I passed! It wasn’t an easy test … And I did some repeats over the past few months … And finally I PASSED! What an amazing feeling! It wasn’t a test on paper. I didn’t get a grade in the mail. But I knew the moment I passed! And that moment was a moment of humility and thankfulness! What did I pass you ask? Well that is a story … A story of wrongs done, pain inflicted, a time of woundedness. It is my story. Come along with me … on my journey.
In the Fall of 2011 we were informed that at the end of the year we would no longer be needed in our positions with never any clear reason given. We both worked for the same employer…So that meant we were both unemployed. It was a non-profit so that meant no unemployment benefits. We had made the move from Toledo, Ohio to Chicago, IL in August of 2009. We weren’t looking to make a move. We both had good, secure jobs where we were greatly loved. We were situated in a great location to all of our children. We were pastoring a small church and my husband was a professor for a seminary. We REALLY felt this move was a God move to a position He created for us. We sold our home, we gave away our horses, we left our jobs … To follow the dream.
Sometimes following dreams end up much different than we anticipate … As this one did.
At the end of last year we found ourselves unemployed and facing a world that has been unfriendly to people our age. The dream seemed to be crushed. We were wounded, confused, lost…
One thing I can say is that God never left our side over this past year. He has been faithful. He has been Jehovah Jireh. He has given us the power to forgive.
As the Thanksgiving season approached I found myself thinking of all the people and events and things I have to be grateful for (so,so much to be thankful for) and what I could share during this season of thanks. And the thing spilled out that so surprised me was when I realized that I was actually thankful for the closed doors.
Thankful for closed doors … Sounds kinda crazy, huh? See the door closed to the very reason we believed we were sent to Chicago … The door closed to a regular income … The door closed to multiple places we tried to go. And I realized that I had passed the test when I came to the place where I was truly thankful for those closed doors.
By being thankful for closed doors I was trusting that God was controlling my life and I was trusting in His good plan for me. Knowing that the world and the church may think I’m too old … But knowing God has been seasoning me for such a time as this. I found myself thankful for the closed doors.
Thankful because closed doors means there will be open doors. Thankful because the closed doors gave us new insight into the dream. Thankful for the growth I’ve experienced because of the closed doors. Thankful for the people He has connected us with on the other side of the closed doors. Thankful for His provision while the doors were closed. Thankful for God words and God encounters during our time of closed doors. Thankful for where we find ourselves today and where we are headed (what we can see and what we can’t see).
So, yes, I am very thankful for closed doors … Grateful…so VERY grateful that I finally passed the test… I am a richer and better person because of all that I’ve journeyed through over the past year of closed doors.
I’ve felt much like Joseph over these months…And I’m believing that like Joseph that all that has transpired has been preparation for where He is taking us and what He knows and has planned. One of the words we received was “Converge”. That everything we have done and experienced up to this point are converging to catapult us into the most significant phase of our ministry. And that God is bringing others with all of their experiences who will also converge with Oasis. Oasis will go forth to the north, south, east and west … To every continent.
So now I look with much excitement and anticipation to what God has called us to and for the people He is calling to join the vision. I would have NEVER seen us here … BUT God. He has called us to be His Oasis in the world. It has been amazing as He has confirmed it over and over again.
So we press on with the dream and the vision. It is much more than we thought. A dream to empower God’s people to BE His Church … To BE His Oasis in our community … in the world. Strong people … Strong families … Strong Communities effecting change in our world.
Thank you Jesus for journeying with me … For never giving up on me passing the test! I am so blessed to get to live this dream!
Oasis – Intimate Worship…Pure Word…Real Relationships! It is here!