Say, “Yes,” to Listen…
Around 20 years ago, I had a new awakening with the Lord. He got me up at 4am and I felt compelled to read the gospel story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I had read it before, but this time, the Holy Spirit removed scales from my eyes and I knew with every cell in my being that if I were the only person on the planet, He would have sent His son to die for me, so great His love for us.
It slayed me.
And I felt Him. His presence. His Spirit. He filled me and I was forever changed.
I sobbed on the red couch we had at the time, soaking the fabric with tears of gratitude and humility, overcome. It was then I heard this verse in my head, “Who will go for us?” I said, “Send me, I’ll go.” I said I would do anything for Him.
I didn’t know what that would mean at the time... Quitting a job I loved to start Greater Impact and live my life on purpose was only the beginning. We have been part of watching Him save the physical lives, spiritual lives, and the emotional and relational lives of countless women and families around the world.
Say, “Yes,” to Healing
Now we are watching Him bring connection and healing during this time of protest for justice in areas where there was division. We are a tiny tiny part of that, but it is amazing to watch nonetheless. What’s ironic is that like in marriage, everyone in our country should technically be on the same side – we’re all Americans.
Here in Cincinnati, we’ve seen an increase in the numbers of protesters and a decrease in the violent acts as the police have backed off on the use of force. Showing up fully decked out ready for a riot at a peaceful protest is like a harsh startup in conversation. It usually makes things end badly. Power struggles indicate a heart issue that needs rectifying, usually for both people. When there is an imbalance of power, the possibility of trust decreases. Anger and resentment increase, and so on it goes. What’s really interesting is that God didn’t want to set up a system of hierarchy, but people insisted upon a King. In Nehemiah, he talks about God’s great love for the people of Israel and how He cared for them, and their response: They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked, and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,‘… (Read Nehemiah 9:15-22 for the whole idea). I often marvel at the great team experiences I’ve had while where leadership is so shared it’s often hard for an outsider to determine who’s responsible. I sometimes wonder about God’s resistance to giving the people a king… seems like He exists in unity without hierarchy, but that’s a whole other doctrinal topic!
Regardless of your calling, the costs are high for anyone who steps out to share the Truth. I won’t glorify Satan with details, but slander, loss of friends, physical and emotional damage have been left in the wake as I have pursued this call. Perhaps you can relate? I’ve been accused of all sorts of things over the years by people who were/are close and by complete strangers, and (most of the time I remember) none of it matters. Hurts like crazy, true. His path and vision still reign more important. I should also note that what’s happened with me is super small in comparison to others I know in ministry.
It is also true that I might not have said “send me, I’ll go,” honestly, if I knew what that really meant at the time.
The benefits of being on mission for God outweigh the costs. In every instance. Hard in the middle, sure, but friends who misperceived and accused came back and apologized and asked forgiveness years later. Physical disabilities have made me closer to Him, and more resilient, and I have clung to Him through it all. I have learned there will always be opposition. It’s been hard. And while it is also true that I have nearly walked away from all of it a few times, He has grown me such that I am stronger in Him and cannot quit.
And in the midst of that, like Peter, I tried to walk away from Him, too.
Didn’t last very long as I can’t live without Him and the call doesn’t leave, even if you try to…
Say, “Yes,” to Your Purpose
When someone emails to let me know how He has changed them or their family through an encounter with us, or I hear a class member share how He has healed them, I know I am exactly where I should be, flawed as I am. And 15 years of ministry later, I know I am where I should be when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death and am not afraid. He is with me, comforts me, strengthens me with His joy, and spurs me on to continue.
And the truth is sometimes I have to remind myself of that comfort, strength, and joy minute-to-minute-style when I am afraid. I really like it that fear is the sin of not believing God… Lord, help us all in our unbelief!
In the Nows we are in, as our country sees this battle played out right in front of our eyes moment to moment style, we ALL have the choice of which voice, God’s or the enemy’s, will we listen to. He will change everything if we will humble ourselves, pray, seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him as our Lord.
It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. With everything in me, the reason we are here is to learn to love God, others, and ourselves. Why not start now? What will your life look like in 6 months, 6 years if you keep doing what you are doing the way you are doing it now?
What about YOU?
What’s He done in YOUR life? What call has He given YOU?
Love to you,
PS: We’re starting up our flagship eCourse, Strength & Dignity again. Feel free to join us if you feel led.