I am determined to get this posted before Lisa posts the next lesson. I have had it completed for a few days, but have not had time to type it in. Forgive the short time line between lessons. I really loved this lesson. Dealing with my call and how that plays out is a large part of who I am as a mentor, minister, mother and wife. I find difficult to even articulate what God did in my life as He made me aware that I was Called. The specifics of what I am to be doing changes with the seasons of my life, but the calling is always there. Glory! Now for the questions:
1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP (Not Like I Planned)? I actually have two current NLIPs. The first is I never planned for it to be difficult for my husband to transition jobs. He loves what he is doing, but the stressors are different than we anticipated and I find myself unsure how to support him at times. The other NLIP, and really the biggie for me, is how difficult it has been to find a person who can be a soul friend and accountability partner here locally. I have wonderful accountability people all over the world, but not someone here that can look in my eyes and heart and see the real me. Causes me trust God's hand more and be accountable only to Him, but it is not how I prefer it.
2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain. With my husband I tend to be protective want to fret and fuss that it is not happening the way I planned. But I so clearly see God's hand in the transition, so mainly I am just trying to be flexible. With my stuff, I am saddened that it is not easier to create those friendships but I do trust that in His time they will come. I am somewhat baffled that what appears to be a Godly desire was not met immediately, but it is part of my trust-development and I want to trust Him more than I want my way.
3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling? In my early days of my call, I found road blocks due to the fact that I felt called to go to seminary. As a Southern Baptist woman that was not overwhelmingly welcomed. I never doubted myself or my call. In fact, when my pastor at the time asked (in the meeting to decide whether to endorse me to seminary), "little lady what do you think you can do for God in the church as a woman" God gave me the answer I needed, and I clung to that answer. I responded that "God created me a woman, He put me in a Baptist family and He called me to ministry. Whether I understood how He was going to fulfill that, I had to believe He was big enough to meld the three." (they endorsed me with no further questions) So when I question my call, I remind myself of Who created me and Who called me.
4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans? There is friend who I believe waylaid many of my plans. The situation was deeply disappointing, but I have refused to let bitterness take hold and just tried to learn from it.
5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? yes (the above situation) but I don't feel it would be right to elaborate.
6. Based on Moses' response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself? God is always at work. I find myself trusting this more and more as I see how God works through NLIPs. I hope to be able to do that on a deeper level in the future.