A moment. As a woman, called by God…there was that one moment that changed the direction of my life and suddenly clarity in my destiny was crystal and the doors swung wide and welcomed me to the party that others in my life knew all along. I am HER.
Let me back up before I’ve lost your attention and you begin to wonder if I’ve lost my mind. This particular moment was at the Northwest Ministry Networks Women’s Conference 2016 and the Director of Women’s Ministries, Angela Craig, was unraveling my heart with every word spoken.
I know you know what I’m talking about, Friend…that moment you are listening to someone speak and you feel like they just read your mail. Yep, it was that moment.
If you know my story, you know of the early adult years spent acting out of childhood sexual abuse, adult rape and my life as a momma, raising her two children. My promiscuity was there, which was simply looking for a father’s security when my own earthly father was so very sick and you know of my rejection, time and time again, from family, from relationships and from the church. My life is a result of the fullness of God’s healing with the help of tools…classes, counseling and care from God, a great mental health professional and a wonderful man that is now my husband. My healing required total surrender to the One that created me and could put me back together, in His desired fashion.
Verses 18-20 of Hebrews 6 in The Message paraphrase says this, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us.” It’s where I have sat for years now, secure in His grip…and will continue to, all the days of my life. I know what He saved me from and continues to keep me from, even now.
2+ years ago, God called my husband, John, and I out of the local church and into His presence. We’ve attended church only a handful of times, at his prompting, and have allowed each week to pass with a deepening intimacy and healing that only isolated time with Him could have brought. When you serve and are visible in your pursuit of the things of God as we are, there were those wondering how we could step so far out of obedience. Our leadership lovingly sent emails that conveyed their trust that we knew the voice of the Lord and were stepping obediently and that we were always welcome to come home should God direct us. They were sure to add that they would be there, arms wide open.
After a couple of years waiting on God, in the beginning days of February 2016, the Holy Spirit spoke to both my husband and I and said “Your season of wait is over.” We were already feeling some of this as God had physically moved us from the house we had been living in to a much smaller two bedroom condo as empty nesters. The empty nest season already brings a momma’s heart much emotion but then to leave the space you’ve raised your babes…well, let me tell you…it’s a heart work, for sure. So days after moving into our new place and hearing God’s words, we knew to wait as we had, for HIS NEXT STEPS…instead of once again filling our calendars and populating church pews. It wasn’t but a few short weeks later, the invite to come to the NWWC came.
So there I was, in the pew, listening as Angela Craig was sharing the history of the Assemblies of God church formation and the richness of diversity found there. Women like Jenny Evans Moore along with her husband…African Americans and a Woman, founding the church with others like them, full of the Holy Spirit, at a time when segregation was running rampant in our country and folks didn’t like either preaching from the pulpits. You see, a woman with a past like mine was/is often rejected to serve and definitely never approved to speak in some gatherings and certainly not from the pulpit or platform. I knew that while many felt me unqualified that it was only God that qualifies the called…and I was confident that one day, God would give me my voice to help heal the brokenhearted and aid in setting the captives free. Too many times I was refused, rejected and reminded of what I had done and the explanation that it disqualified me from speaking. It was this message that Angela spoke so eloquently of. She quoted Don Ross, NWMN Network Leader, saying that the only man that you need permission from has already given it and that man is Jesus. WOW! I was called. I did hear Him clearly. The conference theme was, Her Voice, and I knew, in that instant with tears streaming down my face, that I.AM.HER. I am the woman that confidently declares that Jesus is Lord and I have a voice. I am the woman that depends on her God to do good through her for His glory.
THAT, my Sisters, was my moment. I am HER. I am set free, redeemed, restored and renewed by His touch, His presence and His favor. I am a daughter of the Most High God and I have been given permission, for such a time as this!!