Here's my story: In the Summer of 2007, I was at a crossroads in life. Out of work, and feeling very lost, I was asking God daily what He had in store next. I arrived in Montana to visit friends for the summer, to spend time seeking God
for His plans, and planning to go back to my home state of South Dakota in a few short weeks. I had no idea as I crossed the state border that God was lovingly closing the door behind me and authoring a brand new season of life and ministry.
Through circumstances only God can orchestrate, and in ways I wasn't even looking for, I became aware of YNOP Radio and started a part-time job as a production assistant. In a few short weeks I was asked to come on full-time, to which I responded I would pray about it (of course, wanting to give the right spiritual answer), but in my heart I didn't plan on investing a lot of time and effort in that endeavor because my plans were to return home in a matter of days.
A couple nights later I was driving home after a function I had attended, and looking at the beautiful mountains surrounding me, with an incredible sunset blazing with colors of orange and pink, I heard a voice clearly say, "You're home. This is your new assignment, and you are to be here until I release you". I didn't even need to ask if He was sure - it was so authoritative, and yet brimming with peace and delight, I knew I had to align myself with His plans otherwise I would miss out on something incredible. I had no idea what the future held, but I knew even if it was hard, it would be filled to overflowing with God's goodness - and He sure hasn't let me down in that expectation - not for one minute.
Not long after, I became an announcer and then late in 2010, my role was expanded and I was brought on board as Associate Network Manager. This season has been filled with great challenges, but great rewards as well. Since the inception of my employment in 2007, this ministry has seen a lot of growth and a lot of change - which is an interesting parallel to what has happened in my life on a personal level as well. God has shown Himself incredibly faithful and unceasingly kind, and as much as I do my best to invest into this ministry to bring positive change to bear, I so often find at the end of the day perhaps this ministry has changed me, more than I have changed it. God is so good at that as He expands opportunities around us, He also expands us - and enlarges our hearts to carry more and more of the weight of His glory - if we let Him.
My regular passions haven't changed much over time - in fact they've gone deeper as I continue to walk with Him and feel a greater passion burn within to help mature the body of Christ and reach out to others with a message of healing and wholeness. I love to laugh, and am enthralled with any musical open door that the Father presents to me - whether singing on worship teams, composing and sharing songs for the body of Christ, doing worship concerts, or sitting back and soaking in His presence as someone else does the music ministry. I marvel at how God gives a unique variation of gifting to every single one of us - carrying the brilliance and uniqueness of the Father Himself - and when we step into those roles, using our gifts to minister to Him and to serve others, the mosaic of the Bride comes more and more into alignment and displays His face and heart to the world around us in a way that leaves lives transformed forever touched and transformed.
I find myself experimenting lately with a new passion - writing. Although in short blog form at this point and sporadically as I feel moved to write, I am hoping this will increase and become more of a regular discipline - yet another way I can reach out to others - to open honest dialogue about the deep and real things in God, life and relationships. I absolutely love good teaching. I love to receive it and to give it. the process of being discipled and discipling others is something I find fascinating and can't get enough of! If we are not absolutely anchored to the Person of Jesus Christ, we can too easily be found floundering - quickly believing the belittling lies of the enemy thus causing us to live in a place lower than God intended. Our crippled state leaves us missing out on opportunities to minister His healing grace to others. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to infuse truth in us, and if we allow Him to process us - even when we don't understand the pruning shears of the Lord, or the pain that sometimes accompanies growth, we must hang on for what lies before us - for in the end, truth will have its way, and the truth will set every captive free who desires to be released from his/her bondage. Oh, for the love of God to transform us to the point where we are not even recognizable! I long for that - for His people to say of me that they can't even tell where I end, or where He begins - I want to be found in Him. I have found in my journey that He longs to deepen our understanding, and revelation of His heart is available if we will just ask Him for it. As we learn more of Him, we have the opportunity to relax into His love, let life unfold, and not be afraid or anxious of the process, nor the outcomes in life. His biggest desire is that we live loved, and love others out of the abundance of that understanding. With that knowledge (that we are deeply loved) it allows us to be safe, healed, and whole individuals who can effectively, with results, love others. We can let go of our need to control or to fix others, and instead let the control lie with Him who wields it best.
Well, to bring things full circle, I often have loved ones from back home who ask me if I will ever return. I am not one to box in God's plan, as if I could divine where I will serve from one day to the next, but I think the most poetic answer to that question would be to borrow lyrics from Sara Groves' song "Painting Pictures of Egypt". They are: "I've been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacks. The future feels so hard and I wanna go back. But, the places that used to fit me, can't contain the things I've learned. Those roads were closed off to me - while my back was turned."
Wherever you find yourself today, may you be found in His loving ways - and intentionally living with joy, purpose, victory, and rich peace.