Friday, October 17, 2014

Called By Love ~> Revealing A New Direction In Life's Journey :-)

Life is like a river & at this moment in time… I'm bravely riding the rapids.

For years I've sensed God's Call on my life & yet… the river seemed forever littered with obstacles & debris. Whirlpools, sinkholes, logjams, stagnation & shallows to name a few… the obstacles of life's journey towards answering His Call continuously challenged every ability to stay afloat, not to mention futile gasps required just to breathe… Until Now

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Without telling a soul I'd long ago resolved time and again to simply trust God's call to lead me along the journey & that if His call was for real… that somehow someway He'd lead me in His way. These past couple years the journey for the most part has proved to be a serene beauty to behold. Every bend of the river revealed scenes my heart would treasure forever. Life for once was slipping by very enjoyably… for the most part. And yet His voice, His call… forever whispering reminders of dreams & visions He's filled my inner spirit with time and time again… hopes that caused my flesh to quiver in fear and my mind to wrestle through sleepless nights daring to trust while wrestling in prayer over obstacles that never would clear.

On July 10th of this year Danny & I had been talking about plans & what we were to do… but our conversation just kept going no where. Frustrated with my photography career or the lack thereof & wondering even if it did take off whether or not I'd be able to handle holding a camera up for the long grueling hours required during a wedding shoot (due to ongoing neck problems)… I decided to go for a prayer walk & give it all to God.

As I walked along a fence row overgrown with trees, praying about numerous things... I came upon this perfect little heart shape in the trunk of one old dead tree... And right then in that moment… Love Called! I listened as Holy Spirit gently whispered it was about time… and seeds of fear and doubt quickly attacked my mind. You see, I really didn't think there was anyway possible that Danny would ever agree to me answering God's call. Quickly I took those thoughts captive and challenged God by giving even those to Him… I told Him if it was according to His will, than I trusted He'd handle Danny's heart as well and that I wouldn't even ask Danny but would rather wait for God to move his heart and voice into agreement.

The following is an embedded post I shared the following day on facebook along with a quick iPhone shot of the heart. As you can read in the post by clicking 'See More' I had lots I wanted to share… but couldn't yet.

What I wanted to share was that: After snapping that photo I'd ran all the way back to the RV excited to show Danny the photo but when I got there he was as serious as stone. I sat down beside him & he asked me, "Do you think maybe the reason your necks still hurting is because maybe God's got a different plan & maybe just maybe He doesn't want you doing photography full-time?" With tears beginning to stream down my face I agreed & listened as Danny asked me what I really wanted to do. My mind began to race, God that wasn't the deal… Danny has to voice approval first. And Danny asked again, "What do you really want to do?"

Sobbing I blurted out that the only thing besides photography that I've ever wanted to do more than anything was to study the Bible & share God's love with others but that that wasn't even a possibility. Danny replied, "Why not?" My mouth gaped open in frustration and I shouted really… easy for you to say. You know it would have been so easy if God would have just created me a man but He didn't and everywhere I turn something has always come against it. Besides as a women I could never make a living doing just that. Again Danny said, "Why not? Haven't you been listening to Pastor's sermons here lately? If that's what you believe your meant to do, then do it. Just because your a women is no excuse." Hmmmmm… my mind raced… Could it be that my husband was for this? Already Lord? That quickly? Danny I asked… are you serious, I mean really… I didn't think you'd ever agree to me doing something like this… Full-time? With a nervous smile he replied something along the lines of, "I've known this all along." :-)

For the first time ever it seemed as if every obstacle &/or excuse was melting away… and I had my husbands full encouragement & support to answer God's call on my life. But for what exactly? And Now what…?… I felt strongly that I needed to talk to Pastor Glen but ugghhhh… my stomach was in knots & my flesh feared additional obstacles. Was I crazy? Crazy or not, I was and am fully determined to press on. But Lord I cried out, I know you led us to this church but Lord it's an Assembly of God church & I don't know anything really about their beliefs and Lord I still belong to a baptist church even though I don't fully agree with their doctrine, and now what Lord… and on and on my mind and my prayers raced. Finally at 3 am on July 14th I got up the nerve to email Pastor Glenn of Pittsfield Assembly & poured out my heart, and fears & The Call from God & lack of proper training, etc. In short Pastor Glenn graciously replied:

Please know that I do not think you are crazy at all.
It would be a pleasure to discuss this further with you.

A couple weeks later I met with Pastor Glen & one of his recommendations was that I pray about enrolling in ISOM - Illinois School Of Ministry. So after praying with Danny that's exactly what I did. I cannot begin to list all the ways in which God has opened doors these past few months but I'm riding the river rapids with a smile of adventurous excitement that can't be washed away. Even our kids who we thought might balk slightly about the news have been nothing short of encouraging in this new adventure God is leading us in.

I'm now in my 2nd month of ISOM classes. This month were studying about the "Assemblies of God - History, Missions, and Governance" and the knowledge I'm gleaning is absolutely incredible. As I studied the history & read testimonies of how God has worked mightily throughout the formation of the Assembly's history, I'm amazed at how their history seems to correlate so much with my own spiritual journey thus far in life. As part of the course we've learned about "The Assembly Of God's 16 Fundamental Truths" & all I can think to say in this moment is Praise Jesus & Thank You Spirit Of God for leading me. Many ask me… "So what exactly will you be doing?" That indeed is yet to be revealed in all it's fullness… but by His grace I will follow. Truly I can't begin to express just how grateful my heart is.

I can hardly wait to update you next time… my heart is overflowing with so much I'd like to share. For now, please be in prayer for us as we're considering selling 'Big Bear' our RV. With both our mom's health being what it is & my being enrolled in ISOM for at least the next couple years… well were just not sure it's wise or fair to the RV to keep her parked for so long. As soon as we have a decision well let you know. I ask your forgiveness if this post is loaded with typos as Danny usually proofreads for me but there's no time as we're preparing to head to ISOM classes this very moment. Until Next Time, I leave you with the challenge to 'listen' to His voice and the following photo:

His Word Is In My Heart Like A Fire!

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Wishing You Love, Hugs & Laughter In Abundance,
Cindy Colbert ~ Co-Bear Photography
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