I was honored to be the guest for an online video blog today with a dear friend in ministry, Michelle Sarabia. Michelle’s ministry slogan is,“Beyond Brave” and she asked me to talk about VMM/Good Deeds International, sharing a little bit about my journey in “bravely” stepping out into this new adventure with God. I knew this would be the general discussion topic and I had my usual talking points ready but the Holy Spirit pointed out 2 specific things from my journey that I had not planned on sharing. I thought I would share ONE of them in this blog and hopefully encourage someone today who may be dragging your feet or ignoring the nudge of the Holy Spirit, gripped by fear of the unknown or other things on your long list of objections to God.
A MOUNTAIN in the way:
In 2008 I found myself stuck. Stuhh-UCK. I had been involved in music ministry all of my life and owned a successful marketing/merchandising company that allowed me to have a steady income while still working as a professional singer & volunteering in the music ministry at my local church. I was a homeowner, owned a vehicle and even somewhat of a landlord with renters living in my home. I was starting to feel change coming and that God was calling me back into what we traditionally refer to as “full-time ministry” but I couldn’t see HOW that was going to happen.
The truth was that things in the US economy were changing and my once successful marketing business was disappearing rapidly (most of my clients were in the music industry & closed/changed/disbanded as artists). The other truth was that I didn’t actually own anything. I had credit card debt from trying to keep my business afloat in the declining economy AND my home & vehicle were fully mortgaged/financed. Any time I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me in the area of entering full-time ministry again, I immediately had a list of reasons why that wouldn’t work and lack of money was always at the top of that list.
- Why would people invite me to sing/minister if I don’t have my own music to sing?
- I needed to record a new solo project: But God, I don’t have money for that!
- How will I pay my bills? I can’t just stop what I’m doing to start something with NO assured income! (which was a crazy argument because I was already dealing with loss of income but fooling myself by leaning on more and more debt.)
- Isn’t that a little prideful or self-centered to think people want to hear me sing or listen to what I have to say? No one is knocking on my door asking me to do this (but, you, God).
- I’m not skinny, God. Have you noticed? “People listen with their eyes.” No one is going to want to HEAR me because (in my head) they don’t want to SEE me.
- I am a woman. Most pastors are men and have varying views on women on the platform or behind a pulpit. Will I be accepted?
These are just a few of the objections I had for God.
I won’t drag this story out for you but I will say that eventually I stopped listing my objections and reasons why God couldn’t work it out for me and I just said, “YES” to God. In all my attempts to make life work, I had made poor choices and tried to “help God” by doing whatever it took to pay bills each month… not truly giving Him room to do it HIS way. I prayed, cried, laid in the floor, moaned, groaned, ugly-cried, praised, worshiped, studied the Word and kept that pattern on repeat. I made a list of ALL my debt (mortgage included) and it was about $275,000. I gave that MOUNTAIN to God and TRULY took my hands off of it. If this debt was going to be removed, I had to speak to it (as the Word says in Matthew 17:20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”) and then let God work out the details.
It didn’t happen how I thought it would. The things I had held on to so tightly, thinking I could work it out eventually, were slowly lifted out of my hands. My hands were no longer clasped but stretched out with palms up and open. God took EVERYTHING I gave him. I handed that list of debt to Him and He took it. It was often painful but I knew it was temporary pain for greater gain.
I did the same thing with the rest of my list of objections. Palms open…. He took the objections away and began to replace them with passion & vision. It didn’t take long for me to see changes…. in ME! I took my hands off the details and the timeline and God miraculously delivered me from the MOUNTAIN that was in my way.
Today, I am debt-free, praise God! All that I have is a gift from God. If there’s no money in the bank, then no money is spent (no credit cards!) I am still learning to submit my own desires & natural concerns to the faithful, loving Father who has cared for me so well, all these many years. It’s a daily decision to walk by faith and not by sight. Now, I train myself to speak of the goodness & greatness of God and not the largeness of my need. He is more than enough!
I started making this little statement several years back:“I am fully, wholely, completely, utterly dependent & leaning on God and Him alone.”
It’s still true today.
I speak to the mountain…because nothing is impossible with God.