"If we celebrate the years behind us, they become stepping-stones of strength and joy for the years ahead"

Hello, my favorite blogger community.  I have missed you.  I sure do have lots to catch you up on, but I will try to tell you everything in their own individual posts so they get their special time on the uncontainable truth.

Where to start?  I guess I should start by filling you all in on what has been going on in my life the last couple of weeks.  Actually, the last year but the change really started becoming a reality over the month of February.  Early last month I resigned from my job at the American Cancer Society.  This past Wednesday was my last day at work so now I have officially begun a new chapter of my life.  I'm excited, scared, and adjusting all at the same time but I know this change is a step in the right direction.

I think it is time to re-wind and fill you all in on what brought about this change.  Last summer, I really began to pray for the Lord to show me his purpose for my life.  I started to explore the spiritual gifts that he has given me and really define how I can use those gifts to better his kingdom here on earth.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am called to be his disciple.  For a long time, I really struggled with how I would go about doing that and what my "calling" truly is.  The Lord put on my heart to begin writing and sharing my thoughts with others so that is when the blog began.  When I attended the Beth Moore simulcast in late August, I prayed for God to answer the desires of my heart which were:
1. To put into action his purpose for my life
2. To become a mom
All fall, I searched for the answers to these prayers and really struggled emotionally with how these changes would affect our lives.  Raleigh, being the practical husband that he is, would constantly be running numbers and to be honest, it just didn't add up.  But, one Sunday, our preacher spoke about how Jesus' favorite word was "Go."  In Matthew 4:18-20 it says, "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men,"  At once they left their nets and followed him."

Y'all, the Holy Spirit wrapped his loving arms around Raleigh and I that day.  It was like our preacher was speaking these words directly into our cotton-filled ears.  From that moment on, we were convinced that God was moving in big ways in our lives and we had better start following him before we got left behind.  That day, we made a decision that would radically change our lives.  We decided that it was time for me to run full-throttle in pursuit of Jesus so I could share his awesome love with others through means of bible study, mentoring, teaching, and serving others through my spiritual gifts. 

Over Thanksgiving, we shared for the first time His plans for our lives with our parents.  All four of them were in agreeance that if God had called me to do something, I better follow him.  It was so humbling to have their blessings on this decision.  When Raleigh and I returned to Montgomery after that weekend, we were given a reward from our loving Father.  We found out we were pregnant.  Friends, never in my life have I felt his face shine upon me like it did that evening.  We were awestruck by his wonderful ways.  It was truly a moment that I will return to again and again whenever I doubt if he is listening to my prayers. 

Now that a decision had finally been made, we were at the point of having to act upon it.  You would think that would be the easy part, but I was scared to death to jump off the cliff into the unknown waters below.  I started to analyze and question the decision.  I let fear and doubt come into my mind and Satan just had a field day with me.  The decision just seemed so not of this world and very unpractical.  I also had obligations.  I'm not a quitter and I loved my job so it really didn't make sense for me to just turn 180 degrees and drop everything I have worked so hard to accomplish.  So, like Moses, I started to ask God if he really wanted me to do this task.  I needed proof. Confirmation that this was real and not a crazy dream.

Well, if I needed proof, our Creator decided He would show me proof times two.  As I mentioned here, at our first ultrasound we found out we were having twins.  I just sat on the exam room table and let the tears go.  He knew I had always wanted twins but we didn't have them in our family.  Walking to the car that day, I received my strength from the spirit to let go of this world and to fully put my trust in the Lord that he would provide for our family.

Sweet brothers and sisters, I never dreamed that I would be where I am with my life today.  I couldn't imagine that this was what He had planned for me.  As the old saying goes, "Don't fix what ain't broken."  My job wasn't broken but God knew that there was no way I would leave it if I wasn't expecting twins.  He knew I didn't have a quitter heart and that I didn't want to let anyone down at that wonderful organization.  I loved what I did and I was good at it so why change it?  Because He loves me and knows that there is more work for me to do for his kingdom. Greater things are still to be done but with a willing heart I am taking my first baby steps in his direction for this new dawning of my life.

 If any of you are struggling with your "calling" in life, I urge you to fervently seek him for guidance.  At our winter retreat this January, our speaker had seven points that we should follow when answering our calling.
1. Define what God has called you to do (Nehemiah 2:17)
2. Question It (Luke 14:25)
3. Plan It (Nehemiah 2:5)
4. Deadline It (Proverbs 20:4, Luke 12:35)
5. GO FOR IT! (Proverbs 6:6, Luke 9:62)
6. Expect challenges to it (Exodus 4:29, Exodus 5, Nehemiah 2:17)
7. Be Found Doing It (Luke 12:35)
(Click here to view scripture from points 1-4 and here for points 5-7)

"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him." - Luke 12:35

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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