This blog post is in response to the online Bible Study of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God” for the week two blog hop.
Back in 2007, we were considering renovations on our house in California. One day as I was trying to figure out how to best layout our great room I clearly heard God’s voice in my heart/spirit saying, “Don’t worry about it you won’t be here.” I somehow got it in my head that it would be 18 months from then. I had always wanted to move to the Central coast of California. Our favorite vacation spot is Cambria. That’s where “I” wanted to move. Our youngest child got married in September 2008. I was certain that we would be moving soon after that. It didn’t happen. I figured I heard God wrong and put it out of my head.
Fast forward to August 2009, I was laid off from my job. At first I was devastated, not to mention our budget. It was a very stressful job, which only got worse for the people who were left behind to pick up the slack left by all the people who were laid off. I was so stressed prior to the lay off that being laid of was actually less stressful for me and I found peace and rest. The severance package we got in the lay off helped cushion the blow. In the whole experience I saw God’s hand of provision in our finances and my peace of mind.
That same year Jim’s employer filed bankruptcy. Just before Christmas we found out the business was for sale as part of the bankruptcy and a local company looked sure to win the bidding. When hubby went back to work after the New Year the owners were there – Surprise! – a company from Missouri. They were moving the whole operation to their facility in St. Louis. They asked Jim to go, too.
When Jim came home and asked me if I was willing to move to Missouri my first thought was no, but then God reminded me of what he told me years before, and I heard myself saying yes. Missouri, not exactly the coastal oasis “I planned on.” Jim was put in charge of the move on the California end. It took until July to get the move completed.
The end of June 2010, one week before we left California we found out our baby girl and her husband were expecting their first child/our first grandchild. We had been looking so forward to being grandparents and now we were moving away. I was heartbroken. That last Sunday in California during worship I cried out to God asking why we had to move away. He said to me, You can choose to stay, but if you want to see (my heart’s desire) you have to go. I’m not ready to reveal this desire, as it has not come to pass yet. Of course, I knew in my heart that we had to go, for so many reasons, but most of all I did not want to disobey God. Nothing good ever comes from that. It was not easy, for sure, but following God isn’t always easy. That’s where faith really comes into play. Trusting that the Lord’s plan is better than your plan/desires. Over the last three years I have experienced quite a bit of depression, primarily when I focus too much on me, my feelings, and how much I miss our ever-growing family. But I have also experienced much joy and fulfillment in obeying the Lord, not only in coming here, but in following Him in the way I live and serve Him.
But there are still some things I still have to learn about completing what God gives me to do (like the book I’ve been supposed to be writing now for too many years) and waiting on His timing in other things. I’m realizing that until I complete the book, some of the other parts of the ministry/calling God has on my life will not move forward. He’s not going to show me the next step, until I complete the one I’m on. I ask all my #YesToGod sisters to keep me in prayer, so I can find the courage to complete the book and move forward with the Lord’s plan for my life.
On 1-17-04 I was having breakfast “with God” at a McDonald’s when a young man came up to me and asked to see my Bible. He opened it to Joshua 1:1-9. He pointed to it and told me, “Take it, take it.” These verses are where God is commissioning Joshua to take over as leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. Three times God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. For years I questioned how these verses could be for me. I have a past. I never went to college. I’m not a pastor. Who am I to teach others, be a leader? When I finally started seeking God on this He showed me that it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. It’s about how God equips me through His Spirit and His Word, not about who I am. I just need to be strong and courageous and make myself available to Him, say YES to Him. Yet, sometimes I still waiver and allow my circumstances to get me so down that I don’t do what I know I need to do. Even more, what I enjoy doing. I love being in the Word. I love seeing how God uses me, even in small things, to touch other people’s lives. We all have our ups and downs, but hopefully we’re still moving forward through those peaks and valleys.
A friend recently pointed out that maybe God had to move me here, fsr from my family, because I would be such a devoted grandma that i might lose my focus on the ministry God is giving me. God has given me a small group of sister-friends here in Missouri that encourage and support me in where God is leading. I didn’t have that so much in California. God is good and provides what we need.
God has a plan and a purpose for each person, young old, male, female. My oldest daughter’s church is even training children to work in the healing rooms. It’s not about our abilities, but our availability to God’s work and trusting Him to see the work completed in and through us with “Radical Obedience.”
Blessings and peace,