I laughed at my sister yesterday. We were talking about her business. She was saying how she has no idea how to really promote her different workshops and feels as though the promotion she does is not effective. She told me that her most successful turnouts came from events she promoted the least. She feels that God wants her to use her time and talents elsewhere.
I reminded her that she knows how to put together amazing experiences. Everyone that leaves anything she has coordinated leaves with raving reviews. I suggested that perhaps she should focus on what she does best. Perhaps she should spend her energy on the events and let God take care of the people.
She stated that she needs help, though. She said she cannot do it all alone. She needs people. She needs money…Then we grew silent. We went on to other topics, one in which she indicated that she felt God leading her to a specific church. She stated, though, that the church was too far away. The services never started on time, and attendance turns into an all day affair. I laughed.
She did not get it…at first. I then went into how she talked about all the things she’s been praying for with WHYSGirls and how she is not sure how God is going to make a way. She needs volunteers, and she needs extravagant entrees…In the same conversation, she talked of how she feels led to attend a church. The specific church she referenced has already agreed to adopt her program. The church she referenced has a personal chef who prepares all meals at no cost…
How often do we do the same thing? How often do we pray, listen, and hear God’s voice, and come up with a reason that His solution does not fit our specific requests? How often do we prolong progress because His voice is telling us to do something we feel is unconnected our prayers?
I found whatever semblance of balance I had ever hoped to achieve. I am on my second year at a job I enjoy. I am a mom of three beautiful children and wife to an amazing husband. I left my position at the church while I was at my peak, all because God asked. And then I got stuck. I got stuck in ordinary.
While in ordinary, I created; I unplugged, and I made resolutions. I resigned to myself to live an ordinary life as an ordinary mom desperately trying to stand out. And I prayed one last prayer. I asked God if this was it, and if it was, I was good. I could absolutely find joy in the ordinary.
And God laughed, and He shook His head. He sighed, and He said, “You’re just like your sister! You do not listen!!” And He sent me to visit my old church with my two little boys, reluctantly only because a friend asked me to come. I got there, and I rolled my eyes because some man I did not know was sitting in the spot of the pastor. The pastor had taken a seat on the side, and I asked God why in the world had I come? I only visit when I know for sure that the pastor is available. I could have just waited until tomorrow and attended my usual Sunday service with my husband and family. What a waste!
And God laughed, and He shook His head. He sighed, and He said, “Just wait. I have a Word for you. Sit back and relax.” I listened to the music. My favorite soloist lead the praise team, and they sang a song….”Jesus. Jesus. Jesus…Something happens….when I call you.” I had not heard that song in years. Since the lowest part of my life when I sang on a praise team….that probably saved my life…right before I started dating my husband…I just wanted her to sing…forever…the same line. I wanted to shout to her. Just keep singing…
The song ended. The pastor stepped up, and he introduced the speaker of the hour – the president of the Southwest Region Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I have never met the man. I have never heard him speak. All I knew was that he was the man that took a 6 hour detour to see my dad in the hospital when he had a heart attack. He stood at his bedside as my father recovered from triple bypass surgery. I was not impressed by his title nor by his credentials. I was impressed by who he was to my father when my father needed him the most. He gained my automatic respect because he loved my dad.
He preached a sermon about how people miss the voice of God because they expect it to sound a certain way. They expect Him to do certain things, act in a particular manner. They cannot hear Him over their own expectations.
God stopped laughing. He whispered instead, “Can you hear me now?…
I have been telling you the same thing since before you left your position. Your marriage is your ministry. I need you to do daily devotion BOTH by yourself AND with your husband. I need you to raise your children in Me. I need you to exercise. And I need you to document the process. That is what you do. You are a mom. You are a wife. You take pictures. You are open. You share. It is who you are. It is who I have created you to be. It is what you do….
You have convinced yourself that it is ordinary so you neglect to do it as fiercely and ferociously as I need…You think somehow you missed something. But you cannot move forward until you do what I asked you to do…”
I thought people needed answers. I thought people needed direction. God said, “People need neither. They need to see you as you are – no modifications, no glamour, no makeup…just you.
What people need is your story. They need to see your ordinary. They need the beginning as much as the middle or end. They relish your start just as much as your finish.”
So here I am…Day 1. I will do a devotion with my husband. I will go play with my children. I will YouTube some 30-45 minute exercise videos, and I will document all of it. I have no idea why God is so adamant that these things must happen.
What I do know is that people need you just as you are. They need to see that sometimes you start over 10 months from the time you started over… No progress…You watch your friends and your family make monumental gains…
And yet here you are, same place, different time…same resolution…different determination. People need to see your day 1. Sometimes, when they see the end it is too late. They cannot identify. They think somehow you took all the right steps, made all the right turns along the way.
What people really need is your beginning.
I never understand how people are so inspired by my ordinary. I do not embellish. I do not romanticize. I give them the facts.
I do not get it, but God…is aware. He knows exactly what people need to see. He does not use accolades or titles or positions. He uses regular people. People who come to see family members when they need them. People who start over after they have already started over.
Those are the people who create extraordinary…one ordinary do-over at a time.
What are some things you are being called to do? What are some do-over project that need need a fresh start?
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