2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
When I decided to interview for the Mission Corps position at Maggie’s Place in November 2015, I believed I was being led by God. However, when I got there, I began questioning what I felt He was calling me to. I started to think about all the things I should be doing. I was about to turn 50 and I was thinking about quitting my job and living “in community” with 3 other Mission Corps members and anywhere from 6-8 pregnant or parenting mothers with newborns. It has always been a desire of my heart to help young unwed mothers because, once upon a time, I was one. However, I started feeling like this couldn’t possibly be what God was calling me to do…to give up everything to live in community…really, God?
I love telling this testimony. It seems my journey with Jesus has been on somewhat of a “fast-track”. I feel like He is helping me to make up some “lost time”…redeeming the time the locusts have eaten away (Joel 2:25). For all the years I spent chasing a paycheck, He is showing me how He is my provider..how I am supposed to trust in Him and believe in what the bible says. His word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
While interviewing for the position, I was there for almost a week. Most of the Mission Corps serving at Maggie’s Place are Catholic. Many are discerning whether or not they are being called to join a religious order to become a nun. I was raised Catholic but after many years of not attending any church, the Lord rescued me. I was saved, born again and baptized over the course of a few months and the church the Lord led me to was Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. This was a Non-denominational “life-changing” church for me. One of my “signs” from God (that I was on the right path) was the fact that there is a Gateway campus in Scottsdale, AZ as well. It is not exactly the same but one of the former pastors of the Gateway Southlake campus started a Gateway in Arizona, so it is very similar. While I was visiting Maggie’s Place, one of the Mission Corps offered to drive me to Scottsdale to the Gateway Church there. When I heard Pastor Preston Morrison preach his message, I absolutely heard my Heavenly Father speaking to me. Pastor Preston said something along the lines of this,
“God calls everyone to service. He calls everyone to love their neighbor in obedience to the scriptures.” He said, “What does loving your neighbor look like? If you see someone in need and you have the means and the ability to help them, you do it. That is being obedient.” He continued, “Now, you can look at obedience one of two ways. You can see it as an obligation or an opportunity.”
When he said that I heard God speak directly to my heart, “Obedience isn’t a choice…but how you choose to love your neighbor is…and how you choose to see it is.” At that moment, I knew I didn’t have to go to Maggie’s Place, but if I did, it could be an amazing “opportunity”. God will never force us to do anything.
On January 18, 2016 I joined Maggie’s Place and I gave a year of service that ended on January 31, 2017. I went there already believing in God’s goodness and mercy. But I discovered new levels of this every day. He truly worked on my heart. He showed me how to love more; how to love selflessly. He gave me the strength to give at times when I didn’t “feel” like giving. He helped me to put my needs aside and tap into the needs of others. And believe me, at one time we had 4 moms with babies (ages 1 month, 2 months 3 months and 8 months) and another mom with a baby due any day, so someone always needed something!
Now, as 2017 draws to a close, I find myself being reflective over what this past year has shown me. I look forward to sharing more of that in future posts. Thankful for the opportunity to share my journey.