LIVING THE ADVENTURE
Led by the Spirit
We always believed that we would go wherever He asked us to go. This resolution in our hearts became an open invitation for His supernatural leading to go start our church in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the midst of a cross-country road trip, we stopped to eat at Shakey’s Pizza in Cheyenne, and on our way out of town, we felt God calling us to lay down the life we had planned for ourselves and plant a church! What?!! That seemed crazy! But, after much discussion, prayer and multiple confirmations of this call we stepped out and took a risk. We packed up and moved from California to Colorado, with nothing but what could fit in a small Uhaul truck, and a big “yes” in our hearts to what we felt God leading us to do.
We were in. There was no turning back now. Those early years of our church were tough, but so sweet all at the same time. From sleeping on the floor of our friends apartment because we didn’t have a place to live, to moving into our first tiny house where we had our first church meeting in the living room, to having church in a park because we didn't have a building….God was so faithful. All along the way, God miraculously provided people, finances, and all we needed to get started. Time after time.
His goodness was so evident in that season. He built a history of faithfulness to me by watching Him come through again and again.
I knew I could trust Him because all my life He had been faithful.
Learning to hear God’s voice
As our church began growing, I felt this impression from God that I was enlisted into his “army”. I was given a word during a ministry time that I needed to be who God called me to be so my husband, Rick, could be who God called him to be. But, who had God called me to be? I quickly found out he called me to be an advocate for kids.
There were three significant moments on my journey of becoming an advocate for kids, that I can look back to and see that God was speaking to me and teaching me to hear his voice.
The first moment was while I was setting up a kid’s room in our church preparing for Sunday. I had a thought come into my mind that I knew was from God. It was a simple question that became a marker in my story forever...
What if the Vineyard were to be known for its love for kids? I thought to myself, that would be really cool, God! Let’s make that happen! But, how?
This question led to my second encounter hearing God. I felt he asked me to step out and invite kids ministry people to a networking conference at our church. I had no idea if anybody would come!! I was feeling super insecure with this idea and not sure if I should take the risk to invest my time, energy, and resources into this. The Holy Spirit came right in the middle of my doubt and spoke this verse to me….
“But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
This was just what my heart needed. I knew it was Him. I knew it was His voice. I ended up leading several Kid*Net conferences over 10 years to help inspire, equip, and resource kids ministry leaders around the country. This became the catalyst to being asked to lead the Kids’ Task Force for the Vineyard Movement – and support and equip Vineyard churches to better serve kids. Wow. I never would have thought that simple question God spoke to my heart on that random day in the middle of mundane tasks would have led me to this!
The third significant moment happened while I was sitting in the back of our church during a training workshop and I heard God say...
“What if you just YES to everything that comes your way regarding kids?”
I thought, “I can do that!” That seemed simple enough. Well, little did I know where my “YES” would take me.
My YES took me to a conference in Singapore where I was introduced to God’s work around the world with kids. It changed my life in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined before being there. Not only was I changed, but Ricks’ heart was ignited while we were in Singapore, for what God wanted to do with the next generation. This conference was the beginning of Rick and me working together more closely not just inside our church, but outside, as well. After we returned from this conference I was asked to be part of the Vineyard USA executive team advocating for kids! One opportunity to say “YES” after another just continued to happen.
This “YES” to His adventure for my life positioned me for one of the greatest places of joy and fulfillment.
Living the adventure
ad·ven·ture (noun) an unusual and exciting, experience or activity…. especially the exploration of unknown territory.
Exploring the unknown. This what it feels like to say “YES” to the adventure of Jesus! Right?! We often have no idea where we are going or how we are going to get there. But, It’s in the open space of the unknown that we find His voice. His heart. And, our identity.
I have slowly grown in this adventure of discovering, and being who God made me to be over the past 36 years of leading our church with Rick. What helped propel my growth was learning to recognize God’s voice…
A lot of times we are being asked to just be available to do those less flashy types of ministry. These could be “God Ideas”. I believe even though they sometimes seem like small things, cumulatively they make up the adventure of our lives. We can’t always see what each “Yes” moment will add up to. However, I believe we will be able to look back and see the faithfulness of God in the greater story of “YES”. We will get to see His Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven. All things worked together for good in this exciting adventure into the unknown territory of the story of our lives. .
Here are a few ways to step out in the adventure of “YES” today:
Ask someone if you can pray for them right in the moment. That might be the most important thing you could do that day - in God’s eyes.
Call or text someone who comes to my mind - just to encourage them
Ask God to order your day and keep your eyes open to opportunities to say “YES”!
TRY PRAYING// “GOD, I LOVE YOUR VOICE. I WANT TO HEAR MORE OF IT THAN I DID YESTERDAY. GIVE ME COURAGE TO SAY “YES” TO YOU, WHATEVER IT TAKES”
May you have the courage to take another step today into the open space of His great adventure for your life.