I wanted to share with everybody a new journey God has taken me on. In January, my Creative Living Sunday School class encouraged us to read a book: One Word that Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon. The idea is to allow God to reveal one word that you focus on throughout the year. The one word that came to my mind in January was GO!
As I prayed, I sensed that through the holy spirit, I needed to listen to my inner voice, tell me when to:
Go the distance,
Go help someone,
Go share my journey,
Go have fun,
Go on a trip.
Basically, Let Go and let God direct my purpose for the day.
Then, in April, God put a scripture on my heart.
Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19.
I felt a personal call by this scripture, but knew that I could not travel the world due to my physical limitations. God has given me opportunities to show his love and serve, and I have felt that teaching was my ministry, but I sensed there was more for me to do.
It was about this time I ran into a former co-worker and friend. For the next several months, this friend invited me to church. I explained several times that I was involved in a really healthy church and I was NOT interested in leaving. Then, during the summer, I said yes to an invite. I visited New Life Church in Cabot. During the service, I sensed God telling me to GO and serve the community of Cabot. After processing the statement and shedding thousands of tears at the thought of even leaving my current church family, I began to seek God for confirmation to what I sensed he spoke to me in that service.
A few days later, I ran across an email that I sent my pastor on 7/23/12. Here is part of the email:
I feel God calling me to make a kingdom impact with youth in the city of Cabot! I have talked to Pastor _____ and he mentioned that there is a new church in Cabot that has started up. I feel God calling me to connect with this church in some way.
I felt God telling me that I needed to be His light to the youth of Cabot and help build a bridge. I wasn't sure this made any sense, but I knew I didn't want to ignore God's voice if He was leading me somewhere.
As I read the email, I began to cry. The hard truth is: I ignored God's voice. I was disobedient.
Two years later, I heard God's voice again. This time, I decided to take action. I shared with my best friend, who is an amazing Christian mentor in my life. For the next month, we prayed together, read Scripture, and listened to God's voice. I then began to share with other key people in my life (close friends and family). I made the decision to visit NLC Cabot and another church to see what happened.
One Sunday, I got turned around and ended up driving around the city of Cabot. As I was driving, the song God of this City by Chris Tomlin came on. As I drove, tears began to fall as I sang. It was in that moment I knew Cabot had my heart and soul. I would be obedient to God's call and move to NLC Cabot and serve the community of Cabot. I have had struggles and doubts along the transition, but I do not doubt my heart towards God and the community of Cabot. Everyone I have met within the community touches my heart. I would say that I have a love for not only the youth, but all people in the community.
I love First NLR with all of my heart. I am not leaving the same person I was when I came through the doors. I had a personal encounter with God, went through healing, and grew so much during the years I have been there. I made a lifelong commitment to Jesus and made lifelong friendships. I consider First NLR my home. God is sending me out into the place where I have the greatest connections and the biggest heart for. It has been an amazing journey and I am forever grateful for the Pastors and relationships I made along the way. Serving in the youth was the highlight of my week. I love the heart and soul of First NLR and I will never forget the incredible journey.
I have joined a life group in Cabot, and the group has been a blessing during the transition. They have prayed for me and supported me as I shared with my pastor and leaders that I was moving to Cabot and following God's call to serve the Cabot Community. I have learned that what I am really doing is expanding my church family. My life group has been a gift from God to help me connect. I think within 2 weeks, I felt like they were family. I am in the process of joining the youth ministry team at NLC and will be serving the youth in Cabot soon. I love the hearts of the pastor and leadership of NLC and I am honored to join their team and mission of serving Cabot and introducing people to Jesus. I am out of my comfort zone and I am so not qualified, but God is with me more today than he ever has been. God's word says," Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:8
With that promise, Lord, I will Go where you want me to Go and I will do what you want me to do. I am excited about what God has in store for Cabot. I am honored and humbled that he would allow me to come along to see it. I love my WHOLE church family and pray God uses us all in his Great Commission.