Friday, September 14, 2007

Accepting the Wait....Part 4

The fall of 2006 and beginning of 2007 held lots of opportunities. God kept me busy with a couple of women's conferences and filling in for various churches around Atlanta. It was neat. I was being used, but God was giving it to me in small doses.

Most all of you know that in January of this year the job we moved here for was taken away. We believed with all our hearts that God moved us here and could trace HIS hand through every step of our move. Chad had said from the very beginning, we are not here for this job, this is the avenue God used to get us here. I would say "okay, but the job is a sweet thing!" Now the job was gone and we were left with 2 weeks of severance pay and for me, complete shock.

Needless to say, 3 months of no income depleted pretty much everything we had saved, but you know what.. God was/is faithful. Every need we have had has been provided for. Some in ways you wouldn't believe. In the moments when I would look at the things we truly needed and begin to panic,1 Sam. 7:12 would pop into my mind. I would start speaking scripture out loud: "So far, the Lord has helped us." "When I'm afraid, I will trust in You." "God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound-mind." "Perfect Love(GOD) casts out all fear!" I would begin to feel stronger and the fear would leave. He was teaching me to rely on Him for everything. Girls, I mean EVERYTHING!!!! I was soon praying, about the "smallest" things like the tread on our tires and my grocery list. ( Remember how the children of Israel roamed around forever and their shoes didn't wear out? This was that kind of praying..) I am telling you that every NEED, HE has met. It's been awesome. God has even put Chad in a dream job for him. With a Christian business man who isn't afraid to take a stand for what's right. That is an answer to prayer.

So here I am, Chad's doing a new job that he loves. The girls are involved in activities they love and I get to be at home with them - a thing Chad and I both feel God called us to do. But this passion to serve women continued to grow.

I believe that God had me waiting for two reasons. First He had to let me have a time of restoration. He needed me to understand again that HE was to be my everything. He was to be my passion and first love, everything else would fall in line after that. Things I knew, but had forgotten. He decided to make them real again.

Second, and the part I love. He wanted to show off for me. He used this time to "Thrill me"! And how He has. :) He has orchestrated a scenario no man could have ever thought of. It has reminded me what a passionate, loving, and creative God we have. Also, He knows just how to WOW me. And WOW me He has.

August 10 the girls and I leave early for Chattanooga. It's Emily and Jeffrey's wedding weekend. We arrive in Chattanooga around 8:30 a.m. and begin to dress and prepare for a busy day of pre-wedding festivities. Around 10:00 I returned a call from a fellow choir member. She had left a message the night before about a ministry opportunity. I figured she needed someone to fill in for her on the piano in our Mid Week worship. Little did I know what that call would begin.

This sister (Debbie) is involved with a group called "Freedom's Call". This group is made up of a speaker and worship team. They minister to women in conference settings predominately in the southeast. I knew this because I had been praying with my dear sister Joane about her joining the group. (Joane could not get peace about it, but apparently gave them my name. I did not know this, but a couple of other people had given them my name as well.) So, Debbie shared a little about them and asked me if I was interested in pursuing conversation with them. I agreed to talk to Chad and begin to pray about whether this was something God wanted me to do. Needless to say, I was distracted all weekend!

The following Monday night, I met with the worship team. What a time of fellowship and worship we had together. If you know me, then you know that I love nothing more than sitting with a group of ladies that love Jesus and talking about what He's done and is doing in our lives. It was awesome.

Today, we drove to Greenville, SC and met with the speaker. It was incredible and I'm pretty sure I can speak for the whole group when I say, we met with GOD today. He has pulled together 5 women each one in different stages in life, with one passion. To see women experience true freedom. Freedom that only comes in knowing HIM. I'm honored and humbled that God would allow me to be a part of this group of women. They just blow me away! They are crazy about God and I know that He is going to use each one to teach me something. They are just beautiful inside and out. (I'm hoping to get a picture of us on here soon. Our sweet waitress was gracious enough to double as a photographer today!)

Today, He said "See, I do have a plan that will blow your mind! This is only the beginning." I feel as if I've come full circle. This process was all about believing HIM, trusting HIM, and obeying HIM.

Thanks for taking this journey with me over the last few days. This was originally just going to be for my girls, but for whatever reason, God said POST! So I did...blessings follow obedience!


Carol said...

Man, God is SO AWESOME! I am so excited for you. God always takes us on the best journeys! I can't wait to hear about this one.

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Just keep, keepin' on, and God will continue to provide. Don't for one second stop and ever ask why, because that seems to be when things become to overwhelming.

Just remind yourself everyday, at any moment that you remember...



Anonymous said...

Hey Steph! Jennifer from Florida here. Thank you for this post. It was truly encouraging. God is faithful, always! He has truly been meeting our needs. The last two times Mike has gotten paid, the dollars have just stretched. I've been amazed, and last Sunday someone stuck a hundred bill in Mike's hand and said, "I know ya'll are struggling. Here's something to help with the start of school expenses. Now my daughter can have the shoes she needs. That's why I smiled at the part where you talked about praying about things such as tread on tires and shoes!!!!!! I can also relate to the part about waiting and praying about a place to serve God. I'm being asked to do so many things in our church right now. We haven't been at this church except since May and I'm still learning things about the church and how they do things and such. The things I'm being asked to do are not things I feel especially gifted to do. I don't understand clearly what I need to accept and what I need to say no to! Please pray for me. Thanks, Love ya siesta!!!!

The Stokes Family said...

What an incredible testimony, Stephanie . . . God works in such incredible ways, doesn't he! I can't wait to hear more about your ministry--we will be praying for you and the group!


Diann said...

How exciting for you! God is so amazing and shows up in incredible ways. I'm so glad you shared your story. It's such an encouragement that when things seem to be tough, that God has something great "up his sleeve"!