So, as my husband and I have gotten settled in our new home and town, there has been this sense of purpose sort of hovering in the air, and we have been a bit restless as we sought to discern where God was directing us in our community.
We have found a church, and because neither of us has really done a lot of church hunting before, we took several weeks in this one community before deciding to commit. It is a little awkward to do that, because as we are getting to know everyone and they are getting to know us; we were still trying very hard not to say either, "Yes, we are staying here for good," or "We might try some other church and get back to you." We just wanted to focus on being where we were, hearing from God, and seeing if there was a place in that particular body where our particular gifts could be of use. That said, we are both very excited to have finally decided that our new church is indeed our home church; and to already be looking into joining ministries and even pioneering one.
As if that were not enough, this last week some friends of mine decided that we needed to start asking God for the money to attend an amazing conference in Pasadena, CA. The two of them felt very strongly that we needed to be there, but I only really felt strongly that they needed to be there, to be quite honest. At first I thought it was because I hesitated to make a definite plan when God would need to miraculously provide us with about $1500 in order to facilitate the trip. So the girls and I got together and prayed. I asked God to show me if He wanted me to go by providing what we would need for the trip.
Over the next few days, God really began to lay it on my heart that I need to live in a state of expectancy. I need to be expecting Him to act, to intervene, to direct my steps. This was really heavily pressed on me while I was making my grocery list before going shopping on Wednesday. So while I made out my list, I added an item at the bottom: Divine Appointment. I know it seems a little silly, but for me it was taking a physical step saying, "God, I believe that you order my steps, and that you have something for me in the day-to-day that I am missing." I knew that we were going to be out and about for the next few days, so I decided to go about our grocery shopping trip expecting a divine appointment with someone, somewhere along the way; but knowing also that even if it was not Wednesday, God would come through some other day.
Today, my husband and I were running errands in the biggest neighboring town. As were were wandering a little bit (we knew where in the city we were, but were suddenly not quite sure how to get to the easiest route home), we both suddenly saw an International House of Prayer! Back when we were dating we used to go to the IHOP in Atlanta, and when we got married and had so many expenses suddenly to budget (and gas prices started creeping back up), we simply did not get down there as often. The model of 24/7 prayer though, is something that we both are inspired by and encouraged by, and as we saw the sign for this house of prayer, Jeff did not even hesitate. Into the parking lot we went, and headed inside. We met a couple of people there, and learned that there is going to be a solemn assembly August 5&6 (the same dates as the conference). While we were in there, we both just felt like this was the whole purpose to this trip, which -- when starting out this morning -- seemed to have so many other purposes.
We had a very encouraging talk with the director and another man, and were jubilant at finally having the divine appointment I had been praying for, and feeling still clearer direction in God's purpose for us here. I finally knew, too, why -- as much as the conference looked amazing and I wanted to see the girls -- I never really felt a clear sense that I was to be there.
We are looking forward to our next visit -- this time on purpose -- to the house of prayer, and we are so excited to see what God does. He is always doing something. Even when we cannot see it, we can know, God is always working out His plan for those whom He has called.
It seems a little crazy that it is nearly three months since we moved, and I am finally feeling plugged in. In the same week we are getting involved in our local church and in a broader Christian ministry; with opportunities for us to use the gifts God has given us abounding in both situations. Praise the Lord! He truly does direct the steps of His children!