Change is a unique aspect of life. It can be positive, negative, hopeful, fearful, life-giving or life draining. Change is one of life’s toss-ups, depending on how you look at it.
I have been going through so many changes lately. It is why I haven’t written in two months. To be honest, I’ve felt dumbstruck as to how to write about the changes I have been experiencing because it can be dangerous for a people pleaser like myself.
What will people think?
What will they say?
I arrived at the conclusion that no matter what people say or think, God and I are all that matters. I have grown so much closer to Him through these changes, and He is doing amazing things in our lives. THAT is what matters. HIS voice, HIS thoughts and HIS plans. Everything else melts away in comparison.
So here goes nothing.
My husband, Joshua, and I have been asking the Lord for specific direction in our lives for a while now. We have been in full-time ministry for 10 years, but we sensed God was blowing the winds of change in our direction.
If you have read my blog post Hang on, you know what Joshua and I have faced for the last three years. Walking through deep hurt like that is one of the most courageous things someone can do, but it does take a toll. What made it harder was trying to walk through it while working in full-time Christian service.
Ministry demands constant giving of yourself, and when you are deeply broken you start asking the question, “what part is left to give?”
How can you pour from a broken cup?
It is nearly impossible.
We asked the Lord to lay out His plan for us and to make it obvious. We wanted to KNOW it was Him and not our own selfish desire. We basically pulled a Gideon and laid out the fleece. We needed a sign.
My faith was weak. How could God be leading us away from full-time ministry? It felt contradictory.
Then the Lord spoke His word into my heart – “Amanda…My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…”
Ok God, do Your will here. My hands, heart, and mind are open to whatever You want.
Joshua and I prayed that prayer so intensely one night. We wanted Him to move so badly. We just wanted to be where He wanted us to be. We laid it out and left it in His hands.
The fleece was soaked on a dry ground the next morning.
I woke up to a text from my dad about a job. A friend of ours had woken up with me on his mind concerning a job in his office that had been left unfilled for two weeks now.
God was on the move.
I went for the interview two days later. The same day Joshua got a call for a job that his good friend, Joey, would leave open when he moved to Michigan. God was working long before we knew it when He called our best friends to move months before. He was working in their lives while also making provision for ours.
God is amazing. His plans are so intricate and detailed.
By the end of that week, we both had full-time jobs, and our kids were enrolled in the school they had gone to the previous year. Their school was thrilled to have them back and were willing to work with us to make it happen.
Needless to say, my mind was BLOWN.
I know God is able and can do way beyond what I can think or imagine, but when he pulls jobs out of thin air and makes a way where there was no way, I can’t help but be left with my jaw on the floor.
In one week, He had supplied us a way for healing while being able to provide for our family. He moved everything into place, and we just followed the path He made. When I stop and think about it, I still find myself in shock sometimes.
This also meant we would have to leave the ministry we were serving in. It was a tough call. We loved those people and felt God was using us there, but we knew in our hearts that this was the road He wanted us to walk. We resigned and gave a two-week notice. I don’t think anyone had any clue it was coming. Joshua and I had gotten good at mask wearing, the art of putting that strong face forward while broken and hurting inside.
It was almost impossible to serve effectively while dealing with so much hurt. Not only were we wanting to heal from the pain Joshua faced as a child, but ministry had compounded the hurt too. It requires a special kind of grit and tenacity to be in ministerial work. You need a soft heart that gives selflessly, but that is also encased in heavy armor, able to withstand the arrows of hurt that fly your way.
Our armor is heavily damaged, and our hearts exposed for too long. We need a time of rest, recovery, and rebuild.
God was gracious to give us that.
A time of rest.
My hope is that you can understand, but regardless I know without a shadow of a doubt this is the path God has laid for us. He has shown His hand in miraculous ways, and it has been AWESOME. I am choosing to not let the thoughts of what people will think mess with the greatness of what God has done.
When I let people’s voices drown out the Lord’s voice, I am on dangerous ground. I am choosing today to hear His still small voice whisper above the crowd, “Trust me with all your heart Amanda, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge me, and I will make your paths straight.”
I don’t know where you live, but in North Carolina, this weekend has been extremely windy. I mean like “hold your clothes on” kind of windy. The local weather stations were even reporting wind warnings because winds had reached up to 50mph, resulting in power outages and trees down in our area.
Wind can be tricky.
It can produce energy by spinning a field full of windmills, and yet it can devastate thousands of people when it yields a hurricane.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “the winds of change are blowing?”
Let me tell you, I have felt them blowing through my life like the 50 mph winds that my physical body has endured this weekend. Today, I stood outside and let the wind whirl around me. I don’t think I have ever stopped and allowed the weather to affect me like that.
It was beautiful. I mean my hair wasn’t beautiful afterward, but standing in the midst of God’s creation and allowing it to literally move me was life-changing.
Winds of change can be as energy producing or as devastating as the forceful winds of nature, but if you can stand still and let Him literally move everything for you, it will make all the difference. It may take you three years to finally give it to Him and see it physically played out, but I have no doubt that He is moving in the midst of the winds of change, no matter how many jobs, houses, churches, or paths it takes you to.
Stand still and let His winds of change engulf you.
It will be out of this world.