Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When It Rains It Pours

Yesterday we experienced something I never dreamed I'd experience outside of the midwestern states in America. A tornado touched down just miles from our home.

Prior to the tornado, normally sunny, southern California was wracked with strong, blowing winds, drenching rainfall, and dark, gray, dusk-like cloud cover. At noon it looked like evening. By 12:30 the torrential rain was dumping down in a side-ways fashion soaking any who dared to run through it.

The kids and I watched local television broadcasts alerting mobile-home residents to find more adequate shelter, which included huddling in a ditch. The kids were worried and I calmly reassured them, "All will be fine."

It rained. It poured. The wind howled. Lightning and thunder shook the sky. And then it cleared. The storm moved on and we were fine.

As the rain poured down yesterday, so did God's answers to months of prayer. They just kept coming down. I was surprised and overwhelmed and couldn't help but see the correlation between the rain and the answered prayer.

I've started a new Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer and I realized last week that in my prayers to God I was praying like Habakkuk did in Habakkuk 1:2

"Oh Lord how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?"
Before our move my prayer was that God would provide opportunities to serve in our new church. I wasn't sure where He would direct my steps, but I was confident He had a plan.
Shortly after arriving here I began searching out where a need might be. I offered to volunteer for summer VBS. From this opportunity I met two WONDERFUL women who desired to have a woman's Bible study and a mentor. We formed a Bible study in the fall and meet weekly.
I still felt there was another opportunity for serving. So I set out again...I volunteered to serve in middle school ministry and marriage mentoring. In both areas it seemed as though I was hitting a wall. I didn't have the right reference letters. Our names and numbers lost in the shuffle. The meeting times didn't match our schedules. Emails never returned.
I felt dejected, rejected, lost in the shuffle, and just lost. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to fit into this new life at a new church in a new town.
And then pieces of a puzzle began to settle in. A friend who happened to move from our same, previous town down here began attending the same church. She is a precious younger mom with two darling children. This last fall she began attending a mom's group at the church.
During the Christmas holiday she asked me if I'd consider being a Mentor Mom at her table. This was not what I had applied for, but was God directing me to something I hadn't yet considered? I told her I'd pray about it and I'd ask my Hub and Mentor to pray along with me.
We prayed for a couple weeks.
I asked God if this is where He wanted me. I listened. What I heard back were affirmations of direction He'd been placing on my heart for the last couple years. Mentorship. Titus 2:3-5.
My Hub gave his blessing and I agreed to email the director of the program and fill out the Leadership Questionnaire.
Yesterday (Stormy Day) was our first Mentor Mom/Table Leader meeting. My heart was bursting with excitement. Sitting at the table with other Mentor Moms I felt such peace. I was greeted and included. I didn't feel like an outsider. I felt like a welcomed sister. After the meeting the Mentor Moms on each side of me asked if Hub and I would consider being Marriage Mentors. I thought, "Didn't I hit a wall with this one?" mind was pondering these mentoring opportunities.
Then when I got home and checked my email, there was a much delayed (2 months) email from the gal in charge of middle school ministry asking if I'd still like to volunteer in middle school and would I come for an interview.
Wow! How crazy is this?? For six months I've been wondering where God would like me to serve and in one day opportunities pour down!
Today as I look back at my attitude and my angst in waiting, I'm reminded that it's ALL in God's Timing! My prayer is that I' come to a place of more trust and faith relying on God for provision rather than on my own understanding. I want to be as Habakkuk at the end of his book:
"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19"

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