Friday, 5 April 2013
May 2004... 22 years of age, married for 2 years, mummy of a 16month old, half way through my pregnancy with baby number two.
We had just moved to Bracknell and had the scary job of joining a new church...despite asking Jesus into my life at the young age of 16, my journey as a Christian really began after the birth of our eldest son, so I was quite new in my faith, believe it or not, a little shy around new people and very overwhelmed and in awe when we walked into Bracknell Family Church and it was like no other church I'd been to.
We became members after a few months of attendance, impressed by what we experienced and eager to see our family grow amongst other local Christian families....but the feeling of being overwhelmed didn't leave me for a while. My desire was for God to use me....use me for His purpose....use me in the life of others....use me to glorify His name....but my insecurities and past hounded me like a flea.
"God won't ever use me here," I remember saying to my husband..."I'm not as good as these people!"
Robert has always been my biggest re-assurer and he didn't fail me that day, encouraging me to rest in knowing when the time was right, God would open the right doors for me....it wasn't about being as good as others, it was about His giftings in me, His love for me and His plan for me.
"Stace, just appreciate the small platform He gives you...and watch it expand as you stay obedient and humble in your serving!" Wise words Robo!
Shortly after, I joined the parent and toddler group and slowly gained the confidence in volunteering myself for little jobs...a year later I gained the confidence to sign up and volunteer to serve in the 5-11's age group of children's ministry and a little while after that I joined the core team for the toddler group. Never over trying, just resting in what God could and would do.
Another year later, my husband and I became course leaders for a ministry called Freedom in Christ...something we still have the privilege of leading 6 years down the line...
Over the years I have been so blessed to gain many many amazing friends in my church family. We have a few more children in our family now (five in total).... The youngest four all born into what is now known as the Kerith Centre, all five had their thanksgiving services at our church and our eldest two sons (now 8 and 10) have both been baptised there...as were both Robert and I!
I feel like we have grown in so many ways during our time at Kerith...as individuals, as a family, as followers of Jesus, in our ministry lives....
And every day I am humbled that God has taken that shy, vulnerable 22 year old and established her through His love and grace into a semi confident 31 year old wife, mother, friend, daughter, leader and encourager to others....I have a lot to learn, a lot to experience and a lot to be developed further in me, but I embrace where I am now...think back to 9 years ago and smile with extreme gratitude.
And the doors just keep opening....just this past week I have accepted stepping up into a brand new role within church that will develop our children's ministry further, and take it to the next level of where God wants it to be. I am humbled...excited...emotional...expectant...buzzing with what is in store. Moving onto and into the next phase of leadership in my ministry world...serving God, children and their families more head on...I know the enemy will come and try to do his stuff to bring us down, but I'm ready for the battle and drawing closer to God each day...
I don't share this post to be boastful or proud!
I share this post because every day I get emotional at the fact God does want to use me in His Kingdom.... I never take it for granted that God has made me who I am today, that through Jesus I am made new, that He knows everything about me and that hasn't scared Him off...
God feels this way about you too.
Don't let the lie rest that God doesn't have a plan for you.
Don't believe the voice that tells you you're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or worthy enough of making a difference...
God takes the messy and broken and makes it alive and fresh in a way only He wants to use it.
He's a wise old cracker and never gives up on us...He continues to mould us, grow us, develop us and love us every day...even if we don't realise it at the time.
So today...appreciate your platform....rest in God opening the right doors at the right time...and just stay being obedient to Him in the small ways you can.
I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that I'm eager to live it, taste it and experience it...appreciating the gift of this life...however tiring it feels at times....thankful for His grace and mercy in me....plain old me....what an amazing God!
Be Blessed :-)