Sometimes the hardest times are really the best times

colleen Blog, Ministry 2 Comments

A little over a year ago, I began to feel God move in my heart about making changes in my life, ones that I knew I would be hard, that would leave some people wondering why I would be making such drastic changes in my life and would leave others ridiculing my decisions, and accusing me of walking away from God’s will for my life, these changes were not made in vain and were covered in lots and LOTS of prayer. I spent almost two and a half months doing nothing but praying and rallying others to pray with me, traveling to visit friends whose Godly counsel I trusted and exploring options that God had laid before me trying to discern which would be the best option for me and where God was really calling my heart. This was two and half months of the hardest, longest days of my life, those who know me well, know that my heart longs for ministry, to serve my God and to love people with the love of Jesus, so to take time off from serving to seek God’s will for my life was hard, but necessary.

Those who know me and know me well, know that the desires of my heart always included eventually living within the community where I was serving, I didn’t want to go home at the end of the day, I didn’t want ministry to be a 9-5’er, I wanted to be sold out to the cause that God laid on my heart, I wanted to submerge myself into ministry, I wanted to live my life with purpose, and the purpose was to love people the way Jesus loves us, without boundaries. I wanted to have a home that I could open up to the neighbors, where they would feel comfortable visiting, sharing their hearts desires, where the kids would enjoy home cooked family dinners, where bible studies and prayer nights would take place, a place I could call home and really truly it be my home.

As the days passed God presented two beautiful opportunities in front of me which would have allowed me to work with people I love, one of them included helping some friends who are in ministry work to potentially expand their international ministry stateside, the other was to work with a Pastor who I had been praying for years that God would eventually partner us somehow in ministry. One of these opportunities would allow me to continue to live in my beautiful, safe, home in a touristy part of Baltimore, while the other would allow me to move right into a community where I would be serving, I know what you’re thinking the answer was obvious, right?

But it wasn’t that easy, there was so much of my hearts desire in each of these opportunities, so much opportunity for me to grow and be used in each of these opportunities. I am blessed with extremely wonderful people in my life, and all of the people involved in these new adventures gave me the time, space and prayer I needed to make a decision, and I believe that God wanted me to take that time so He could teach me a few things about faith, prayer, Godly counsel, discernment and wisdom.

As I mentioned previously these were some of the hardest days of my life, I would wake up and think about the kids I wanted to be loving, the homeless people I wanted to be feeding, the girls on the street I wanted to be loving…I thought about the opportunities that I felt were passing me by as I drove past prostitute infested streets longing to reach out, as I passed a homeless park that I love to spend time in knowing God was keeping me away for the time being, as I drove past inner city neighborhoods and watched kids play outside, kids I wanted to hug, love and draw with sidewalk chalk with.

During this time God allowed me to see that I had found my identity not in Christ, but in the work that I was doing, I was lost without my ministry, and the reality is “my” ministry was not MINE, and was continuing without me, my identity needed to be found in Him. What a slap in the face, don’t get me wrong, all of my ministry work is done for HIM, however I think it’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in our ministries, our jobs, our relationships, and the holes in our lives and lose pieces of ourselves, in fact I recently read a great book {W}hole by Lisa Whittle, which talks about just that.

Fast forward almost exactly one year and I have found the place God wants me, my heart, and my home, those two and a half months of prayer and being broken by God, being rebuilt and learning were completely worth it, because if you follow my blog, you know the path that God chose for me, I moved into a neighborhood, where I could intentionally live and do ministry,I work with a pastor I admire and respect, I have found a church family that for the first time in my life, I feel like I belong there, I have a home that most afternoons turns into a playhouse, and most Thursday nights turns into what I like to call “kids kitchen” the kids and I have date nights that include family dinners, sometimes we go out, sometimes we make a meal together, but regardless we sit and eat and fellowship together, I have home that is full of prayer and opportunities, I have neighbors who have taught me more than I could have ever imagined, I have neighbors that notice when I am gone, who love me when I am sick and hurting and who look out for my well-being.

This year about the same time that God begin making big changes in my life last year changes began to happen again, it seems as if though God is going to use this time every year to teach me something, to pull me away from ministry and force me to learn, pray and be completely dependent on Him, since my accident which has been almost 2 months ago I haven’t been able to attend church, I have only been able to have limited contact and time spent with the kids, I have only been able to “pop in” to Kids Club a few times, and I have had to go away and completely isolate myself from the people I love. The past week has been the hardest for me, as I went away and had time alone with God on the beach, in the house, on walks along the Boardwalk in Bethany I quickly realized that God wants to remind me that this is His ministry and His work that He is doing through me, and that I can take a break, and I can allow others to shine, and that He will still care for me, still have a place for me when I return. He also made me realize this week that there were some major distractions in my life that had to go, and while it means people have to be pruned out of my life, and some of these people come with a lot of heart break, God reminded me last night that He will never leave me and He will love me more than anyone ever will love me.

I have to admit though I have been miserable through this and I have had to ask God for forgiveness time after time, I have been reminded of the blessings that God has shown me, I have prayed and prayed for God to calm my heart and give me the ability to rest and not be anxious, it wasn’t until yesterday that I had an ah-ha moment with God, my brain hasn’t been healing correctly since my accident, but I haven’t been completely in tune with what God has been trying to teach me, I’ve been trying to do more than I should I have not been resting in Him, and I have not taken full advantage of this time, as I sat in tears praying yesterday in a beautiful park, I made a commitment to God that I was 100% ready to listen, to learn and to heal, that I would spend the next few days, weeks or months slowing myself down, slowly getting back into my life, and letting Him continue to work in me, I have no idea why it took me almost two months to listen, to stop and to recognize what was happening or trying to happen in my life.

So here’s where you can help… I need lots of prayer, I hate resting, I hate not being able to do everything I love to do, and I hate the feeling of not being able to spend time with my kids. I also need accountability, I need people to check in with me, to call me out in loving ways and the biggest way you can come spend some time loving my kids, bouncing a basketball, jump roping, having a meal, drawing with sidewalk chalk and helping with homework. I am so thankful for the ways that God has orchestrated people in my life, and how I know I have been and will continue to be bathed in prayer, I know that people will continue to check in with me, and I know for certain there are people who will come love my kids, who will come and play and who will join us for dinner, and for that I am thanking YOU in advance!

I will leave you with this verse God has been replaying in my heart this week, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand,” (Proverbs

Comments 2

  1. Your story is so inspiring! Thank you for being so open and honest and I can’t wait to follow your story!

    Oh and “hi” from Aunie Sauce 😉

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