I always felt comfortable on stage- most like myself, actually- alive and free; whether I was dancing, presenting, competing or public speaking.
I thought I was destined for New York.
While I grew up Roman Catholic- going to church and private school – I was twenty one before I came to Jesus; largely through hours of driving, listening to Praise 106.5.
I accepted Jesus in Seattle, in-front of thousands, in a public arena. Somewhere in that time, I stumbled upon this video. It was a complete accident– a divine happenstance. But as I watched it, I began to sob.
In my heart I heard these words, as clear as day:
This is what you’ll do…
The video was of a fiery Latina, who preaches Jesus to students. She was hilarious and real and honest in a way I hadn’t yet experienced. I was very new to Evangelical Christianity- still ribbed by the staunchness of the Catholic Church.
I laughed. Cried more. Then rewatched the video a dozen times.
It didn’t make logical sense…. how could this possibly be my calling?!
I was a rebellious, religious screw up, currently living with my boyfriend and sleeping out of wedlock. My sin card was overflowing. I’d barely tasted Jesus and I didn’t know my bible. Plus, my sights were set on buying a wedding business.
And yet, deep within my heart, I knew it was true.
It was an other-worldly knowing and I’ve carried it’s assurance ever since.
Years later- perhaps five– I was wrestling with my purpose. I was knee-deep in building my (wedding) business, I was successful and yet, I struggled.
One afternoon, I stumbled upon that video again and just like the first time, my heart responded.
Then over the course of twelve months, three different people referred me to an organization- the same organization. I dismissed each one of them.
I saw no connection to myself, my gifts and this non-profit. In fact, I wasn’t sure I even believed what they did!
Then a friend- who I later understood has prophetic gifting- took matters into her own hands. She submitted my name and credentials to them…. and then they called.
So, I relented and went in for an interview
…. I didn’t even know what for and neither did they! There were no formal openings or jobs posted, but they we’re always looking for volunteers. For whatever reason, they knew I was meant to be there- I was, “supposed to be part of the organization…” as they put it.
They invited me to a leaders conference with three of their board members. I hadn’t even been hired yet and this was uncommon practice for volunteers.
While there, I became triggered and broke down in the women’s bathroom. One of the board members came in and held me in her arms. I ended up sharing my personal story.
She said she knew why I was there: God wanted me to be a part of Healthy Relationships- a team of presenters that goes into high schools and talks to youth about sex, love and relationships. It was honest, raw and vulnerable work, that took brave people willing to get messy and share their story.
I had barely begun to process this part of my story- the years of pain and heartbreak in my relationships- but again, my heart knew.
I was terrified.
I had no idea what this would entail, but I said yes and so I began.
I volunteered for two years, when the directors role for the program became available. My boss (and his boss) asked me if I’d consider taking the position. I said no. Three times. After all, I had a successful wedding business to run and that was my plan.
Six months went by.
No one applied for the job.
Then, someone didn’t work out.
Still, the position sat open.
Then one morning, a women sat-in on my talk. I asked her why she was there and if she was considering volunteering for the team. She said no… She was interviewing for the directors role.
Suddenly, I was nerved. Then I became furious. The whole way home, I yelled at God… about nothing. What was this really about? Then, he showed me:
The position was always mine.
I just had to take it.
And accept His Call.
When I told both bosses what happened, they laughed. They’d known along along…
I felt like the punch line of a bad joke! Like I’d been kept from some grand scheme!
They told me they’d been praying and patiently waiting…. for my stubborn streak to clear!
We completed formalities and the position was mine. I was now the Director of Healthy Relationships Community Education.
Shortly thereafter, God told me to close my (wedding) business, but it was six months before I obliged.
I knew then, that God was asking me to lay down my life- the hopes and dreams I had and the vision I’d held of my future….
The choice was mine. I could choose my will or God’s.
I could settle for a life I could build on my own, or I could choose the adventure and trust Him- even though, I couldn’t see what was ahead.
It’s been two and a half years since then and my life has changed dramatically.
I am living that video, walking inside my calling.
It’s beautiful and scary; natural, yet hard. But, it’s all together wonderful! I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing the thing God made me for… in this season of my life, anyway.
God has used this position to heal and remake me, from the inside out. It was a lifeline in my darkest season. He’s refining my character through it and cultivating in me a humble, servants hearts. He’s teaching me compassion and perseverence in the face of suffering and I’ve become a prayer warrior because of it!
It’s front lines battle work; spiritual warfare in enemy territory. It’s the lions den – every day- as we fight culture and the lies of darkness: the perversion and deception that has infiltrated our world’s view of love and sex.
But I have never in my life, seen God move like he does in this program.
It’s powerful, crazy, edifying work.
I have more God stories and seen miracles, than I can count!
I know, every day, that I am part of something so much bigger and I’m making a difference.
I’m fighting for the one, where no one fought for me .