I Throw Like a Girl

Stand Up & Testify (or Part 3)

Posted by Carol on April 29, 2008

Stand Up & Testify….I love the name of the Carnival that DeeDee is hosting over at her blog, It Coulda Been Worse.  It makes me think of the song by Avalon, “Testify to Love”.

I have already linked twice over at the Carnival and I’m afraid Mr. Linky will kick me off  if I attempt to do so again.  The first link is about my testimony and how I met Jesus on Easter when I was 9 years old.  The second link tells about God calling me to full time Christian service and how that played out through the early years of my marriage and beyond.  This post is the story of what God is doing in my life right now.

First, I want to say that at 43 years old, I can look back at my life and see the hand of God working behind the scenes all along. Even the times when I felt like I was alone, in hind sight I can see He was there.  I could tell so many stories of God working “all things for good” even when we couldn’t see it at the time.

Just to get you up to date, here’s a little background…

After my husband left the ministry, I was very sad and confused.  I was sure that I was called to full time Christian service, but I was married to a man who now wanted no part of it.  My husband got a secular job that moved us from Connecticut, to Colorado, to California, to Florida, to Virginia, and now New Jersey over the course of our 21 years of marriage.  We continued to attend church as a family in each place we moved. Here in NJ, we found a wonderful church that we joined about 8 years ago. 

During those years, our 2 kids attended Sunday school, vacation Bible school, and as they got old enough, Youth Group.  For awhile, my husband was part of a men’s group that met one morning a week for Bible study and prayer, but his increasing work schedule put an end to that.  I got very involved in women’s ministry and eventually was asked to join the board of directors. 

Women’s ministry gave me the opportunity to serve that I had been longing for ever since we left the ministry years before.  It gave me a chance to speak at events at our church and to plan out-reaches and retreats. Women’s ministry gave me a chance to use the gifts God gave me to use in His service. If I couldn’t be in full time service, this sure felt like the next best thing!  I was even asked to be the Director of Women’s Ministry when the previous one moved out of state.  I prayed about it and even though my first instinct would be to accept the position, I heard the still small voice of God telling me “Not now”.  God knew it was not the right time for me to take that on. He had just the right person in mind for that position and she is not only doing a wonderful job, but she is a dear friend of mine. 

God also knew what was going on in the heart of my husband.

A few months later, my husband decided that he no longer wanted to attend our church.  He couldn’t really give me a reason for his feelings.  The best explanation he could give was “I am so done with that church.”  He wanted to switch churches to one that is a little closer to home that had recently gotten a new pastor.  We visited the new church one Sunday and it was fine, but it just wasn’t “home” to me.  My husband remained adamant that he wanted to switch. 

I prayed a lot and cried a lot.  I loved our “old” church and I couldn’t believe that my husband was asking me to leave it.  I loved serving God there and I loved the women I served. Leaving would mean stepping down from the women’s ministry board.  For some reason, this scared me the most.  I think I was afraid that if I were not involved in women’s ministry that God wouldn’t use me anymore.  Ultimately, hubby told me that it was ok if I wanted to stay at our old church, but after much prayer I was sure God was saying “follow your husband”.  It was a hard thing to do, but I can already see how God is using this new church in my husband’s life.  My husband had been hurt enough by “the ministry”, he didn’t need a stubborn wife arguing with him over where to worship God.  Somehow, I don’t think that would help him want to attend church or get closer to Him.  I also feel it is very important to attend church as a family.

As far as God not being able to use me if I were not in women’s ministry?  Silly me.  I know God can use whoever He wants where ever He wants.  He is already opening doors.  I have tentatively been asked to speak at a retreat in 2009 and, as I announced here, I have been asked to join the staff of Transformed by Grace Ministries as the Director of Ministry Advancement.  It will be my job to spread the word about everything TBG offers and to make connections with other churches to offer our services to them.  So, if you want to help me out in my new position, drop me an email and let me know who to contact at your church to talk about setting up an event with TBG!

And as the great theologian Forrest Gump once said, “That’s all I have to say about that!”

Blessings,

Carol

 

 

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3 Responses to “Stand Up & Testify (or Part 3)”

  1. […] see what God has done in my life since then, click here.  Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)100 […]

  2. Beverlydru said

    Wow. I could write a whole post about how I have been blessed by following my husband’s heart, even when it didn’t feel good. It felt right. That’s enough. God does the rest and it is exceeding, abundantly above what we could think or imagine!

  3. Kim said

    Carol, thanks for sharing your heart. I know you will bless many with your story. Or should I say His story in your life? God is so good!

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