Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Part 1 - "You want ME to do WHAT?

I tend to do everything backward, or in an irritating non-linear fashion, so even if it doesn't make sense to you,  this is exactly how I've revisited the dream.  It's more like I'm peeling an onion as I take a BIG step back to the build up to the dream.   I simply call this the Part 1 installment of 

You Want ME to do WHAT? 

Looking back towards the events in spring 1996, I now see how God had been doing the ground work building up to the dream for several years.  In truth, I'd say He spent many years building ME up.

Each event was so subtle and steady, I didn't have a clue God was doing anything more than helping me see Him walking beside me - making me a better person, wife and mother. As God drew me closer and closer, I trusted Him more and more with daily life problems and big life challenges.  

Boy, it felt amazing as the "30 something" angst and stress of carrying everything on my own shoulder lifted ever so slightly, every so often. As one huge life stressor sought to drag me down, I finally broke and gave it to God in its entirety. In time, I learned to pray to Jesus to reconcile me to people important in my life then and now.  More importantly, I allowed Jesus to help me release those negative relationships I needed to cut loose.

Note : I would love to tell you I was putty in God's hands, but in my stubbornness, I'd wait until an emotional and mental breaking point before I'd "let go and let God." I'm STILL working on that.

During that time, my family found a church home and became active members serving and growing in a vital church environment.  Funny thing, most of my service was NOT in children's ministry.  I never helped with VBS, reluctantly taught Sunday School for a year and threw myself into music ministry.

Probably to escape being asked to serve in the Children's department, I joined the chancel choir and eventually was drafted to co-directed a youth drama & music group. Looking back, I wonder WHAT the Minister of Music saw in me other than a background in choral music and a love for young people. The night he asked, I laughed out loud and quickly countered with "You want ME to do WHAT?" 

Later that night, in an attempt to earnestly seek God's guidance I prayed the same question.  However, in the presence of God, I didn't laugh.  I waited for him to agree with me the whole idea was ridiculous. All I sensed was He'd rather I remain open to the challenge.  Instead I attempted to leverage the personal challenge and service opportunity with a condition so ridiculous only God could meet. It seemed a safe, sane and reasonable way to blamelessly beg my way out.

My condition was simple. I would take on the challenge, if God would equip me for the task.

I KNEW I did not possess the talents, skills NOR training to direct music or produce a musical.  My experience in acting was limited to bit roles in High School and a summer as a costumer in the cast of the NC outdoor theatre production, The Lost Colony.  I played a few instruments as poorly as I read music, so directing music was totally out of the question.  I thought it a safe bet to make myself available and willing because God would never meet my conditions.

It would have been helpful, if I'd known the truth of Mark 10:27.  "Everything is Possible with God."  At least now I know by my own experience, if God wants it done, He will equip you for the task.

And in this case, He not only equipped me personally, He sent others to my side to fill in where I was lacking.  For the next two years, our little group produced some very creative musicals despite my involvement. The second years' musical was an original production conceived and written in collaboration with the youth.  A few very talented youth even wrote some of the music. As a result, I learned I could trust God to do the impossible by watching God do what I was sure was improbable.

Little did I know this was all building ME up and preparing me to favorably receive and positively respond to God.  I'm ashamed to admit, I continued to repeat the "You want ME to do WHAT?" question out loud and in prayer. I kept throwing up my impossible conditions like road blocks building right up to, and continuing on after , the day God planted a dream of full-time children's ministry deep in my soul.

Part 2 of "You want ME to do WHAT?" to follow. 

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