Previously on this blog… :O)
You are pre-warned - this is insanely long!
So now I’m worried.
Well not worried - concerned? I honestly didn’t realize that so many of you would get SO caught up in waiting for news. Who knew that many (any) people would be interested? And now I’m thinking you’re totally going to be like “whatever” when you find out I’m not:
1.) Engaged (which was like 100 of your guesses - possibly an exaggerated number or possibly not - seriously people when that happens. There will not be secrecy there will be blimps, fireworks, parties and billboards. (do you know me at all?!? :O)
3.) Quitting or some other massive life change
But interested you were and engaged I’m not.
When last we left it was Friday night and I was desperately listening and waiting for God to move.
Friday-DAY I had so much work to do. I was entering checks, listening to classes, doing the normal Friday shuffle.
But God kept knocking.
And I kept having to put it off and feeling more and more desperate for the time to listen. I can’t explain this feeling. I mean, I work at a church for heaven’s sake but I felt like I couldn’t stop long enough to process and had to just push it down over and over again.
Desperate. To. Hear.
Oh I am sorry I think this may get long because of how many things I have to explain to explain how COOL this was for me… and WHY I was so excited at the way so much unfolded. I’m tempted to break it up into another blog but I think some of you would kill me.
Years ago I started praying something very, very specific. It’s actually even pre-blog days so that’s why I have to explain and can’t just link. I started to pray for God to change my name based on Jacob wrestling with God and God changing his name. At the time I started praying it I didn’t have a complete concept of what it meant. But I knew I needed change. Over the course of that year (I think 2004) I realized that at that time my “name” was fear. I was afraid of so much in my life. I wanted my name to be (Fear Not).
Specifically I knew with no doubt that God was asking me to sing/speak in front of people something to which I had repeatedly said NO, NOPE, NO-WAY - uh-UH. You hearing me? :O) I had tried. It had not worked. I had freaked out. I was afraid. And Praise Team? Please! all those thousand eyes staring back - ain’t no way folks. F_E_A_R took over even thinking about it.
So 2005-ish (I need my journal here… and don’t have it) God radically changed my name via a super lady named Candi. She encouraged me to get on out there and start singing. Really this deserves its own post! This led to not only singing in a ladies group on the “big stage” on a Sunday morning in front of thousands but to leading worship at a retreat, helping to lead at other events, and in a step that is miraculous beyond the explaining if you haven’t walked the road with me, singing by myself at both a wedding and a church service).
All that led to me finally stepping up and trying out for Praise Team for church and being blessed to be able to sing actually hold a mic and sing in the place I had sworn I would never, ever stand.
That picture and thought still brings me to tears because it was so beyond me. I’m not the most talented by so far but to be able to be used was/is amazing.
See “fear” my old name had been changed to FEAR NOT. I marked that occasion (the first one) with a silver ring engraved with those words which I still wear. It was to remind me that no step onto any stage or podium will ever be my power.
Ok - enough back story - back to 2010 people. Still here?
Friday night - desperation is setting in and I start praying for God to start to speak gently please. I can’t take radical this weekend. I have two finals and two papers. K? Thanks.
When I finally put head to pillow on Friday night it is with much prayer that God would reveal the whatever. And I’m thinking at this point that I’m getting a clue.
We’ve slipped a bit because there is a word that is back in my vocabulary in a big, big way.
Fear. Afraid of what comes next. I’m graduating in December. What happens then? What will the next year bring? So many things seem up in the air right now and I and not in control.
Fear. But God had already changed my name. What happens now? I’m a MESS. Is God through? What is next?
Somewhere in the middle of Friday I was sent a blog link to Travis Cottrell which I read on Saturday night
Now it’s long too - so I won’t make you read it (but you SO should)
But here is an excerpt:
“There is nothing God cannot do.
So in conclusion, please hear this: Fear not.
God has not left you. God has not chosen you to be the one who has circumstances or mental and emotional make-up that is beyond change. Your struggles, your mountain, your pain is not beyond Him. Who are we to ever be so presumptuous to think that we would actually be the ones who have issues beyond the reach of God's power?”
Gina Here again….
aka Fear Not.
I sat there - literally on the floor - just sobbing. Cause if you ever asked for God to just come right out and tell you something and maybe tailor it RIGHT to you. Well then there you have it.
Saturday night the burdens of numerous months lifted in moments because of one reminder.
Gina - I changed your name - Fear not. I’m not done with you.
Circumstances have not changed. Still have no answers but I am not afraid because God reminded me that he already changed my name.
Oh - and cause God’s just like that… and likes to reinforce reminders… I got to be on Praise Team THIS Sunday - i.e..THE Sunday that would be the day after He chose to rock my world.
And would anyone like to guess what Josh Stanbery’s devotional was for the morning of Sunday, March 14th for the Praise Team??
Cause you’re kinda not going to believe it people? :O)
Really - you’re not…
Jacob - wrestling with God - and God changing his name.
Believe it or not - the 2 ½ page version that you just read/scanned IS the recap version. Because there are details that are too personal to recount for blog-land. And there are other details that I think I may share later. I can't help it. God is good and you don't want to keep that to yourself!!!!!
But let me rephrase what I said on twitter.
May I never get over: where God has taken me from, what He has brought me through and what He is doing! So good. He is SO good.