Journey of a Sojourner ... a very very new year.
This picture reminds me of Jeremiah 17. Hm...
So updates are crucial sometimes, if only for the sanity of the writer.
My life has begun in on a journey I believe will be a life time.
So let me give an illustration.
Your Sr. year of high school is like this big glass-window wall. You can see everything ahead of you but you have to go through this door which, engraved above it says, "Graduation". Right? High above this door, across the top of this wall is engraved, "Adulthood".
During graduation, the chaos and the hype is so insane that you don't even take a few moments to say goodbye to this place of childhood as your eagerness to graduate pushes you right on through the door. It closes behind you. All of a sudden, the life you've always known is gone. You can never go back. Engraved in the other side of this wall, above the closed door is , "Your Childhood". What a sad thing to feel when you have time to think about it.
But then! Then you turn ahead. You want to look for the endless opportunities you saw from the other side of the wall. Almost instantaneously however, the BUTT-LOAD of crap FROM my childhood - emotional issues, hurts, unforgivenesses, angers, etc etc, get dropped RIGHT IN FRONT of me as a mountain of things I just need to get over. Hello, adulthood. Not so bright after all, is it? A sense of hopelessness crowds my heart at this point. That's right, it doesn't go away.
I DON'T see where I'm supposed to be going AFTER all.
Fast forward 2 years. Here I am. The Lord has brought me up out over the wilderness of that place and for the first time in a very long time, there is a hope that I can physically see in my life and it is on a whooole new plain in my heart. I have known a refining process I wonder how many people have ever gone through - not to ever elevate myself but rather, to praise the Lord for His faithfulness for bringing me up out of a place that only He can elevate someone from!
Here I am.
I felt stuck in my job, stuck in my community, stuck with no avenue in which to grow in my passions just darn right - STUCK.
But the Lord knew this place was good for me. For it was in this place of being "stuck" that the Lord planned to show me my FIRST ministry was Him.
And as I became content in this new revelation, things began to happen. I was OFFERED a new job out of the blue. One that would NOT ONLY provide a true sabbath day for me (which I had been praying for, for about 9 months or so) but would ALSO provide evenings that I would begin to need - first, for rest, and second, for what would be to come.
AND - I was getting paid the same amount for these great bank hours, as I was working about 50ish hours a week between 2 part time jobs.
Praise God for His faithfulness in my finances!!
Then things began to happen: A small group was going on, Thursday nights. I had been PRAYING for a small group to join in on at my church, and this was it! ThEN, openings began to be available to become involved on the worship teams. And a friend approached me to join a team of worship leaders for children's ministry to lead once or twice within a few months time. (and one of my greatest joys was leading children into the throne room of God.)
ThEN!! An opening for youth ministry happened, but I actually didn't know it was available because, (How awesome is God's timing?) when I finally felt a releasing to express my interest with being involved with the youth, I was actually told that there was a new NEED for exactly what I had to offer. AWESOME.
And then, in the process of helping get my sibs involved with the youth ministry, I was directed to the Cleveland House of Prayer.
Since I've been at the HOP, friendships have broken out, and I'm being surrounded by people who in one way or another, hold me accountable to the Word and encourage me to continue pressing in, on a regular basis. The biggest thing I'm being taught is: Meditation on the word of God. I've NEVER been so opened up to the heart of the Lord as I have been just making time, whether 10 minutes or an hour and a half, just THINKING about ONE scripture and turning it over and over in my head. I love it and my love for His word grows by the day. As an intern at a church before, I used to be intimidated by the scripture because I wanted to read it all but didn't even really know where to start and when I DID start, I felt discouraged that I wouldn't be able to learn all thee is to learn. Well that and, ALSO because I have a hard time memorizing. BUT when I meditate on it, memorization isn't at all difficult! hah! Amen!
But I ALSO love my Vineyard community as well! And what a blessing it is then, when my friends begin to show at the HOP and like it themselves, then! I'm so excited about what God is doing there.
I know He wants me to go between the 2 and learn significant things in both places.
One of the biggest BIGGEST things that the Spirit has been opening me up to right now, is missions. Being a missionary. A local missionary. All of my life. There is nothing I want more, actually. Where ever it is that the Lord wants me to go, I want to be a missionary. And God has been teaching me that I AM or that I SHOULD be right where I am!
But NOW I KNOW people who ARE doing that, and its their life JOB.
You know what I see?
Very regular, normal people, living life on the most extravagant, extraordinary level.
They have hearts to be a VOICE crying out for the City of Cleveland, on their knees or in reaching out, and they are not famous. But they make the Lord Jesus Christ the most famous One of all.
I'm blown away by this lifestyle as it is what I'd always expected for my own life, but never got to see it actually DONE. What a cool thing, guys.
My reason for the glass wall story is that, I AM on a journey.
I used to explain that sometimes I feel its not the greatest idea to date someone late high schools years and early right out of high school because, you tend to go down the road that that person is being called to, not necesarely your OWN. At least, the Lord showed me this about my own relationship at the time.
His wisdom was, "wait until you're ON the road I have for you to be on, and I will bring others along to walk beside you."
That road - that pathway that I had been waiting for God to direct me to - this is it. I'm on it. I am begining to see where I'm going, AND I'm begining to see what God is doing to take me there.
Its a very cool experience.