Last week my ministry journey came full circle. The weekend Deb Douglas called me out was 2014 (Read it here) and I was in Biloxi because my friend Carrie Rester, who founded a ministry “God Has This” that has ministered to my ministry and our entire city, was the city coordinator for the Beth Moore Living Proof Live. At YouLead before LPL, Deb called me out and took me straight to Chris Adams. I’ll never forget the passion I saw in Chris that weekend. To be in ministry is an incredible honor. That weekend God was calling me to surrender my searching and quest to figure out what was best for my life.
God called me into ministry at 14 years old, but even in the midst of middle school ministry (or maybe because of middle school ministry), I was still trying to find out what that meant- and maybe even how to get around it. That weekend in Biloxi, I was standing at a crossroads. I was looking at losing serval things if I took this leap of faith. Do I leave what’s at stake and follow the call to surrender in full time ministry or do I walk away? Beth talked about Longing that weekend. I was longing for what God was calling to my life. Girl Talk was in the middle of our second summer and I was taking online classes to keep up with my school work while I figured it out. Some were convinced I would grow out of it, move on, get to real life work and jobs. God used Carrie Rester, Deb Douglas, Chris Adams and Beth Moore that weekend in Biloxi to spur me on, to push me forward and I knew deep down in my every fiber God was calling me to step out into full time ministry.
So, here we are.
Last week after months of Satan literally taking kicks and punches to my gut, taking out some of my favorite people and trying to make his mark, I made it to Nashville with just a few scrapes and bruises. A couple of months ago our sweet Deb stepped into Heaven. What most people don’t know is that just three days before, I was asked to share my story at one of Lifeway’s biggest ministry training events and I never got to tell Deb about it. The only reason Lifeway knows who I am is because Deb Douglas called me out in a room full of women and wanted to know my story. Deb believed in me and because of that I began to believe in myself.
We’re in the green room, prayed up and ready to go. I had reached my maximum anxiety level at this point. I had written down every kind of chicken scratch I could think of to help me remember what in the world I was supposed to be saying. I was convinced I was going to get out there and freeze. I knew the anxiety had to come down eventually because there was no more up. I thought. Until someone comes in and says “We didn’t know Beth was coming tonight!” My insides are screaming at this point. COULD HAVE NOT HEARD THAT. I mean every one else looks calm (later they told me they weren’t.. haha!) but I’m just thinking.. WHAT. Earlier that day I just sat down honestly to weigh my chances on meeting Beth Moore and I knew it was 0% before I heard the answer. So now she’s here and I’m about to speak.
During the last song of worship, this complete peace came over me. The Complete Peace of Christ. God has this! There was not one ounce of anxiety in my body. Not even my toes. I gave that chicken scratch over to God and I told Him to help me say whatever He wants me to say! I let it go and gave it to Him!
Instead of anxiety, pressure, insecurity or need to prove myself with Beth Moore just feet from me- I felt loved, encouraged, supported, cheered for and confirmed. I will never forget the connection Jesus gave our hearts that night. I didn’t get to “meet” her but God gave me something so special- God gave me one of my greatest cheerleaders. I heard it referred to as a balcony person. Someone explained it like this from the book Balcony People- “someone high in your life who shouts words of encouragement and spurs you on to be what God intends you to be.” We might not always get to know the people in our balcony, but they are there and they are cheering us on. What an honor to have Beth as one of my balcony people. Thank You so much Jesus!
Full circle. Nashville, TN. November 2017. Chris Adams has daily poured into my life wisdom and love over these last several years. She has walked with me through these last couple of months of preparation and prayer. She was spurring me on that very night sitting feet away from where I was speaking. She has been one of my truest mentors. After speaking, God was so sweet through a friend’s text “Deb would be standing up cheering right now so proud of you!” Our sweet Deb was in Heaven cheering me on. After weighing my chances of meeting Beth Moore, I never imagined she would be there the night I spoke. That minor detail is MAJOR to me that God would be so good to bring this such full circle!! After it was all said and done, one of the women said “Amy!! Your friend is looking for you!!” My phone had been blowing up from people who were at the conference that I didn’t know were there so I really didn’t know what to expect. “Her name is Carrie Rester!!! She was just right outside!!!” I couldn’t believe it! Every year I always wish Carrie was there, and this year I hadn’t even thought to check with her. What an incredible spiritual mom Jesus has given me in her!
My mind was blown. What an incredible, loving, personal God to remind me so sweetly of the very people who were so critical to the weekend I surrendered to this full time, all in, life journey of ministry with Him in such a personal way. They have all continued to be so important to my life since that weekend. I couldn’t be more thankful for the God we serve! He knows every detail and He cares about every thought.
If you feel alone today, if you feel like God isn’t there, if you feel like He doesn’t care take Jeremiah 29:12-13 to heart. He promises us that He listens to us and that when we seek Him with all of our heart, we WILL find Him. Press on, sisters!