Knowing God’s Call
The last 9 months has been scary, uncertain, full of media negativity and unrivalled. (There, I managed not to use the overworked word of 2020!)
But it has also been a time to slow down, to appreciate God’s creation and to listen to God. One of the things I noticed was that some of the people I know began to know what God’s plan was for them and to walk in it. I asked some of them to share with us how this happened. It doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s something that grows from a whisper to a shout.
For me, I have felt dormant at times since joining the church 7 years ago, mainly as my skills and energy were being focused on mission in my workplace, but also because I didn’t locate a sphere in serving that felt really ‘me.’ I have eased back on children’s/youth work slightly and focused on the joy of creating to see where that could lead. For the first time, people have noticed my ‘fruit’ in emerging as a leader and encourager. I wouldn’t say I’m in bloom as yet, but I see giftings in myself, that others have pinpointed too, that in 2016-2019 had seemed to only grow underground.
The past few years I have often started a new year asking and listening to God about the priorities and focus for my time in the coming year, but 2020 felt different. Having been through enormous transition as a family in 2019, I was feeling desperate to find purpose again. At the start of 2020 my one big question for God was: “what am I supposed to be doing with my life?”. It was a big heartfelt cry. My plan was to “wait on him” until I got an answer.
Lockdown commenced and I began to sense this as a season of opportunity. I started to say “yes” to nudges towards rediscovering my creative expression. By October I had received such a downpour of reminders, specifically in relation to 20-year-old prophetic words and dreams that God had given me, telling me in big bold letters: YOU MUST USE YOUR HANDS. Plus a reawakening of desire and vision for making art that reaches where words cannot. I realised, all along God was waiting on me. Action was needed on my part, in order to walk into his unique design for my life. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps”. I just needed to start moving and living with intention to take hold of what he has promised. God is revealing the rest as I move.
I have been led on a journey of setting my identity straight – starting with how I see him – how he sees me – how he values my creativity – how I see myself. Ruthlessly chucking out lies about my art and myself and then building a new mindset by sowing his truth frequently. I decided to start living with intention in how I use my time. I now schedule creative time as a big priority in order to re-discover and develop skill that honours and glorifies God. I’m taking part in an artist mentoring programme and Bernice, now a very good friend, has been crucial in encouraging, cheer-leading and giving a wise ear and timely words. Step by step, little by little. It’s embryonic and at times has been painful, but always in a redemptive way. I’m encouraged: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10).
Don’t you think it’s amazing how God uses our life experiences, the desires of our hearts, and who we are, to bless us not only us as individuals, but also those around us?
Throughout my life I have always, in one way or another, been involved with children, whether that be through kids clubs, working as a teacher or even attempting to bring up my own! And if you know me, you’ll also know that in reality I’m really just a big kid in a grownup’s body. (That’s how God’s made me, and I’m really good with that!)
God has also given me a real passion to see children thrive and walk into all that God has for them. So it probably comes as no surprise to you then, that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that leading Jubilee Kids at this time is what I feel like I was made for.
I also think it’s really funny, and incredibly kind and loving of God, that throughout my life I’ve always wanted to be a children’s TV presenter. Isn’t it amazing that God has used even that in the production of XPLOSION TV, not only for our Jubilee children, but also for many other children who don’t know him yet, in the form of school assemblies. I mean how exciting is that! God only knows how that will grow and develop!
I love it that God knows us inside out! That he knows me inside out! There’s nothing better than being who God has made us to be is there and doing what he has called us to do. We have such a wonderful, loving Father God don’t we!
I am who you say I am