I have been keenly aware the last several years at sensing when God is causing shifting in my life, I have blogged about it now and then. The first one I felt was in 2010, leading me to serve in my Church in a new way, which eventually led me to 3 new best friends and a recovery journey.
I strongly sensed 9 months ago that God was doing some Spring cleaning in my life for a purpose, and even 10 months before that I was getting the 'spidey' sense tingle. I rarely know the purpose, I've called it a 'winds of change' because it's nothing more tangible than wind, and yet it's more than just wind, it's His breathe. Breathing life into me where I didn't know I was lacking.
Once the change has happened, I see in hindsight where God was leading me, leading me long before I got that tingling. This time is no different. Now that I see the changes unfolding, I can see God's hand orchestrating this over my entire lifetime! Yes it ties into the shifts I've seen in the last 19 months, but also the shift 4 years ago, and the journey of self-image deliverance, and the journey of infertility & miscarriages, and the journey of stewardship over my finances, and my heart for marriage. Many of those journeys started in childhood.
For such a time as this.
But before I get to the now, I'll backtrack a little, as I haven't shared a lot about my heart for marriage here. I can't actually recall when this passion flared up in me, a heart to see wholeness in marriage. I just remember about 15-18 years ago, I was full of dreams and schemes for entrepreneurship (just like my dad), and I dreamed of this marriage retreat that would offer not just a retreat for couples, but resources, and support, and counselling, all in one. Then, just a few months after marriage, Sean and I were invited by our Pastor to join a marriage seminar he was running for a few weeks in the community, to be other Christian contacts for the participants to get to know other than just the Pastor and his wife. That seminar was awesome, I still use things I learned back then, what a great foundation for marriage, but I thought to myself, why did no one offer some of this before we were married? And I began to see a need for better pre-marital relationship help as well.
But then, all was quiet on that front. For years.
Then God started stirring something old in me. He placed my bestie in my life who came to me for advice a lot and I loved that God used my past to shed light on her present and future, as a woman dating with marriage in mind. Combined with hearing about what Sean was learning in his Counselling courses, a seed was planted. I wanted to become a marriage counselor! I wanted to do what I was doing for my friend every day! And I wanted to help couples who were struggling with finances like I did in a previous relationship - and with all I'd learned especially in the Financial Peace course I took, and how much it helped us. And I wanted to help couples dealing with infertility, and counselling through the grief of miscarriage! I was overwhelmed with this desire. But God said wait. He asked me not to start school until at least September 2014. I was ready to sign up for September 2013! I was obedient but started to sadly believe that it would be 5-10 years (depending on Sean's education track, I also promised him his would stay priority) before I would ever get to be in the purpose I felt God was leading me towards! I was a little disheartened to say the least.
So, back to now.
My first glimpse into understanding this change was January 22nd, and believe me, even with just an inkling I knew THIS is what God had been leading me towards for a long, long time. But, as hard as it was to contain, I couldn't say anything until now because it involves the Recovery ministry at our Church and we wanted to be fair to all our participants and leaders about the evolution of this ministry. It has taken us a few weeks to communicate and plan and get feedback and we finally have something in place so I can finally share!!!!! :)
During an evaluation started in fall, partly with our Director leaving and partly because the Church finally felt they needed to be more supportive and involved in a ministry of healing, we realized that the Celebrate Recovery banner just didn't fit our Church, to place all healing under this model wasn't working effectively and it was limiting. So while we are going to keep some strong foundational pieces, we are going to let go of the name, we are going to become more inclusive by broadening the number of struggles we offer support for specifically. New groups will be offered that won't require a commitment of every week for a whole year, which started to weigh on me over the last year, because I didn't feel I could do that when our children come :)
The most exciting part for me came when our Ministry Pastor laid out just a few of the support groups he would like to offer. Miscarriages. Struggling Marriages. Financial recovery. Inside my head, my jaw dropped. The joy inside me bubbled up I could hardly contain myself. And other ideas I had for groups over the years that just wouldn't have fit in the CR model started flowing through my brain. An Infertility group. A Self-Image circle. A creative healing (through arts) group. It doesn't mean all of them will happen, but I just am over the moon because the sky is the limits!
I just know that somehow our children tie into this purpose yet too. Nothing concrete, simply more winds whispering. Oh, how I love the winds of change! But more than I love sailing on those winds, I love my Anchor. I love knowing THIS was the good God was working out of every pain and passion in my life. This was what the Potter is doing with the clay. I followed His promises, followed every rainbow, and I found my dream.