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Posts Tagged ‘God’s plan’

 

I have been in Georgia for almost 6 weeks now. Things have not gone according to MY plan! I planned on coming down here and immediately getting plugged in to a non profit ministry for single moms. I had this set up before I moved here. When I got here, the organization only needed volunteers in the thrift store. I did volunteer in the thrift store a few hours, but then had to seek God’s guidance and re-evaluate. I wanted to work with single moms. That was my heart and so I let this go.

Before I moved down here, I had planned on being involved with an emergency shelter for women. It was a mix of women from different backgrounds, not just single moms and that was fine with me. I have a heart to see ALL women made whole through Christ. I was actually offered a job as an assistant house manager. I was given a sample schedule to give me an idea of the hours I would be working. When I started to calculate the hours, I started to panic a little. Every other week from Monday to Monday, I would work 108 hours; 4 over night shifts from 5 pm to 8 am and then the weekend from 8 am Saturday morning to 8 am Monday morning. The pay period was a total of 123 hours, ALL at minimum wage (7 something an hour). Over time was not given. After talking to my 3 daughters, who all said that they would not do it, I declined the offer.

At that point, I was discouraged. Okay God, what now?

I found another single mom ministry in the other direction and tried there. This ministry has monthly meetings for single parents, so I contacted the executive director and offered my help. I received one short reply and then nothing. I messaged a couple of days before the event, again offering my help and asking when I needed to arrive. I know that she saw my message the same day, but I did not receive a reply declining my offer of help until 2 hours before the event.

In the meantime, I have been filling out applications for every job possible and getting nowhere. Not even an interview.

Okay God, what’s the plan?

I had found a program for certification for Biblical lay counselors back in January. I had pursued a degree in Psychology at one time, but really wanted to become a Biblical counselor. When I found this program, I prayed and prayed and decided that if this program was in God’s will that He would provide the funds for the program. I told God that I would know it was His will if He provided the exact amount I needed for the program. I never told anyone. It was between me and God. I waited and prayed. Right before my birthday (which is June 8th) I received the exact amount of the program in cash. I am now pursuing a certification for Biblical lay counseling. I know this is God’s will, but what am I going to do with it?

In my daily devotional time, I was crying out to God for an answer. Eventually, my money will be gone and what then? I felt this whisper in my spirit, “get connected to a church.” I had visited one church and didn’t feel like it was the one for us. We visited another church this past Sunday and I am going to give it a chance. I am going to connect there and see where God leads.

So, I am digging into God’s Word and growing in my relationship with Him. I am the kind of person that needs to see the big picture. I need to see 10 steps down the road so I can prepare for what is to come. God doesn’t work like that. He gives us one step at a time and then tells us to wait for the next step to be revealed. Maybe, my plan to serve single moms is not God’s plan for me. Maybe, I am to counsel women from ALL walks of life who are hurting and have been broken by the chaos in this world. God knows that I am more than just a single mom. I have had enough painful life experiences that I have a true compassion for ALL women who are suffering. If this is the plan, I am okay with that. I just wish God would give me a clue!

I have to admit that my biggest worry is money. But, I hang on to faith and trust in a God who provided the funds for my counseling program and who has never once failed me in any way. It is a stretching of my faith. I pray. I dig into the Word of God. I work on my counseling program. I grow in my relationship with God and I wait (somewhat patiently) for God to reveal the next step. It is making me completely vulnerable and dependent on Him. It has thrown me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to surrender ALL of MY plans. I am empty of myself. I am completely and wholly at God’s mercy. I am a vessel totally surrendered to Him and ready to be used. He has brought me to a place of complete and total dependence on Him. Isn’t that where He wants us to be?

I will continue to update as my journey in Georgia continues. I have to say that I love it here. I already feel that it is home.

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Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

I was watching Llama Llama this morning with my two year old grandson, Christopher, when God decided to use this children’s cartoon to teach me a lesson. Llama and his friends were planning to spend the last day of their Summer break flying their kites. At the last minute, it starts to rain and the kids have to change their plans. Llama Llama is upset because they have to change their plans and stay inside. Mama Llama reminds Llama Llama that sometimes we have to plan to change our plans.

WOW! What a reminder! I always thought that I would be a missionary. I have wanted with all of my heart to serve God in a full-time ministry position. I have wanted this since I was a teenager. I am now a 48 year old single mom of 5 young adults and working in the food service department of a local convent. I have worked different secular jobs, but a ministry job has been elusive. It hasn’t been easy for me to sit and watch as others become missionaries or enter the convent. I will admit to being frustrated and discouraged. I have even at times felt hopeless. I have cried out to God in my despair, wondering why everyone else seems to be chosen for a grand purpose but I am left living a mundane life of daily struggles. I have learned three important lessons in this time of waiting.

  1. Be Patient– God’s timing is perfect. We need to be patient while waiting for God to reveal our God-given life purpose. There are many reasons that God might want us to wait; we need to work on our character, we need to wait for God to set up our ministry opportunity, we need to learn more about God and grow in our relationship with Him. I am not a patient person! I’m sure that God has shook His head in frustration at my petulant attitude. I continue to grow in this area and I trust that God knows what is best for me.
  2. Continue To Grow– God may be waiting for us to grow in our knowledge of Him. God can not use us if we are not prepared. We have to know WHO HE IS if we want set a Godly example in the world. We have to know God’s character. We have to know God’s heart if we want to reach others for Him. By digging into God’s word and by prayer we begin to grow in our relationship with Him and only then can God use the love in our hearts to draw others to Him.
  3. Bloom Where You Are Planted– Sometimes our missionary opportunity is right in our own backyard. Find a need in your neighborhood or community and find a way to fill that need. Lead a church wide effort in volunteering at a local homeless shelter, food pantry, or other ministry. Prayer walk around your neighborhood. Reach out to those around you and open your heart to the opportunities that God presents. God often places us right where He wants us. He expects us to be missionaries in our own communities. If we aren’t, then who will be? If we call ourselves disciples, then He calls us missionaries!

These are things that I am still working on, hence the lesson from a Llama. Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if you are stuck in a mundane job that frustrates you, you still have a unique, God-given ministry to those around you. You are a missionary in your own community! Be patient! Keep growing in your knowledge and relationship with God and bloom where God plants you. He knows what is best and where we are needed most. Trust in His will for your life and know that He will always use us if we are willing to be used.

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