“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” (Psalm 103:1-4)
As this Easter weekend approached, something seemed to be missing within: a desire to attend church services. For the first time since I recommitted my life to Christ, I felt as though there was more God desired from me than to follow tradition. I skipped all the services leading up to this Resurrection Sunday and was simply not feeling led to go, but had every intention of attending a service, today. However, God had other plans; I believe He was instilling these plans into my spirit over the course of this past week. His desire was for this year be an Easter spent being used, not sitting in a pew.
Beginning on Wednesday night God moved me in a clear direction; a direction I had approached the throne for that very morning. Having been convicted I knew I must no longer put on hold the ministry the Lord Jesus desires to purpose me for, beyond writing. Being the church out in the world in a way that moves me way beyond my comfort and safety zone. I find myself trepidatious yet excited at once! I stayed up later than usual that night working on part of the marketing preparation; a portion I’d tried to hire two separate people to design but neither have taken it seriously. I believe He wants me to be the one to design things in order to stay completely connected to His vision for the ministry.
Friday, the Lord used my being off work to his advantage by setting up phone calls with people He desired I connect with and minister to. All time spent for Him was very fruitful. A recent connection made with a sister in Christ and fellow blogger, via social media, was full of discovery and encouragement; after talking for nearly two hours, we both declared God definitely has a greater purpose for our meeting than originally thought. One of three calls was to a dear friend…we laughed, cried, shared but in the end, God used me to minister to her heart and pray over her life and that of her family.
Saturday, despite being tired I knew the Lord had something he wanted me to say so spent time actually hand-writing a blog post; later in the day, more work on ministry items took me late into the night. This Easter morning, I was awakened much earlier than I needed to be by my poor ailing dog; however, God knew what was about to occur, and a reason I was not to attend church this Easter: He used me to usher peace into the apartment next door. The couple who resides there argue a lot and loudly. This morning was no exception and they had their kitchen window open, near my bedroom. I wrestled with saying anything. This was just not how I wanted to be awoken nor did anyone else deserve to bear witness to this couple’s issues.
I went to my window and knew they would hear me if I yelled out to them. I honestly tried not to sound annoyed but it may not have worked. haha
I said, “Can you please keep it down, people are trying to sleep.” The man yelled back some not nice things and I wasn’t going to be spoken to like that, so said, “Would you rather I call the police?” He is a real lovely guy…his response,’ You do what you have to do’. That told me he’d been there before and it didn’t matter if he went back. (To share, it’s obvious to everyone around here he is addicted to alcohol and that’s what was speaking to me, not the guy himself.)
Hearing their argument get louder, I sat still and waited. The next thing I heard coming calmly from my mouth was, “It’s a peaceful Easter morning…please be quiet.” Their voices immediately shut off at the faucet. Not another word after that from what I could hear. Then the Lord began to share with me that he intends to use me in the lives of these people, through my witness. Well…I can’t really say no. Throughout the day He continued to show me ways I can share love with this family that may lead them to know Jesus. Knowing they have small children who are normally present when the arguing ensues simply breaks my heart! Plus, after walking out of my abusive marriage, the absolute last thing I need or want to be subjected to is this type of atmosphere!
After that, I felt compelled to type up and post an Easter themed poem “Can you…” The Holy Spirit began flowing the poem through me on Friday, then kept editing and adding to it. I didn’t expect it to continue to flow like a river this morning. Writing took up quite a bit of my morning and before I knew it, it was after noon and the plan was to have brunch with my mom and then put together some tables she purchased since she is unable at present (she had an accident at work earlier in the week). This took a lot longer than expected. As I carried out the task, I felt as though the Lord had other things he wanted me to accomplish for him today. Or, perhaps I wasn’t actually supposed to come to her rescue. (Pretty sure it’s the latter.)
I can honestly say that as I worshipped the Lord at home this morning, tears of gratitude fell down my cheeks and my heart swelled with deep love and desire for Him. A love I needed to know was truly still in there. Not that I doubt Him, nor am I less passionate about my Savior…it has simply been a tough year thus far – I needed to feel something more than what I have been. Easter morning, this year, was between me and my Savior alone. I didn’t need a sermon…I know how that story ends. Nor did I need the pastor telling me to be glad and rejoice, I do that daily. All I needed, wanted, was my Jesus and he knew it! For this…for how well God understands his little girl…I am most appreciative!
Easter, this year, was all about the Great Commission; Jesus pushed me further out the door of normal life, out of the church pew, into the mission field to share the Good News! Hallelujah!