I spent a week with eight others earlier this year at the conference on Biblical counseling techniques that I mentioned on my “Just Encourage” page . The other day I was impressed to write to them all and ask how things were going in their lives. Something thrilling happened. I’ve heard from five of the eight (including me makes six) in the last few days. Here’s the wonderful thing. All six of us reported growth, action, movement in the forward motion. I was thrilled to the point of tears. The remarkable thing about this is that at the beginning of that week in April, none of us knew each other. After five short days and an intense week of learning and sharing, we knew each other probably better than anyone else in our lives (other than spouses perhaps), we all committed to going home and doing something about what we learned, and those reporting back have all moved forward in their lives and their struggles. The other two members have grown too, I have no doubt, but just haven’t gotten back to me before I started this blog.
I’m not going to mention names, initials will suffice. Co. overcame doubt and fear to step out and begin a new business. S. gave it all up to the Lord and ended up in Africa this summer on a mission trip that may mean continued contact and visits there. R. has jumped into God’s river of life completely, and is on a fast track to get her licensing credentials in place and learning about herself. Ci. has made numerous changes in her job and personal life and put it all in God’s hands. G. completed a licensing course, joined a group with others where they are going deep with God, and she and her husband are teaching pre-marital classes in their church. And I have done much the same as the rest, joined a group going deep, have learned more about myself in the last months than in a very long time, and am making some changes in my life that I’ll continue to share down the road.
The thing that brought me to tears about their responses is that all this change and movement has happened in just five (count ’em, 5) short months! Now I haven’t talked intimately with very many of them about these past months, but I know what each of us went through during our week together; it was hard work and it required a willingness to be vulnerable. As I continued to read their emails the other day, I could feel this emotion welling up inside as the Lord allowed me to get a glimpse into each of them, comparing what they were sharing with what I learned and knew about them just five months before. I don’t have a clue whether any of them have had this same epiphany or not. I don’t know how difficult (or easy) this five months has been for them individually. All I know is what my own five months has looked like — hard! I would make a guess that they have struggled no less than I have.
Here’s the wonder, joy, and miracle of this realization. Each one of us began something last April, whether we fully gripped the reality of that decision or not. We each went home, and had some decisions to make. Evidently, we each decided to plunge in completely to what God had waiting for us. It was hard work, this continuing on without the other seven who knew so intimately what each others’ struggles were about. Five, short months later, God allowed me to see what He was seeing in our group…people who were moving forward because they understood that standing still, or worse, that going back, was unacceptable. Each one of us took God’s hand and told Him we were ready, all in our own ways. And we went.
April yellow team, I hope you all read this. I love you all. Thank you for your acceptance, encouragement, kindness, love, and commitment. You each did what the Lord commanded, “that you love…”. Thank you for your accountability. We may not be communicating often, but it’s clear to me that things have been a’shakin in each of our lives. Trust God…He has a plan and as we continue to put our hands into His, He’ll get us through. In April, we truly learned there is healing in the Body of Christ!!
Where do you go when you don’t know where you’re going? Forward…just go forward!