First, thank you for being patient with me as I’ve been trying to think on the best way to begin blogging this new year. It seems I had some things I needed to confront, challenge and resolve before I could truly share with you, with a clean heart. I honestly don’t know, at this point, if I will keep this blog name or not. I feel a very strong call to move forward with this new season of my life, and with that, comes changes in even the “smallest” of things. But for now, here on the path, please read…
This past Monday, I felt an incredibly strong sense of urging I needed to be in Lynchburg, VA for the launch of Propel Women, an incredible organization spearheaded by Christine Caine, at Liberty University. I have been feeling a significant connection to this new-birthed idea of Christine’s since they began promoting it (I read the original e-magazine countless times), believing I am to stay very closely attune to all it would offer me. Monday, as I sat on my couch at home, watching online as Christine spoke at Convocation (complete with tears rolling, countless out loud “amen”s, rapidly scribbling notes & talking directly to her – as if she could hear me), I KNEW I needed to pack my stuff, load up the car & drive 4 hours to Liberty. (And as if the Holy Spirit wasn’t strong enough, my almost-sixteen year old son says, “Mom, you need to go!”) I haven’t fully known why I needed to be here, and in my experience, I am certain I won’t necessarily know the “full why” until I go Home and meet Jesus face-to-face. But last night, something changed. It may be a small change to most people, but to me, it was heart- and ground-breaking.
At Campus Church last night, Christine Caine (who wasn’t “scheduled” to preach, by the way) spoke on a Biblical passage I’ve heard many times before yet, never fully connected with until January 28, 2015. Christine shared the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath from 1 Kings 17. She spoke on how the widow was full of fear, feeling so inadequate in providing what her family needed, so unsure. Because of her poor, grave circumstances, and lack of value in her culture, the widow was ready to accept death.
WHOA. WHOA. WHOA. Stop everything, hang on…fear, inadequacy, worthless in the world’s eyes, death.
And that right there went straight through my core, friends.
Here I have been struggling with not feeling “strong enough”, “valued” or “whole” as a widow. (Let’s face it, this world doesn’t typically associate those attributes with widows.) For most of my adult life, I found my “worth” in being in a relationship with a man (married twice), so being alone has been challenging to me, to say the least. I am the oldest of five children, mother of two sons, stepmom to two amazing young people, and I love, love, love relationships with others. So this loss has been awfully strange to navigate and feel “ok” throughout.
But last night, as Christine spoke on this woman, I was called to realize this widow (the “least of these” in her world), name never given, had PURPOSE. Her role AS A WIDOW was important, she was a part of God’s Plan. And thousands of years later, she is being spoken of in a church full of young believers! How awesome is that truth?
During that sermon, hearing God’s Value for MY life, something changed in me, healed in me. I was made whole again. Change that – I was made more WHOLE than I have ever been or at least, can recall. I found my purpose and potential through the passion I have for loving others. I cried out in worship and full surrender, singing the lyrics of Hillsong’s “Oceans” like I had never fully done before. (And I am a girl who lives, breathes and sleeps worship music! Consider yourself forewarned, New Community Church…the next time I lead this, the roof may come off!)
This morning, for the first time, I finally truly thanked God for my circumstances, for this season of “singleness” in which I am fully dependent on Jesus. Thankful I have been able to make peace with the hurts left behind and unhealed, and find new life in Christ. I may be a true reflection of His AMAZING Love for me, and now know my value and potential in His Eyes.
Great thanks to Christine Caine for the reminder that God STILL DOES use the “most unlikely people, in the most unlikely places, doing the most unlikely things to turn the world upside down for His Glory”.
I am finally embracing being one of His “unlikely”.