My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.
Psalm 57: 7-11
It's been an awakening...I suddenly can see clearly. It's not about me. Never has been, never will be. If only everyone could experience that and live it out in their lives. Marriages would be better, friendships would be better, children's lives would be better, the world would be better. But, it's not that simple, it's not something that you just wake up and choose one day. Yes, everything is a choice we make. But this choice comes out of rock bottom. Finally dying to yourself.
Five years ago, my life was turned upside down. Choices I made and choices others made help put me there. Being the optimist, thinking the grass had to be greener. I've since realized that divorce is never a way out. It's never a solution to problems that each person brings into a marriage. That was the beginning of dying.
I found myself in Powhatan, Virginia. I started going to a church that met in a High School, Powhatan Community Church. I had been going to church since I was a child. Raised Baptist, very involved in a Presbyterian Church in the west end of Richmond before the divorce. Not sure of what God was doing in my life, he seemed so far away.
I loved the fact that I could just slip into my seat at this new church, no one bothered me, asked me to raise my hand, or forced me to speak to them. I slipped in each Sunday, something kept me coming back. I cried, I laughed, I started to put my guard down. After being there for a few months, I figured God needed me to serve there like I had at my other church.... women's ministry, art ministry, parish nurse ministry. I'm sure all of these needed to be started here, and I was certainly the one God sent to do it!! I had done those things in my last church. I met with the creative arts director, and tried to get involved, but for some overwhelming reason, I just couldn't do it. So, I sat in the seat each Sunday and cried, laughed and continue to let God move in me.
Three years later, I felt it was time. God was nudging me in all of my brokenness, pain and tiredness. I started serving on the Production Team, where I've somehow become in charge of the set for our Sunday morning services. And I'm leading a bible study for young girls called Rise Above the Reflection, teaching them to focus on their inward beauty. I'm occasionally singing again, and helping the youth raise money for their mission trip to Macedonia.
The thing is, I didn't have to figure out where God wanted me, all I had to do was say "here I am, Lord, send me.." And HE put me exactly where HE wanted me, using my gifts the way HE planned. That's the incredible thing about God, that's the incredible thing about Powhatan Community Church. It's so alive and breathing with the spirit of God. It's hard to not get sucked in.
At the PCC production meetings on Tuesday morning, people say that lives are changed by what we do.. and they are. I am one of those lives.... changed.
God has continuously put me in uncomfortable places, areas where I felt I just couldn't do the things that He asked me to do. As I have focused on Him, he has given me the power to do what HE wants me to do for him. This is the first time in my walk with God that he feels so alive.
C.S. Lewis once said that we can not fully experience a relationship with God until we totally die to ourselves. For the first time in my life, I have done this. How incredible is that?? It is at the very bottom of brokenness that God is using me to do incredible things for His kingdom!!! It is only thorough him that I am strong.
During my quiet time last week, I read this verse, and then, God brought it back to me when I opened my iGoogle page, the same verse was right there in front of me. I am living this verse everyday!!
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinth. 12:8-10