In 1989, after experiencing many significant life changes within a short period of time, not all of which were welcomed, a friend gave me this card. I was so touched by the sentiment that I framed it. It has been a part of my visual inspiration for 20 years! Recently I have experienced the second set of significant life changes, none of which were planned. This visual reminder has been inspirational for me still and in new ways this time through.
Life has a way of happening whether we are ready or not. I lost both my parents within nine months of one another through unexpected means. As a result of those huge losses I was unable to continue working in the administrative capacity I had been, so I stepped away from that position. Truly, I could barely function, the grief process was so overwhelming. It has been a two year period of deepening my relationships: with my husband, my sons, and my Lord.
When I was younger along the Way, I really didn't get what James encouraged us with: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Now, after 28 years walking along the Way, I think I finally understand. God tests our faith as He tested Abraham, so that the surpassing knowledge of God in Christ can be ours.
We can have joy in the middle of deep loss and sorrow. And no it doesn't make sense. But God does have a plan, He is still on His throne and His promises are true to those who believe. I have lots more to say about the lessons I have learned and I will in future blogs, but what I most want to encourage you with today has to do with the changes I am being led to and hopefully they will encourage you too.
I have had the privilege of working with a terrific woman for the past six months, who is a follower along the Way and my Life Coach. Kathy has listened to me at this change point in my life; trying to help me sort out what is left of me after losing so much. She has been both inspirational and prayerful for me. Through my work so far with Kathy I have recognized my desire to communicate what God has taught me through the life He has blessed me with. She has pointed me toward tools and exercises to sift through ideas and passions and find the commonalities to build upon. It has been a very inspiring journey that I highly recommend!
As part of this journey I have been stepping out in new ways: this blog is an example. I have joined facebook, twitter, and a women's social network, Exemplify Online. You can find those links down the sidebar on my blog. But today I found a new connection that I want to make sure you know about that can encourage you to make some changes and reach out to others through the internet.
A Woman Inspired is an online resource for learning the steps and short cuts for building an online presence for ministry in whatever capacity God is leading you to do. They will be holding an online conference June 8 - 11. I am so excited for the opportunity to take part in this conference. There is no travel involved; it will be held online. If you go to their website you can check out the speakers and their topics.
I know this won't be for everyone, not because you couldn't handle it but you may not be ready for making any changes right now. But some of you are right where I am and need to know how to get plugged into the opportunities to reach out to those who need encouragement from God's Word and His work in your life and the lives of those you know.
I, like Paul, say this: I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Press on my dear friends! Don't fear the changes; God has greater things in store for you!
Be sure to check out Exemplify Online!