Many of you have been on this spiritual journey with me that began in the blog post Heartbroken and hurting: how doing the right thing is rarely the easy thing , soon followed by Heartbroken and hurting: saying goodbye is never easy.
Thank you for coming along on this adventure, because I have something so wonderful to share with all of you! I am joyful and healing now, because I did the right thing and that changed everything.
August 17, 2014, was my last day at the church I had called home for 9 ½ years. I was working the screens during service for our guest speaker, Randy Ruiz.
Throughout the service, I was a weepy, snotty mess, knowing this was my last day.
I was a mess, because I knew that God was leading me away from my home church, but I didn't know where he was leading me.
Well, that's not entirely true. I KNEW where he wanted me to go, but I was still arguing with Him. I know. Stupid is as stupid does.
Then Randy popped up onto the platform and started preaching about.....wait for it.... Jonah. Yup, Jonah.
If you only know the part of the story where Jonah spends three days in the belly of a fish, you're missing most of the story. You can read all about Jonah here.
The gist of Jonah is that God told Jonah to do something. Jonah not only said "no", but sought out and found a ship that went in the totally opposite direction from which God sent him.
I could not have been more convicted in my actions. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through Pastor Randy.
I had been disobedient to God's directions for months and months.
I had felt the pull and tug of God drawing me away from my church home and I quietly said, "Uh-uh."
I felt the tug some more, things changed with the ministries I was serving in, and I was no longer serving where my heart's desire was.
God tugged harder. I said, "Uh-uh!" louder.
People in the church began asking me, "Why did your ministry change? Why aren't you doing that anymore?"
I had no clear answers for them, and bitterness and resentment started to grow. I was walking in a sin I would never have been in if I'd just listened to God in the first place.
Finally, finally, I said, "OK, Lord, but we'll do it my way." God laughed at me and said, "OK, try that. See how that works out for you."
Of course, it was a disaster. The church I chose to visit was a lovely place, but totally not the right place for me.
So, when I left my church home that day, God sent me a message through a friend; a friend I hadn't seen or spoken to for a couple of months.
That friend came to me to say goodbye, and she said, "You've been on my heart and in my spirit for the last three weeks, and every time I thought of you, I thought of Peace Chapel."
A couple of weeks before that, when I'd first started listening to God about leaving my church, I brought up the topic to my hubby. His first words were, "So, are you going to back to that little church, Peace Chapel?"
All along, I felt God leading me to Peace Chapel. It's a small, beautiful little church about 20 miles from home, filled with passionate, spirit-filled Christian believers.
The lead pastor had been an associate pastor at my home church for more than 25 years before leaving to lead Peace Chapel.
The pastor, his wife and I have all been dear friends for years, and if I'm going to be honest here, I've felt God leading me to serve in ministry with them for a L - O - N - G time.
So, I went to church at Peace Chapel with my children on August 21, 2014. I knew I was home even before getting all the way inside the front door.
I found old friends that were thrilled I was there. I was loved on in a way I hadn't been in ages and ages. I told Pastor that God led me to Peace Chapel, and I was ready to serve in ministry if he wanted me.
Finally, I was obedient. Finally, I trusted the Lord and did what He told me to do.
Since all the plans aren't in place, I won't divulge all the things I think are happening, but I see great blessings coming to me and being worked through me for others by serving at Peace Chapel.
In addition to that, just last Saturday, 8/30/2014, HuffPost live reached out to me wanting to interview me about a blog post I wrote 13 months ago called Living well when your spouse works weird shifts.
The interview will take place (hopefully) on Tuesday, September 2nd at 12:30 EST at this link - How The Overnight Shift Effects Your Health/HuffPost Live - just in case you're interested in watching!
So, what's the point to all of this? (Yes, there is a point).
God has been waiting for me. He has abundant blessings He wants to pour out to overflowing for me, but I am SO disobedient. I can just imagine Him standing there shaking His head saying, "She's so stubborn!"
When I finally listened and did what God asked me to do - the thing I knew all along I should do - in less than a week's time, He poured out His abundance on me in ways and quantities I could never or would never have thought to ask for.
Learn from my mistakes, OK? Listen to God. Do what He asks, when He asks it. He's just waiting to bless us all when we trust and obey.
Now, instead of being heartbroken and hurting, I'm joyful and healing, because doing the right thing changed everything.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (CEB)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. 6 Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.
Have you ever argued with God? How'd that go for you?
Have you ever followed where God led you and been deeply blessed? Have you ever not followed God's leading and found out about missing a blessing later?
Tell me about it here in the comments, then come over to my Facebook page. "Like" it for daily devotionals and encouraging conversations appropriate for people of any age.
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