Is that really something you announce?
Maybe it should become a thing.
I write this because at this moment I have been 5 weeks away from our now prior church and I have people contacting me to make sure I am ok. Which is sweet and loving and kind…
You can tell.. the people are not the reason I am leaving. I love the people. But I write this to be open and honest and to be the one people hear from.. and not the rumor mill.
So let me tell you my reason… and first let me say my husband has his reason… and when he came to me and we talked… and I told him what I was feeling led to do.. we stopped… and saw that it was very apparent that God was showing us our next step.
In all honesty the reason I am choosing to drive over the hill to our now new church is simply because God is calling me….
How can I know that?
Well, because for 2 years now I have felt my heart pulled into ministry… I am simply a servant. And the only place to serve at our small church was in a form of children’s ministry. Of which I have no problem doing. I did it for years at our church down in Fresno. But that clearly is not where I feel led at this moment.
The church close to us here is small, quaint and special. But it doesn’t offer any of the programs that I was able to serve in as I did when we attended in Fresno. And the longer I was away from a church with programs/serving opportunities… the more I realized… I NEEDED THEM!
So when my mother was in the ICU and I struck up a conversation with her nurse and we started to talk about churches and she mentioned where she went.. and I mentioned how it reminded me of my old church and she said oh really? And I commented on where I was from and she exclaimed that her deceased husband (who was the prior pastor of this church she goes to… ) and how they came from Fresno and knew my old pastor and on and on and on….
The whole conversation, was, yes, a complete run on sentence kind of conversation. And totally from God.
You can see where I am coming from? I was literally captive to caring for my mother and here this nurse is speaking the words He wants me to hear.
I asked her a few questions and she talked about how she loves the bible studies and the things they all do. It appeared to be a real community of people all working at serving together.
So one Sunday we slipped in the side door…
Or at least we tried.
People were coming up to us introducing themselves to us and making sure we had a program and fill in sheet….
STOP::: I LOVE FILL IN SHEETS!!!!!
I opened the bulletin and was met with an ENTIRE side of programs and things to do!!!!!
I took out my pen, after saying a quick prayer to Jesus, and highlighted what I was interested in checking out. Then I put them in my calendar and with a clear head… full on in the clouds of prayer I listened to the sermon.
We had been stalking them online for a few weeks prior. So we knew they were in a series on prayer. And, well, prayer is a big deal in our house!!!!
That week I could not stop thinking about the coffee hour they had coming up for women! They literally gather around 1 evening every other month and have coffee… together…. And someone shares their testimony????
I had to go. Remember… I LOVE TESTIMONIES!!!!
So I did. Actually grabbed a friend and shoved her in my car because we both don’t like walking into places alone… so… she uses me.. I use her.. it’s our deal… and we attended together.
My prayer was, Lord please let me meet people that will show me love and answer my questions before I ask them.
And, well… He did just that.
The next week we attended their annual potluck and ‘this is where we are headed as a church for the year’ service and meeting.
I took notes… on the places there were to serve and the number of times people asked for volunteers to ‘serve’.
The Sunday after that I attended the women’s ministry information service. And again, I took notes on what they were doing, where they were wanting to fill needs and…. How many times they asked for people to volunteer to serve.
Pretty sure I was one of the few that they didn’t know in that meeting… but I was floored when some of the presenters were looking directly at me asking for us to contact them if our heart was leading us to serve in an area… they wanted to help us.
They want to help me????
My husband attended the adult bible study class and literally came out of the class… glowing!!! He is an in-depth kind of guy… sink me into the word and lets connect the verses… and he didn’t stop talking about these 2 co-leaders and their knowledge the entire day!
While I was waiting for my husband to come out of his classroom I was sitting on a couch, when a woman comes over and sits next to me. She starts talking to me and asking me questions and then she does it…. She whisks people around me and is introducing me to people. She gets me up and moves me around the ‘living room’ and is introducing me to people, one after the other… and it’s near dizzying… But it hits me… She’s being me! This is what I did in the church I was attending… This is what I was taught to do in my very first church…. This is what it felt like!!! And get this…. She was from Fresno also!!!!
Women came up and asked where I wanted to serve and where my heart was leading me and if they could help me… and basically, every prayer I prayed for.. yes I asked God to show me specifically if I was where He wanted me… He went above and beyond.
I got in the car… and burst into tears over the love that flowed out so freely for people that walked in their doors. People they seriously didn’t even know! It was unfolding in front of me… this is where God was leading me.
We then went home and read up on the actual belief of the church. It’s all right there on their website. We followed the links and went down the rabbit trails.. and then continued to pray.
We sought wise counsel….
Prayed more… and became so excited when God started to reveal exactly where He is leading us.
We sat down with the pastor from our then church and explained it all and he totally understood. It became so crystal clear at that moment that God was in control of this all! And very clear we weren’t leaving because we didn’t like the people… we were going to where God was calling us to continue the work He was doing in us.
Bottom line… We are servants… and servants need places and programs to serve inside church and outside in our mission fields. So, if you wouldn’t mind praying for us both.. that they let us serve… and that God continues to lead me in His direction for His ministry to reach His people that need Him!
Because ya’all know my heart…
It just want’s to follow Jesus around like a little puppy dog!
Ok… but without the slobber!