If you've been following my blog for awhile, you may remember that a little over a year ago, God moved me out of a prayer ministry I had led for my church for over 11 years. At the time, I could only speculate about His reasons, but I wondered if, as I said then, "it could also be that I'm about to enter into a new season of increased demand in some other area -- something I can't see yet but that He can."
Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. Months later, without remembering that particular post in the least, I actually wrote about increased demand as we entered such a season with Don's mother. And now that that demand has eased as her health has somewhat stabilized, I find that God has placed another need, another task, before me.
With the death of my friend Amy, I, along with my church, am feeling her loss in many ways. One of those is the role she filled as our Angel Tree coordinator. You might not think Angel Tree would be on our minds right now, but Amy reached out to prisoners' children through Angel Tree Camping as well as the Christmas outreach. She had already sent out the invitations for kids to participate in our church camps and had received several positive responses. And thus, the immediate need for someone to fill her role...
The interesting thing? I had talked with Amy a year or two ago about how the Lord had started drawing my heart toward ministry to those in prison. I didn't know why because we don't have a prison in our area, but I knew Amy had a similar interest so it was natural to talk with her about it. As I remember, we just decided to keep our common interest in mind if an opportunity presented itself.
Within a couple of days of Amy's death, I thought of the Angel Tree need, and the question soon came to mind, "Lord, were you preparing my heart to step into Amy's role as our Angel Tree coordinator?" I began praying about it and asked a few friends and family members to join me in asking God for clear direction. I definitely didn't want to take on a big job like this if it wasn't His will for me -- or take on something He had in mind for someone else. I wanted His will alone.
God is so good, so faithful, to guide us when we ask for His leading. His Word promises that as we trust in Him, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Just a few days ago, He gave me the direction, the confirmation, I needed to know that He indeed is calling me to the Angel Tree ministry.
I admit it scares me a little -- okay, maybe more than a little :) It will be a challenge to figure out where Amy was in the process by just looking through her materials. I also don't know what the future holds with Don's mother and when my schedule may swim out of control again. And to be honest, it would never be my natural choice to take on another big commitment during the holiday season.
But you know, God knows all these things. And still He called. I must trust Him and rest in the fact that He will "equip [me] with everything good for doing his will..." (Hebrews 13:21). He is the one who will accomplish His purposes. He will empower this ministry, just as He did when Amy led it.
And so a new chapter begins for me. I sure could use your prayers. Anyone game? I appreciate each and every one of you!
"See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19