My life has been a journey full of twists & turns, highs & lows. Honestly, I'm not sure I could really define where I'm headed. But one thing I'm learning, the journey isn't all about the final destination but more about how we travel. And fulfillment is found in all that we learn & experience as we journey, not just getting to the end of it. I can't even imagine making mine without Christ before me, behind me, and beside me...

Sunday, January 23, 2011


     Chad asked the staff this week if we were travel agents or tour guides. I pondered that for a while and let the question soak in my heart. How do I reach out to minister to the women in HOPE? How do I show them a better way of living? How do I teach His words? How do I inspire this hope that only Christ can give?
    A few years ago, I would never have believed that I would be in a church like Mission Abilene or leading a ministry like H.O.P.E. And never EVER would it have occurred to me that I would someday be "in" women's ministry of any kind! I was far more prone to remain on "safer" ground where I could keep people--namely women--at arm's length. Or maybe more like on the other side of a whole chasm! Like children's ministry or music ministry (the safe kind--playing the piano and singing "specials."  You know what I mean? I kept myself together by maintaining my own personal boundaries--my chasm--and putting on a confident front so that no one got near enough to see the fragile cracks in my armor. 
    But then, life took a turn for the worse and my world caved in...or so it seemed. In reality, my life took a turn for better--though I didn't know it yet--and I couldn't pretend to have it all together anymore. Life became an earthquake and the broken rubble filled my chasm and threatened to bury me. Then a couple of Christ-led people walked across my self-imposed chasm and reached out in His love to save me. I had no other choice than to take another's hand and another's hope just to survive. 
     Suddenly, as I climbed out of the rubble,I didn't climb alone. Whether I asked or not I suddenly had these persistent die-hard people who were there beside me, who pulled me up on solid ground, who held me up when i stumbled,and who picked me up when I fell down time and again. And a whole new journey began for me...
     I used to be a travel guide....I pointed the way and laid out all the colorful brochures and portrayed all the bright and glorious possibilities that were there for the taking. I don't believe God wasted my efforts. (He is good at working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose--Romans 8:28) But I taught from what I knew in my head--what I had memorized or seen in all the good "books"--rather than what was in my heart. I sent others on wonderful journeys that I had I never traveled myself. I remained where it was safe and comfortable and known...or so I thought until it almost became the death of me. I hadn't seen all bright and beautiful possibilities with my own eyes or experienced the joy and blessing in my own journeys
     But now--post "earthquake"--I realize that I am one for the journey...Because of those precious people who spanned my chasm and reached out their hands to save me, I began to live life and to experience Jesus' words and way of life. I began to take what was in my head and put it into my heart. I can't help but think of Paul's words to Timothy (the words of one of those old hymns I always loved to sing) "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day..." Today, I know that I am a tour guide. Just as those God-sent people shared their journey with me and passed the baton, I can now share my journey with others through my testimony--my travels...Just as Lois, Eunice, Paul, and even Timothy did...

 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded now lives in you also.  For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me His prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. - 2 Timothy 1:3-12

     Today, I share with others the gifts and blessings Christ has so generously given to me. I teach and minister from the experience and overflow of my own heart. It's ironic--that ministry for me now is not just a calling or an obligation or something I need to do to earn God's grace. Ministry is not so uncertain or wearying because I've been before where these women are...Or, if it's new ground, we travel together, spurring each other on in the journey of faith. 
      Sharing this hope that I know so well now is my passion and part of who I am. And today, I can't imagine ministry any other way. To be sure, there are mishaps along my journey sometimes. My testimony is far from perfect or unflawed but those flaws and imperfections are where God shines the brightest, lighting the way for others. Jesus said, The good man brings good things out od the good stored up in his heart...for out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45 NIV)  He has put such good things in my heart now--not just in my head. So today, I'm thankful for every crack where His light shines through my armor and for every mile I've traveled. Christ has taken me on a trip I could never have imagined or hoped for on my own. And my greatest hope is that each one God puts in my path takes this baton--God's gift of hope--and travels even farther than I could ever go. I now fully understand Paul's encouragement...

For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.... For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  - 2 Timothy 1:6-7

1 comment:

  1. you are definitely a tour guide, your story is such an inspiration