In December of 2007 I graduated with my bachelor degree in Human Resource Development as a mother of four children ages 8, 10, 12, and 17. It took me seven years to get my bachelor degree because I transferred schools, was trying to care for four small children, and work part time. I did all of this because I thought I was going to be a single mother of four children. Going back to school would be my only way of providing for them.
God had a much different plan. He kept it to Himself which was good. I wouldn’t have accepted it or understood it. He knew that I would need to complete an internship to complete my degree and that I would do that at a local nonprofit. I did and by the end of the internship I was asked to be the Executive Director. I had planned on getting a nice job in a nearby town to help support our family, but God led me to a place I least expected.
For seven years I was the Executive Director of a Christian nonprofit. The entire journey changed my life. I saw God change lives in people in our community, change my life, sustain us when funds were short, provide more than we needed, and direct us to do things that we could have never imagined.
Now, in December of 2017, I am half way through completing my MBA, am facing an empty nest this year, have changed my career to line up with my husbands goals for retiring early from his current job and finding a new career. We are preparing to down size and rent while we decide where we want to go in life. I am in another internship this time for the US Army and am wondering why in the world I am there. What is the purpose for this internship God? (does He know what He is doing?)
I just got over a severe two year depression, living off of the emotions of watching children move away, and getting used to living through the drama that comes with parenting adult children. I just got over the fact that I no longer get to serve men and women on a daily basis because I am on a career path that will provide us the finances we need so my husband can shift his career. I just got used to the fact that every major aspect of my life has changed since August of 2013 and how I have been utterly wiped clean because of it.
Six weeks before I was asked to be the Executive Director of a nonprofit God began to do something in my heart. I was burdened for the women we served and the ones we didn’t serve, but needed to. I was visibly shaken by the fact that they were hurting. I would cry in my prayers for them. I thought I was going crazy. What was God doing to me?
One day a founding member of the organization came to me and said she had talked with the current director and they agreed that God had sent me to them. I was the answer to their prayers (which of course is crazy right). Would I be the next director? I knew at that moment that God had been preparing me for this and said yes, but let me talk to my husband first.
I went to my husband respectfully and told him that they had asked me to be the director, that I would get paid next to nothing, and that this was something that I was “supposed” to do. He didn’t go to church, still doesn’t, so he wouldn’t care or understand my story about how God had me where He wanted me, but I followed God’s command to respect my husband and submit to him. He said it was okay. Neither of us understood really, but off I went on a seven year adventure.
Without Christ I have to admit that I had and have no desire to serve women the way I did and the way I want to now. By nature I am a selfish independent creature who would rather spend her time with fast cars, good books, intellectual pursuits, and alone. So it was quite to everyone’s amusement that I served people on a daily basis and still have a strong desire to.
The journey that God has for you may not be what you expect. When we are saved we are partnered with the Holy Spirit who equips us, as a new creation, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22). Our journey is no longer our own and it may take us to a place where we would have not gone on our own.
In the quietness of your mind and heart do you hear God calling you to serve Him or change your life in a way that is completely foreign to you? Don’t dismiss that. Trust Him and where He is leading you. If you continue to follow Him, even when it doesn’t make sense, He will lead you to something you never imagined.
I used to be the client we served at Hope Resource Center. I would have never imagined that I would later help others like me. I was humbled and fell in love with helping others. Now He has me on the outset of another adventure. Just like before it’s not where I want to be or planned to be, but I know what He did last time, I learned I didn’t know what He had in store, and to expect amazing things!
This year God may lay on your heart a new path for your journey. Don’t dismiss it. When you are where God wants you great things will happen! If you don’t believe me read about our friend Joseph. He did great things for God despite not being where He had planned to be and God blessed Him greatly for his obedience.
Go! The adventure of a lifetime is waiting.