The Christmas rush is over. Well we have 2 more parties, but for me these are very low key. We do not need to do much for them. As I sit here and think back to this year one word comes to mind.....CHANGE. If you have been a reader for any length of time you know this year had a lot of them for us.
First of all in February we left our church to start a new one. We were very happy at our previous church. We loved everyone there. But God was calling us to step out of that comfort zone. We knew God wanted us to start something in our town, but for whatever reason we never did. Then one evening while at a church planting banquet we met 2 men. They were praying about starting a church in our town. These men were not from our town, nor did they know anyone here. Matt and I just looked at each other with mouths open when we heard them. OK Lord here we are! I can't say that it was easy from then on out. It was not. So many times I wanted to run right back to that comfortable little pew at Faith Baptist Church. Everything about our church was new (nothing was established). I did not know where I "fit" in. I didn't know where to serve, or even how to serve. I had never been taught by a inexperienced pastor.
I'd love to say it has gotten easier for me...but it hasn't. I still struggle. But our "baby" church is doing great things in our town. I am now leading music...another big step of faith for me. God has used that to peel off yet another layer. Matt is leading the youth ministry. We are set to begin AWANA(Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) on February 4.
"Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
One thing is for certain, all of the above change has taught me to lean on God more than any other human. Humans will let me down. But God will always be there to hold me up.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
It's when I start leading myself I go astray. I'm letting God direct my path from now on. Oh it's easier said than done. So let's just say I'm working on this one. I'd be lying if I said, I always let God lead me.
The other main change that happened this year was our move. This is yet another thing God had been prompting us to do. Yet again, we did not immediately do as He wanted us to do. We moved from the country into the village. I can't say there is anymore traffic then what we were use to. But there are neighbors on all sides of our house. Matt also moved for the first time in his life. The house we lived in was the only home Matt had known. After many hours and days of prayer, we knew God wanted us to move.
Now that we are settled, our house has become a place of refuge for kids in the community. Many of the kids that come here, I know their families. But there are a couple who come here because they said they like it when someone pays attention to them. We have also been able to bless a young man(pictured above) who does not get Christmas presents. That broke my heart when he told me. We were blessed to have him spend Christmas with us. If for no other reason we know God placed us here for this young man. Monday he also spent the day with us, cleaning our other house to get ready to show. He is an amazing young man, God has big plans for him.
So after the year we have had, I know 2012 will be a good one. I'm going to embrace the changes that come our way. I'm looking at each of them as a blessing instead of a curse. Learn from them and grow from them. As difficult as it is...the blessings for being obedient are greater.