Its funny how when we are willing to trust God with something only He could make work, He, in turn, does incredible things though our lives. My prayer over the past 8 1/2 years, since taking the position as Worship and Creative Arts Director at The River Church, has been “God, you gave this to me. Move me when you are ready.” Part of that prayer was because I came into the position by default. There was a need and I was the one who could step in. The other part of my prayer was a bit selfish. I was hoping God would give me a “heads up” so I could exit before the time came for a new leader to take my place. With everything that is done for a long period of time, though, it is easy to get comfortable and used to life as you know it.
That was me, until this year.
For five years, I have been traveling to Haiti and working with orphans, special needs children and the elderly. My first year, I remember having all sorts of ideas of how I thought God would use me. I was a worship leader so I assumed I would be led to lead all the songs and do everything “music related”. But He didn’t use me that way. I was introduced to the needy, the lonely, the broken and the outcast. He called me to hold hands with the discarded elderly, cradle the sick and to sit for hours sewing seats for walkers made for children with disabilities. It was life changing for me. God used me in new and ordinary ways that were so unexpected and yet so beautiful.
Toward the end of our trip, one of the missionaries said, “Take what you love doing here in Haiti, and find a way to do it back home.” In other words, our ministry didn’t begin and end in a foreign country. We were called to minister everywhere we went. I had discovered a love for ministering to the elderly and special needs children but I didn’t know what to do with that new passion as it related to my everyday life.
When I returned from my fifth trip to Haiti this past March, I began to sense something was changing inside of me. That desire to do what I did in Haiti began to ignite and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I loved what I did as a vocation, but something was pulling me in another direction.
I decided on a whim to do a search for nonprofit jobs. Thats when I saw it. A job that would allow me to plan activities for the elderly in a local retirement community. I was still a bit hesitant, but sent my resume anyway. In my first interview, I was overjoyed with the possibilities yet, at the same time, I was afraid. Afraid to leave something I knew and loved. Afraid of what people would think about this sudden change and afraid of the unknown. I prayed over and over that God would guide me whether or not that was where He was calling me but I didn’t get a direct answer. That is, until my second visit, when I was called back for a second interview.
I walked back to my car and couldn’t help to be excited. I knew this was my next step. I would have the opportunity to love and to bring value and fun to those who were in their end stages of life. What an amazing ministry laid before me! I was offered the job later that day and accepted. I made the decision to follow the prompting from God and stepped down from my position at our church.
One of the statements I love to say to those new traveling to Haiti with me is this:
Lean into the uncomfortable.
Whenever I have leaned into things that are seemingly uncomfortable, I have always been blessed beyond measure. Starting very soon, I will be doing just that. I am excited, nervous and expectant.
I am ready for this new bend in the road and trusting God to guide my steps into this new adventure.