Monday, February 3, 2014

Have You Ever Been Surprised by God?

When Your God-Sized Dream Surprises You

When I think God-sized dream, I think God-sized adventure. A life that takes twists and turns you don’t expect, with God at the helm. A life where you are called to something you feel ill-equipped to accomplish. Sometimes the vision is clear. And sometimes the vision, the dream unfolds. You suddenly realize God is leading you on a journey you never could have plannedor imagined.

I grew up one of five kids, the second of four strong, smart, and outgoing sisters.

From as early as I can remember, I was a follower. I didn’t mind. I was actually quite comfortable following lots of confident friends and family members, including my big sister, who had plenty of personality and lots of leadership capability.

She was the ringleader of many activities, especially when it came to organizing her younger sisters for a group performance. On the drive to a family gathering, she’d have us practicing four-part harmony in the station wagon. That way we were prepared for the Big Opportunity. Usually after plenty of food and conversation, when everyone was too tired and too full to move, my big sister would orchestrate a little variety show. She’d put together a set of tunes from Chiquita Banana to Do-Re-Mi. And she’d choreograph our moves to match the songs, conducting the entire production.

The family ooohed and aaaahed, hooted and clapped their approval. Most of the “performers” loved every minute of attention, but I felt awkward, shy, and self-conscious. I didn’t like to be front and center. Well, I guess I liked it…but I wasn’t comfortable with it.

I was a helper, an assistant, not a leader. I worked behind-the-scenes.

So when I grew up and had kids, I wasn’t the one raising my hand to head up the PTA, but I would happily serve on a committee.

Naturally, when I met up with a friend who seemed a natural-born leader to talk about starting a prayer group through Moms In Prayer International, I deferred to her. Clearly, she had the initiative and self-assurance to lead a group of women through an hour of prayer. I could follow along.

But we had a vision that aligned with the vision of Moms In Prayer, to start not just one group of praying moms, but to start a group for each school in our area. That meant eventually I had to lead a group of my own for the specific school my daughter attended.

Lead? Me? This was not my role…and yet, I felt so passionately, my uncertainty about leading quickly faded.

And my vision grew. I imagined every school covered in prayer by a Moms In Prayer group…every school in my town, my county, my state. I had a burning desire to connect other moms who were doing Moms In Prayer so we could help each other spread the word about this life-changing ministry.

When I shared this desire with the friend I had started praying with in the first place, she encouraged me to go for it. She suggested that since I was being called, I should act. I was stunned. I thought for sure that once I shared my desire, she would jump on board and in fact take the lead.

But no…she was not being called. I was…what was I going to do about this?

“Lord…are you talking to me? I mean, you couldn’t be talking to me. I’m not a leader.”

I sought God’s will for a few days. I talked to and prayed with some of the leadership of the ministry. I opened myself up to the possibility that I could actually be called to step up to lead my area of influence, though I was not equipped for this call.

Part of my process of discerning God’s will included looking over the Moms In Prayer Leadership manual. There were a few quotes that gripped my heart. This one in particular felt like God reaching down from heaven and placing a neon sign before me:

“God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.”  (<==== Click to tweet.)

In a matter of days, I felt total assurance. Yes, God was calling me to lead our area in growing this ministry, in gathering leaders in fellowship and for training.

This was more than 20 years ago. God has called me into other positions of leadership since—heading up ministries, bible studies, prayer groups, women’s conferences and retreats.

I never imagined I’d be a leader…but God did! And I wouldn’t trade the adventure for anything.  (<==== Click to tweet.)

Do you feel God tugging you toward something that’s impossible to imagine? Seek Him, pray…He just may be leading you on a God-adventure you don’t want to miss. I’d love to hear about it!

This story first appeared at God-Sized Dreams...


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