Of all the articles that I have written thus far, this one is the most sensitive to me. I feel this way because this is my personal testimony of my initial call for ministry service from God. Of all the pictures I have shared on my post, this one depicts me the most at that time. I love this picture because four years ago I was this woman. I lived in a broken down home that was not my own, but it was the place that God led me, to take His yoke upon me and learn from him (Matt. 11:29). I lived in this place, but I did not own it nor was my name on a lease or contract. I was a temporary resident, living like a squatter. I never could have imaged that I would ever living in a place like this. I did come from a modest and humble beginning. I had a good job, I previously owned a home, a car, stock options, health insurance, etc., but when God had need of me, my life changed.
My new life started with me spending hours a day reading my Bible, seeking and searching, to know more about God. God chose this place as my training ground. Little did I know that this was where I would learn how to serve Him. My story reminds me of a few Bible stories that tell of how God called certain men out of their regular lives to serve Him. I’ll give you a few examples to help you understand the point that I’m making. Abram (Abraham) was told to leave his country and his family to go to a place he knew not of (Gen. 12:1). Joseph was cast into a pit, taken from his family, and was sold as a slave. He learned to be a humble servant and in spite of his difficulties he remained faithful to God. Eventually, this lead to Joseph becoming governor of the land (Gen. 37:23-30) . Moses’ life was also turned upside down. He was born a Hebrew, but was bought up as an Egyptian. He lived in the palace and had the best training; only to become a murderer and a fugitive because of a moment of rage. If you read Moses’ story you will see that he was driven from the palace into the wilderness in preparation to lead God’s people (Ex. 2). And let us not forget Noah. He was called to preach repentance and to build an ark in preparation for a flood that no one believed was coming (Gen. 6:13-14). These are the ways of God. He prepares you by taking away all of your preconceived notions of what you believe life is all about and He teaches you what the true value of life really consist of. He teaches you by Biblical examples of things that are temporal verse the eternal. Only eternity is forever.
As I was spending my days in the presence of God, I learned of His ways. I learned to love, honor and respect Him, not as an invisible God, but as the Living God. Elohim, the All-Mighty, All-Sufficient Eternal One. I learned that He is more real than you and I. He spiritually manifested Himself and I saw God in the image of perfection through His love. I learned what my relationship to Him was about as a follower of Jesus Christ. I learn to depend on Him for everything, including having a roof over my head. Previously, I owned a home. I sold my home a few years prior to coming to live in this place. (Believe me this is another story, perhaps I’ll share that at a later date, of how my move came about.) Anyway, my home sold in 4 days; it was listed on a Thursday and on the following Monday it was sold. God took care of every detail of this operation.
At a later date, in preparation for the ministry, I was led to different market places to witness about the love of God . I went to the park, I walked through the neighborhood, some times traveling by bus and on trains, wherever the Spirit led me I went. I told people of God’s goodness, I spoke about the love of Jesus and how He gave His life on the cross. I talked about salvation and I extended the invitation. I also kept my regular church attendance on Sunday mornings. I continued serving on the food pantry ministry of my church. I attended the women’s ministry meetings, and visited nursing home as assigned by my church’s assignment duties. During the holiday seasons I would volunteer to serve family dinners before or after church to clergy, staff, members and guest. Some members of my family knew of my situation, but my mother did not understand why I was putting myself through this. But I had to, it was all a part of God’s plan for the ministry that He assigned me. I’m not saying that it was easy, it was difficult, painful, and at times I felt broken. It was during these times that I learned some of the great mysteries of God.
This is when my faith in God increased. It was in this place where I learn the cold hearts of my neighbors, who did not want me living near them because their property value was depreciating. I kept praying for them and they kept trying to drive me out. But they couldn’t because my stay was ordained by God. When God opens a door no man can close it. On several occasions my neighbor would pull pranks to try to make me leave. The police even stop by a few times to see who was living in the house. I was so afraid to answer the door, thinking the day had come that I would be asked to leave. Would I be without a roof over my head? Would I be outside in the rain or snow, or at a homeless shelter? But each time the police came, after talking with me they would leave and I was allowed to stay. It was the strangest thing ever. It was in situations like this that I learned that God was in every detail of my life. It would have been nice if He would have shared this part of His plan with me, but then I would not have learned what walking by faith really meant. Each time my faith grew stronger. I knew that God was taking care of me. I knew that God had a better plan for me ahead. I had to endure to the next level. “That’s when I learned to dance in the midst of my troubles. Not only did I dance, but I also sang!”
All of this has prepared me for ministry today. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I’m still standing. I’m stronger and I’m no longer afraid. I know that God is with me forever and always. This lesson has taught me to trust God in everything that I do. He is the final authority in every situation. I will share the “in between” details of this story with you at a later date, but for now, thank you for reading one of the most difficult testimonies that I’ve ever given. God bless you.
Much love and many blessings,