy decision. but can i just tell you how much your heart of gold shines through this post?

you are one amazing woman and joel is an incredible husband for you. and i know that the two of your together will conquer BIG things for the kingdom. change isn't easy, it isn't always fun and it doesn't always make sense to everyone else.

i love you, we love you and can't wait to see where the Lord takes your family!! praying, hugs and all the best as you step out in faith in Him.

Joel said...

It's amazing thing to rest in the hands of a loving God who takes a direct and personal interest in every detail of your life... scary, but amazing. We are so excited to see what God is going to do with us next.

Jennifer Raack said...

OK....NOW I understand what's going on!!! I've been out of the blog world for a while because life has just been too busy for me to see straight. Anyways, I was thinking tonight about your post on facebook (packing up your office) and it dawned on me I needed to check your blog (duh, I know).

How exciting to hear your testimony in this post! I can't wait to see where God places you and Joel.....wow, what a strong pastor's wife you are going to be! Being in the ministry is very hard......but all worth it to bring our Father glory!

I will be praying for you and Joel as you begin your journey down this new path. May God's richest blessings unfold on you!

Praying now!