Sunday, August 1, 2010


(This is the speech I gave in church this morning.  I will definitely miss my Trinity friends and never forget you.  We will be back to visit!)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11

As you know, it has been a very interesting year for me.  4 months ago I would have laughed if you told me I was going to quit my job and move back home.  It wasn’t in my plan.  I was going to stay married forever.  I took my vows very seriously.  But as some of you know, that relationship was not a healthy one.  It got increasingly more painful to pray for a marriage that was trying to pull me away from my faith, not help me to grow in it.  I realized that I was becoming less Christ-like the more I tried to fight it.  It was a difficult decision and not one that I asked for. 

I want to thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support that we’ve received over the years, but especially during this one.  I’ve had people come up to me out of the blue and tell me “something told me to pray for you this week.”  I don’t know how you knew what I was going through or if it even mattered  if you did.  You knew I was hurting and God directed you to reach out to me.  That’s pretty incredible.  Some of you even shared your own personal journeys with me.  Those have helped me come to terms with my situation and come closer to seeing His plan for me. 

Trinity is blessed with examples of what a Christian family should be like.  I want to thank you for giving us models to look up to.  You’ve shown me and my children what it means to be a Christian family.  What a father looks like when he is walking with Christ and leading his family in a Christian way whether it’s serving the church as an usher, leading a water balloon fight during VBS, or even dressing up as Superman.  How a mother should act.  Sometimes with a steel-clad planner, some just winging it like me, but all with complete acceptance and always ready to volunteer their time or bake some delicious Southern cooking at the drop of a hat.  These families just don’t attend church on Sunday.  They participate as a family, walking their walk together and supporting each other in that walk.

I can’t tell you what that has meant to me never having known that as a child.  I was brought up as a Christian, but it was more ritualistic than anything else.  I didn’t know what it meant to be saved or ever have anyone come up to me and ask me if I wanted a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It was actually my grandmother’s never-ending faith that led me to be saved.  And I didn’t really understand what an incredible gift I had received until much later. 

Since coming to Trinity, I have had so many opportunities to strengthen and fortify my faith and belief.  I’m not a natural leader.  Hard to believe but it’s true.  I’m more of a reluctant “OK, since no one else will do it and you really need someone” kind of person.  So it was that I became an Awana leader and later the preschool choir teacher and VBS teacher.  I have to admit that I learned more from the children than I ever could have taught them.  Their innocence and complete trust and faith in God is something that you could never teach an adult.   Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their lives if only for a brief time and also for those who have taken my children under their wings. 

Some of you are quite worried for me as I set out on this new adventure, but don’t be.   God has a plan for me.   As Robin helped us to learn at church camp "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9.  Well, I certainly don’t know what his plan is.  I’m taking a huge leap of faith knowing that God will catch me and even walk with me on the journey.  I don’t know where I’ll be working or when I’ll get a job.  I do know where I’ll be living temporarily so we won’t be out on the streets.  And I have enough money to carry us for a while, so we won’t be starving.  

But I’ve left the security of a home and career that I’ve worked all my life to achieve.  And I can’t explain how I know this, but I know that God has something so much bigger and more powerful waiting for me.  It was suggested to me recently that maybe I’m meant to go home so I could share my faith and lead someone further in their walk.  At first I laughed at such a concept.  I mean, me going and teaching them what it means to know Jesus?  But church camp also taught me that Jesus can use ANYONE to lead someone to him, so maybe there’s some logic to it.

He also has a timetable in which all of these plans will manifest in my life.  I need to learn patience and this is not a virtue I was endowed with much of.  Another verse that has been given to me so many times this year is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5).  He has directed me on this new path and I am placing my trust in him completely.   Hard to do when you have very little other than a needle on a compass showing the direction.  But Paul said “we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7).   

So even though I can’t see the signs he’s given yet, I must go forward.  And so I take the first step of my journey.  Know that I take with me so much more than I ever could give you.  The countless memories we’ve been so blessed to make over the past five years here; friendships that will last a lifetime, even across the miles.  A faith that will carry us on our new journey and beyond.  All I ask is for your prayers that my eyes stay open to his direction and my faith gives me the courage to stay on the path he has meant for me.   

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Michele! I met you over at Teresa Lockhart's blog. I just want to encourage you today. I can only imagine how excruciating your decision was - even more so when it involves children! I will pray for you, friend, that you'll continue in confidence on your journey and look forward to all that our Lord has in store for you, rarely looking back. Bless you and your babies!