Well, at least that is my experience.
Recently, I've been posting on my revisit to God's dream for my life as a Kidmin. I must admit I've been so introverted and "me" focused, its shameful. It is also unnatural for I am a true extrovert who gains strength and energy from contact with others. Seriously, I should be kicked out of the Myers-Briggs ENFJ club for hiding from my true nature! No wonder God decided to draw my focus outside myself by surrounding, connecting and reconnecting me to others in Kidmin by using them to illuminate Romans 8:28.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
Here are those recent God sightings swirling around me.
- God replaced the Kidmin at my home church with the young lady who was my very first Children's Ministry assistant. Her tender heart for God's children was her call, but the world stomped it flat and she resigned a year later. Thankfully, she continued to volunteer for years and God finally drew her back into Kidmin fifteen years later. The day I found out she walked into the pharmacy where my husband was filling in for the day. Imagine the God sightings all around when together they text me to share about her joyful return to her ministry dream job. Imagine my joy, and their shock, when I text back I already knew and had been praying for her all day. Yes, this was evidence that being stomped flat by the world can't counter the"God causes everything" in the"God causes everything to work together" part of Roman's 8:28
- God moves a former colleague into a staff position at a church I actually considered serving. This fellow servant and I do not play well together. We both love God, but God knows what's good for us and it's NOT working together. (Oh come on! Do not judge me. I'm sure you have a person like that in your ministry life, maybe like me, more than one.) The God sighting was I was not sure why I was not interested in that position, nor they interested in me, but this placement made it perfectly clear. Relieved God prevented another ministry train wreck, I celebrated God's "No!" with abandon. It illuminated the "for the good of those who love God" can be to circumvent incompatibility for our own good.
- God called a real long shot into the Children's ministry position I resigned a year ago. This recent seminary grad and former ministry volunteer I worked closely with served on the search committee for months before realizing God was calling him to fill the Children's pastor's position himself. I heard him say more than once, he wasn't gifted to work with kids, so no one was more surprised to be called into Kidmin than he was. I am pretty sure this gentle, humble man knew God would provide all kinds of unsolicited and unexpected gifts and talents in children's ministry to fulfill the calling or he wouldn't have answered the call. It illuminated, in rare form I might add, the "according to his purpose" in "called according to his purpose for them" can be evident in unexpected gifts and talents to serve in unsolicited surprising roles.
- This year God's shown His ONE universal mission and commission. Matthew 28:19-20, "...go and make disciples of all the nations..." He says GO which is probably going to involve lots of leaving. It is hard to say good bye to people you worked with side-by-side with in joy, but in taking Romans 8:28 to heart, I've embraced a truth that bolsters my faith in any instance of separation - good or sad. I find myself praying and celebrating those I've left and looking forward to embracing those I've yet to meet. This year of free fallin' illuminated the "work together" part anew showing all things DO work together, yet not all of us are meant to work together, physically side by side, for ever. "Go" means you'll be asked to leave those you love.
- And the concentric circles of the above God sightings of scripture illumination brings me full circle. "And we know God causes" part of Romans 8:28 is clear as day. Every bit of this I "KNOW God causes"! Two days ago, He caused a colleague I sat beside during a Kidmin 2012 Preconference workshop to email me right out of the blue. It had ALL the markings of a be"cause" of God sighting. God caused a kindred spirit bond as she quoted my favorite blessing from Ephesians. Only God knew which of His words were needed. Then, much to my delight she poured out her praises for all God did in her during her conference experience and in her ministry focus as she returned home. My favorite part of all was when she took her “Here Alone” button off her lanyard as a symbolic gesture of not feeling alone in the ministry anymore. I couldn't write a better endorsement! And get this, she didn't know I was blogging about my conference experience. She just saw my face in Children's Ministry Magazine and felt compelled to contact me. Folks, she didn't even know I have a blog, but...
"... we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28