The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of emotions in my spiritual and personal walks of life. There has been obstacles and torments but they have been out numbered and over shadowed by the blessings and miracles I’ve seen.
There were times during parts of the summer where church attendance had dwindled down to little more than the board of directors and the leadership team. At one point we went about a month with no kids ministry because no one brought any kids. There were Sundays were I would show up and it felt like a job. I would just be going through the motions, sometimes I wouldn’t even have a kid lesson planned because I assumed there wouldn’t be any kids. I was praying for rain, but not bringing my umbrella.
A few weeks ago God opened the doors and attendance has gone up and continues to do so. We’ve even started having kids classes again. With a renewed focus on prayer and being prepared for what your praying for I’ve seen things changing all around me.
A couple weeks ago a new family showed up to church with three kids. The parents went into service and I did a lesson with the kids. There was coloring, videos, crafts and games. When the parents picked up the kids they asked if they could come back next week, because they want to do this every Sunday. As a youth leader it doesn’t get much better than that.
Truth be told when I showed up that day I didn’t have a lesson planned. We hadn’t had kids the past few weeks, and I had supplies but really wasn’t prepared. It was all God, he brought the family and gave me the lesson and activities one piece at a time. The next week I knew to be prepared.
We had a guest speaker for a healing and prayer service. I again was in with the kids. In the sanctuary everyone was being moved by the spirit and a normal 90 minute service unexpectedly went on for three hours. Not only did no one leave the service before it was finished but the kids had fun in the kids room and didn’t get antsy even when we went way into overtime. To top it off after service almost no one left for another hour as they had fellowship time.
I’ll admit being the youth director can take its toll especially when your pretty much the entire youth team by yourself. I’ll also admit that I didn’t and still don’t see the kids department being my primary position in the church. However after prayer and being prayed over I realized while it may not be my endgame it is where I am needed and where He wants me in this season. He will give me and the church the tools to move forward, but in his time with his plan.
The next day happened to be our bi-weekly Bible study. It was well attended and started around 7pm, the topic of discussion was the joy of giving. It was a lesson I was familiar with but recently experienced first-hand. Not that long ago someone had asked me to lend them some money. It wasn’t a large sum but I was hesitant for a number of reasons including my own financial stability and even originally said no. After a short time and some prayer I was compelled to make sure the person’s need was taken care of. Before the end of that day I received a financial blessing larger than what I put out. God was seeing if I would be obedient to him, and in doing so also made sure I was also taken care of.
The Bible study originally ended around 9pm like usual, but evolved into an all night prayer session. When I left that night it was almost 11:30pm. Through all the prayer I was revitalized and reminded that I was on the right path. I had a lot of things come to me that night during prayer, the acknowledgement of new endings and fresh beginings was one of them. A confirmation of my faith walk and that the direction it is going needs to based on His map not my own. A reminder that moving on is ok and sometimes necessary.
Reflecting back on that 48 hour period I remember 5 different people (and many others with them) praying over me at separate times and even a few days later I’m still processing it all and I’m sure this weekend will be a memory that stays with me for the rest of my life.
I’ll make a confession there has been times in my walk when I’ve struggled to make time for God. Be it Bible reading, prayer or even attending church, but when I do, not only is he always there waiting for me, but he lets me know that I was missed. It’s not just that things go easier and the blessing and trials (the more of one often means more of the other) are in abundance, but knowing he’s with me whether walking beside me or carrying gives me the confidence to keep moving forward.
The world doesn’t stop spinning, and the enemy never stops trying to grab another foothold even when he is silent and we think he is hiding. So we must not back down, we must stay vigilant in prayer. When things are at their worst or at their best it’s not over, the enemy always thinks he has another trick up his sleeve but even in overtime all we have to do is call on Jesus.