After a recent decision to obey God’s direction for me to leave the church I have called home for over 4 ½ years and venture to a much different church atmosphere, I did what a lot of humans would do….second guess. I do it to God all the time actually. I brag one moment about how I have never heard his voice so clearly in my life and the next moment I’m asking him if what I just did (after a direct order from Him) was REALLY what he was meaning for me to do. Luckily for me, He is more than patient and shows kind responses of “yes, child, I really meant it…….just watch and see what happens”
I have never left a church before. I mean I have technically….I left my childhood church when I moved 6 ½ years ago. And I did a lot of “church hopping” to find the place I ended up at. But I have never been faced with making the decision to “divorce the church” so to speak. And even though, it was more than clearly laid out as to why I should go and that He clearly had other plans for me…..I still gave the big guy heck about it. I didn’t just “up and go” when He first asked me to. I don’t think He expected that anyway (He did create me afterall and knows how difficult I am). So, He simply took the approach of giving me completely undeniable signs that His plan and His way was THE WAY and even though it turned out hurtful in some ways, He also provided very wise people to surround me in the transition. I would’ve never thought I would end up in a big church. I didn’t want to get lost in one. I mean, look who we’re talking about here. It’s me. Ms. Larger than Life herself…you know, the one who walks into a room and people just know her. So to stick me in the middle of an enormous church where you don’t even sit by the same people weekly………standing room only………and not even remember which parking lot you parked in (because there are that many)……just seems like torture. Have no fear, I will get to know people. LOTS of them. But what on earth could He be thinking? Surely since He created me to be this loud, funny, obnoxious force for Him, He wouldn’t plant me right in the middle of a pond with a gazillion other fish????
But…..He did just that.
I was always somewhat scared of big churches. I loved that my other church was “big” (if you ask my momma) but felt small. It took a few years to find my groove there, but I finally got plugged in. I served in the children’s ministry and loved every second of it (and am DEVASTATED to be leaving those kids). I hung out with some other singles and spent countless times at the altar with some amazing people. It was perfect for me. And then it changed. To spare you the details, let’s just skip to the part where after a very rough summer, I was shown that it was time to change the scenery. And where did I end up? A REALLY BIG CHURCH. HUGE. ENORMOUS. It basically needs it own zip code. Yet, it is, without question, where I am supposed to be right now. So, here comes the second guessing. “God, what on earthy did you stick me here for? “
Then today, in the midst of a really big sermon about how we hide from things in life versus coming out from under the table and letting Him help us……HE scooches in between my friend and I and says “I’m gonna tell you why you’re here”….AWESOME, let’s hear it, cause I have been dying to know.
I’m just supposed to be present. Just sit there and be quiet, still and wait. Huh? Could you repeat that Father? He stuck me in the middle of this place to go unnoticed so that he could intricately work on me in the way that will fulfill this part of His plan for me. I don’t need any other distraction than to be in a chair, listening to the person on stage that He coordinated to speak and apply to me. He isn’t asking me to do absolutely anything other than sit, listen, accept, and write. And that blows my mind, yet brings me more peace than I would have ever imagined. Who on earth would’ve ever thought that one of the best seasons in my life would be one where I am to be quiet and still!!!??
And in that process, HE will bring the people in front of me that are supposed to be there. I am not supposed to look for the opportunity or throw myself into every serving opportunity there is. I am not supposed approach every single person from the past or present church and explain myself or throw an “Alicia Campaign 2012” to get them to understand me. I am supposed to just work on myself. To be one of MANY. And when HE needs to use me HE WILL. He simply will. He already has been in the most unexpected ways. My testimony is being shared when it’s supposed to with whom it’s supposed to and half of the time I don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s over.
So I will wait. I will be quiet. And I will listen. And let me tell u something. When you listen, it is the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear. The whisper of God is the most calming and intimate sound ever. I will wait and listen to people on a far away stage speak. Speak directly to me when they don’t even know they’re doing it.
Recovery means something happened. That’s why a lot of people don’t like the word. But something did happen. Something really bad and I need recovery. And I need it from the chair in the middle of a REALLY big pond of people who don’t even know I exist. What a sneaky and humorous God we serve : ) I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Ephesians 1:18 (NLT)
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
John 16:32-33 (NLT)
But the time is coming – indeed it’s here now- when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.
Let me also be clear in stating that I have zero hard feelings towards my “home” church. I will miss it more than anyone will know. I will still visit from time to time with the friends that still go there. And I will ALWAYS cherish the time that I was there and the amazing people I am blessed to know. I hope to continue the great friendships I have formed from there and that the people who truly know me will still truly love me and welcome me back for visits often.