A different kind of wind has been brewing in my heart the last few months. Sometimes, I think I know exactly which direction I need to go before God intervenes and points out another road – one I hadn’t noticed or paid any attention to before.
Over a year ago, I prayed God would ignite my heart with a passion for something – anything – that would set my bones on fire! Though life was humming contentedly along, I longed to a part of something bigger than my world, something with meaning and eternal purpose - a work of God that would stretch me, refine me, excite me, and cause me to depend on Him in ways I had never done before. I yearned to fully follow God and determined to go wherever He led me.
I knew if I wanted to grow, I needed to step far beyond my comfort zone.
I just didn’t know where to start.
God didn’t answer my prayer immediately – it took several months. But one day, He showed me my next step, and so I signed up to be a Hope*Writer. I was on the verge of shutting down my blog; I could no longer justify its existence. What good was it doing anyways?
Instead, I felt God calling me to grow my writing, step out in unfamiliar territory, and follow Him.
It seemed a bit risky and would mean opening my heart and being vulnerable. I enjoy having control over my reputation and like keeping it nicely intact, but God doesn’t really care about such things when the Gospel is at stake.
So, I stepped out of the boat and obeyed what I felt He called me to do. It’s been quite the journey so far and its only begun…..
Following Jesus is always an adventure, and I knew I was venturing beyond my comfort zone to who-knows-where!
I like being in control of the destination, but I’m learning that’s not possible when following Jesus. As Charles Spurgeon has said:
“God’s purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now….God is not working toward a particular finish; His end is the process….It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”
In other words, it’s more important that I live in daily obedience to God than worry about where I end up.
My goal, then, is to follow where I believe He is leading me without an ending in mind.
God is awakening a desire in me to reach out to women who desperately need to know Jesus, the truth of the Gospel, and of His great and generous love for them. All women need to know this, but I am thinking of a group of women with whom I am familiar. These women are the women of my culture, the Mennonites, who live surrounded by religion but often never get to meet Jesus.
They are hard working, resourceful women who labour unceasingly for their family, church, and community but are often overlooked themselves. Who sees their pain? Who feels their loneliness? Who is there to tell them that they are loved, valued, and considered worthy in the eyes of God? Who will call the to holiness? To put away the gossip and jealousy? To step out into freedom?
Being a Mennonite woman can be difficult in a world that doesn’t understand the culture, and a culture that doesn’t understand the world of portzelky and komst borcht. Mennonites often live tucked away in isolated spots around the world in the belief that they will be safe from the influences of the world. Unfortunately, it also means, they are tucked away from the body of Christ at large. At best, this isolation can lead to loneliness, lack of spiritual growth, fear of the unknown world, and infighting. At worse, it leads to abuse – physically, spiritual, and sexual.
I used to be ashamed of being a Mennonite.
I saw the worst of the culture and wanted to be anything BUT a Mennonite girl trapped in a Mennonite world. Thankfully, God had different plans and knew the needs of my heart before I even did. Eventually, I married a Mennonite man and lived in a secluded Mennonite town in the jungle. And to my great surprise, I loved it! I learned to love the people – my people - even while the chains that bound them frustrated me, only sometimes, I didn’t see those same chains bound me.
The chains of legalism and people-pleasing. The chains of striving to find my value in my work. The chains of gossip and jealousy. The chains of fear and judgment.
You don’t have to be a Mennonite to understand that kind of bondage, but you might need to be a Mennonite woman if you want to reach out to another Mennonite woman with the message of the Gospel. Not just the Gospel that saves, but the Gospel that keeps on saving.
It is to that end, I am refocusing the content of my blog and starting a new project with the aim of blessing, encouraging, and exhorting Mennonite women to rise up and follow the call of God in their lives.
My blog page, When Walls Tumble, will remain under the same name, but there will be a separate page dedicated to this ministry called: Mennonite Girls in a Modern World, and I would love for you to follow along! Whether you’re a Mennonite or not, we are all sisters in Christ and need each other as we grow in holiness. A great deal is happening behind the scenes of this new adventure, and I will share more as soon as I can.
I don’t know where this will lead, and as I told my husband, I am afraid it will offend -the truth always offends - but it also heals and sets the prisoners free.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burned again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
It’s time for an adventure.
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