It is amazing how quickly time passes when you are working within your gifting. Yesterday, marked one year since I began working at Genesis Youth, and I cannot believe it has only been one year! God has shown me so much and has done things through me, which have blown my mind. They have transformed my way of thinking and doing ministry-even life.
In 2014 I resigned from my job at a church. It had been a hard year, and being the emotionally charged individual I am, I made the decision to move on and to never be involved in ministry again. I applied to be an au pair, back my bags, and to escape to another life. However, here’s thing thing—every time I make plans, and I mean EVERY TIME, God steps in, at the last possible hour, and flips my plans on their heads.
I sent in my applications, worked my last month at the church, got a tattoo, and starting drawing up travel plans. But I am not good at sitting still and doing nothing, so two weeks into my unemployment I was so bored. My house was the cleanest it had ever been and my stress levels were very high.
“Why though?” I asked God. “Isn’t this what I was meant to do?”
January and February were tough for me last year. Spiritually I was confused, exhausted, and searching. When you’ve done ministry as long as I had, you forget what it is to relate to God without, “serving,” Him.
While waiting I decided to volunteer some of my time to Genesis, just to keep me busy. One day, Richard, the Operations Manager of Genesis Youth, if I could hold up a plank of wood for him while he drilled a nail into a wall. I am terrible at carpentry but it was so good to be asked to help out. One plank of wood led to another, and before I knew it I had helped build a wall. During that time God used Rich to provide me with wisdom I needed, as well as, some healing-just by talking to me.
Unfortunately, even today, he does not realize that what he was saying was God speaking through him to me, and making me re-evaluate my life choices. I happened to walk in on a conversation between Richard and his wife, Megan, where they were discussing how they did not have anyone to run the Marburg Reading Room, (now GAP in Merlewood). I said I would help out before I left for America to au pair. God was doing something without me even realizing it, and after a week I was so in love with the kids and ministry that I had further turmoil in my heart. But I stuck to my plan of moving on and walking away from ministry forever.
The last week of February came and I got three job offers from families’ in the States, as well as, one from a local restaurant to be a chef, (I once had this dream). I should have been happy, but I was not at peach, at all. I sat down with my dad and we discussed all my options. In what can only be described as God tangible speaking to me.
I heard the Holy Spirit say, “What is tattooed your wrist?”
Micah 6:8 is tattooed on my wrist. “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Just like that I had my answer. I had set up a meeting with Richard and we spoke about me taking over the afterschool program and joining Genesis Youth. He very sneakily admitted to me that he had been praying for just this. I started the very next day!
Twelve months can make all the difference. Building a wall can change the trajectory of your life. We started out with 60 kids and me. We grew to 70 kids, me and one helper. Every day was a learning curve and I cried every night for one month straight. I did not understand what God was doing. Why would He make me end a season on ministry, guide me to change my choices and bring me into ministry situation where I felt like the enemy had already won over the people, the battle and the war?
I spoke to Richard and Megan and they shared some of their own experiences with me. They prayed for me, talked with me, and mentored me through difficult experiences. Merlewood is a hard place to work. There are so many sources of oppression and so many things that need to change but WE cannot do it. There is a reason why God is the supernatural. There are things only HE can achieve, but that does not mean we can sit back and wait. We ACT. We DO.We go until He tells us to stop! SO that is what I have been doing. Going. Every day I GO to a small community that teaches me what it is to serve, to love unconditionally, and to pray without ceasing. I am learning to be content with smaller numbers of children and larger deeper impact. I am getting to know people by name and learning what is happening in each and every child’s or person’s life. With God I am unlocking the purpose and potential in them even when they cannot see it for themselves.
That is what Genesis Youth and the Harrells did for me. They saw something in me that I did not see in myself. That God sees in me. I am not some super hero or warrior, or even some amazingly deep spiritual person, (trust me). I am just a person God picked from brokenness to speak into little people’s live, who just need someone consistently there for them. And through all that he has made me whole again. He has healed my heart and helped me step into my calling.
I walk past that wall every day; the wall that changed my life. To me it is a reminder of what I am trying to do in Merlewood and what we try to do here at Genesis Youth---To break through barriers that hinder people from living their God given potential and purpose.
Ezekial 22:30 says, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Where ever I go, walk, or serve, I never want God to have to speak those words again. I never knew what my purpose was before now. But now I know what it is---To stand in the gap and become a bridge for every child I meet to come to know Jesus.
It has been a journey and I cannot wait for the next year.
Happy one year at Genesis to me!
To find out more about GAP please click below:
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!