What a week it's been! After our three day weekend we ended up having two more snow days. Kind of a strange start to the semester but now things are getting back to normal. :) I want to share with you a story from my own life that God used to encourage+empower me this morning in chapel.
|9th or 10th grade Bonnie :)|
So in October of my ninth grade year, ten months after recommitting my life to Jesus, and right smack dab in the middle of a season where I was asking God what he made me to do… I attended a "legacy service" for our pastor who was retiring. That night was a beautiful tribute from the church that honored his years of faithful service. My pastor shared about the first time God gave him a deep burden for people who don't know Jesus. Sitting here, about seven years later, I can still remember him saying that he wept bitterly as he envisioned endless floods of people falling over some kind of cliff into hell. He was overwhelmed and broken by the need for those people to be helped.
Pastor Paul continued to carry that burden throughout his life. So many lives were reached and saved by Jesus because of his faithfulness to do something about that burden that God gave him.
I went home that night and when it was time for bed, I laid down and in the dark I started to sing and pray. "Give me one pure and holy passion. Give me one magnificent obsession. Give me one glorious ambition for my life, to know and follow hard after You." I remember I didn't sing or pray too long that night before tears filled me and poured out of me. At that moment, laying there in my dark room, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the call God had placed on my life.
I saw a bright but blurry picture. I could see two women sitting at a table and I knew one of them was me. The other woman seemed younger than me... maybe a teenager or young adult. She had long dark hair and was wearing a red flannel shirt (funny detail, right?). We were just sitting there working on something together. Even with such a simple image, the Holy Spirit's message was bold and clear on my heart.
That night God gave me a burden for helping young women who are hurting, especially those who have suffered abuse, are stuck in self-harm, or have been neglected in some way. I knew from that night on that God made me to counsel these girls and help them find hope and healing through Jesus. Maybe in a counseling center or maybe in a home where they will come and live for a while. My heart really broke for them that night. I didn't want those girls to feel alone or hopeless anymore.
This morning when God brought this memory back to mind in chapel, it filled me up and refreshed me. I felt like God breathed fresh air into my lungs and set my feet on the right track again. I felt bold and confident and ready to help. The funny thing is, I never dreamed about counseling young women before that October night. But in one instant where the Holy Spirit came and met me, I knew God made me for this.
Friends, there are so many fears and questions that can fill up our heads when God gives us a dream. I've thought in the past of all the reasons why I wouldn't be good at working with teen girls or why someone else would be better suited for the job. But none of that really matters. God can do it and He will. His spirit is living and breathing and moving in us and it will affect the people He puts us around.
It's been seven years since God first spoke to me about my calling to counsel girls. I never want to loose sight of this gift He's given me because I really do believe that I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus in reaching out to some girls who truly need hope and a fresh start. Every single time over the last seven years that I've asked God to renew the passion in me for counseling hurting girls, He's been faithful to do it in a tangible way. Our dreams really do matter to Him! He cares about them even more than we do! :)
Get the Conversation GoingI started praying today that God would use this post for His purposes. I'd love to get a conversation going where we share about the dreams God has given us and we pray for over each other's dreams, too. Maybe you haven't had an experience quite like this but there's something that has always had a hold of your heart… some circumstance or group of people. Please share them below! And let the rest of us know how we can pray for you.
My prayer for you is that God would breathe fresh air into your life and dreams today as He reminds you that you were made purposefully and will make an eternal impact for Him on this earth. Love you, readers. Can't wait to read what you share!