A year ago today, I was sitting in the same spot. Alone in my office, sitting in front of the computer, reading when I was reminded of a something I told the Lord. You see, many years ago I had felt like there had to be more to being a Christian. I did the Sunday morning thing, joined the small groups and volunteered were needed, but it never seemed enough. I felt like I need to be out from the walls, be out in the community doing something, I did not want to wait for the people to come into the church, I wanted to be out with the people. In what way, at that time I didn’t know.
So, a few years ago I came to the Lord with a request or a challenge, which ever you want to call it. I had a hunger for more. A hunger for a deeper understanding of Him, a deeper relationship with Him and a overwhelming desire to serve Him in anyway He wanted, not in the way others said I should be serving. So, I found myself one night in my family room praying and what started off as a simple prayer, ended up with myself face down on the floor surrendering all to Him. Simply put I asked Him to use me or take me home. He responded by asking if I was ready to give up everything, no matter the cost? Yes, anything Lord was my response.
Then like an idiot, I challenged Him. I told Him, He had until I was forty-five. I was told over and over through out the years, that I should find a husband and be a wife. I have been single since I was twenty-one and never had a desire to remarry, so I told the Lord if that is what you want for me, it has to happen before I turn 45. I also told Him that if He was going to use me then He had to give me clear direction on what that was by the time I turned 45. If I didn’t hear clearly from Him, then I would be content with doing what the church says I should be doing.
As the years went by, I found myself many times being broken. Revealing things that I needed to work on or give over to Him. He began changing me from the inside out. Exposing deep hidden things, healing old wounds and showing me what I needed to change. Was it fun, no, but in the end it was worth it. He is still working on me, but I feel like I have that deeper relationship that I had longed for. In the mist of things going on in my spiritual life, the outside world was changing. Old friends didn’t want anything to do with this change in me, family thought I was nuts and I found them drifting further and further away. Then after almost ten years I was laid off my job. So, a little over a year ago, I found myself stripped not just from the inside, but my world outside was slowing being stripped away as well.
That is when He said to go to the park and just accept and love on the people there. I thought He lost His marbles or maybe fell of His throne and hit His head. First, I have spent sometime on the streets and swore I would never go back. Second, I had no idea how to do what He was asking or even how to start. He responded with a simple “Go.” Even my first day down at the park, I sat in my truck and though I can’t do this and was ready to drive off. I kept telling Him you have the wrong person and He would just say, “get out of the truck, you said you would do anything.” Well, those first few months were hard. Many mistakes were made, it was hard building trust with the people and it seemed like nothing was happening. I would go home and just cry and ask the Lord to please not send me down and I was beginning to question weather I heard Him right and if this was what I was called to do. Doubt started to set in. On top of that fellow Christians were telling me that a single woman should not be doing what I am doing, that it was not right and leave it to someone else to do. Had I not heard God correctly? Was all this a big mistake?
So, like I said before, a year ago today I was sitting at the computer. Reading emails and it was my 45th birthday. Then it struck me, the challenge I put before God, that He had until I was 45. As I sat here, I was still in doubt, thinking I missed the mark. Everything seemed to be coming against me and was wondering if maybe I heard wrong as to what He asked me to do. No one knew of this request or challenge I had put before God, it was between Him and I. As I sat here I reminded Him and asked one last time for Him to show me or someway tell me that I am on the right path and doing what He wants (it’s funny how He will wait until the last minute, just when your ready to throw in the towel). There were no great bolts of lightning or loud claps of thunder, just a simple ring of the telephone that changed my life. At that moment the phone rang and my son came in the room and said that some guy is on the phone for you, I don’t know who he is. When I answered, on the other end of the line was Ken Loyd (from HomePDX), a sweet man that I had met the month before. When I answered he said he had two things he felt like he need to tell me. One that he loved me, this meant a lot coming from him. The second thing about made me fall out of the chair. He said he felt like he was suppose to call me and then said “God told me to tell you, you are doing exactly what He wants you to do.” I broke down crying and Ken had no idea at that time why I was such a blubbering idiot, but to me it was as if the Lord picked up the phone and called to just say “Hey keep doing what your doing.”
So, a year later I sit in the same spot, not wondering what I am suppose to be doing or if I am doing the right thing. But, grateful for being stripped and broken, grateful that He said “Go” and never allowed me to run the other way. I thank Him for allowing me to be used; I thank Him for the new friends that have become like family. I find myself so very thankful as well as humble at the fact that He allows me to be a part of Him extended in the world, to love on some of the most lost and broken people. This past year He has shown me people through His eyes and how it is to love with the heart of the father. This has been the most amazing year and I can’t wait see what the coming year holds. There is so much more to learn and experience walking with Him. I no longer want to run the other direction, but ask Him to bring the adventure on…its going to be a wild and exciting one. By the way my wonderful friend Ken, thank you for picking up the phone and allowing God to use you, you changed the lives of many people that day and I love you!