I love to put puzzle pieces together – sometimes the jigsaw kind, but most often – real life puzzles. I sometimes think I should have done training to be a private detective. The hardest type of puzzle to put together though, is my own life. It’s not easy for me to step back and see how all the parts of my life are fitting together. Just this past week though, the pieces came together in the most amazing way, and it’s hard not to see what’s happening.
I had the joy on the last weekend of October to spend time with dear friends, and some whom I sure will become dear friends in Fort Lauderdale. We (8 of us from Ontario), had flown down to attend Women of Faith. There were 14 from The Bahamas who came over to join us. It was wonderful to worship, laugh and cry together. Each year that I organize a group (this was my 11th), I put together a small bag of essentials – kleenex, pen, lip balm…and a memento of the weekend. I include a letter that helps first time attendees know what to expect.
In that letter – I always put in a paragraph that encourages the ladies to listen for the moment when God speaks directly too them. From my own experience, it’s as if God puts a loud-speaker up to your ear, and the message intended for your heart is abundantly clear. This year though, it’s as if the loud-speaker was on pause for me. When I got home, Jeff asked what my “moment” was – and for the first time in more than a decade of attending, I didn’t have an answer…or so I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I was ministered to completely at the conference, and my soul was filled in a way it hasn’t been in quite some time. I love this event, and the women who occupy the stage.
Still pondering my lack of “moment”, I went to the Bible study I’m leading at Jeff’s church. We are working through Angela Thomas’ “Brave”, and our focus last week was “I have a thorn”…Angela’s teaching was that God allows us to have thorns in our life so that we might, in our weakness, be drawn closer to him. We know it’s there, but it’s only God who can remove it – and when He does, it will be so that others might see His glory. I had shared with the ladies that I have been dealing with a thorn for more than a year now, and despite prayer – God has not been taking it away – or so I thought…
This past Thursday – I was told by the leadership at the church I work at that after this coming June, my position will no longer be available. (Not just mine, but some other key positions in the church too). Hard financial times have fallen on the church, and they just can’t afford to be fully staffed at this time. I have been expecting this news for a couple of years now, and knew that my position was on borrowed time. It’s funny – I’ve been praying about this situation for more than a year now, and have known how it would end – but was totally caught off guard by the information. However, as I drove home from the church – God turned the loud-speaker on…I kept hearing Angie Smith talk about Peter, and walking across the water towards Jesus. As the waves rise, he begins to sink. Instead of looking back to his companions – he chose to look forward and call to Jesus to rescue him. That part of her talk just played over and over in my mind. And it was with complete peace that I was able to call on Jesus to keep me focused in my walk forward. I also know that my thorn has been removed. I awoke on Friday morning to the most beautiful sunshine, and a complete sense of relief.
Relief that I don’t have to wait for the inevitable anymore – it’s in the open, and so is my search and discerning of what God has planned next. I know it’s better than anything I could imagine – and I know, with all the confidence of my being – that He has it planned. This thorn removal will be used for His glory – and because my job search can be in the open, I can help people see what God is doing when I have a new position to replace the one I am losing. The best part of all of this – I know that my time to worship on a regular basis with my beloved is coming, and sooner than I had dared hope! It will be good be in God’s presence together. It’s the next step on my journey…and I can’t wait to see where it’s headed.