I knew in my heart that 2012 was going to be a year in which something major was going to happen. I could sense that the Lord was changing my direction and clearly speaking to me about the last half of my life. The year started with a fast, and over the next few months, I spent more time praying and searching for answers than I ever had in my 32 years of walking with Him.
I felt compelled to know the perfect will of God. There was an urgency that I could not release.
I have flippantly called 2012 the year from hell. And I suppose I have good reason to say that. It started with an IRS audit and was followed by a total upheaval at work in which three key people resigned. I was one of them.
On the last day of school, with the hope for time to refresh, recover, and redirect, my husband collapsed with a medication-induced thyroid storm which landed him in the hospital, fighting for his life. Memorial Day weekend was spent in the intensive care unit.
And, of course, that was followed by "the accident" on the 4th of July that would forever change our lives. Nate and Noah went to be with the Lord, and we were left with the trauma and loss.
Honestly, every time I say that it was the year from hell, I feel a bit uneasy. It's as if I'm giving the enemy, Satan, too much credit. I am quite certain that God did not send the storms of 2012, but He did allow them. And if He allowed them, then I have choices to make.
Will I trust Him enough to claim His promise of all things working together for good? Will I testify of His provision through it all? Will I rest in knowing that His love never fails? Will I continue to point others to the cross? Those are easy to answer. Of course, I will. Thirty-two years of faith has ingrained that kind of response.
The harder question for me is Will I act on the word that I received prior to the day when that line of demarcation was drawn?
Until now, it did not seem possible. I'm not sure it is yet. Why? Because words from the Lord are hard and involve risk. They get the enemy's attention. And my word involves a big dream; and honestly, I am afraid of failure and attack. I am still grieving hard and recovering physically, mentally, and spiritually.
But God's word to me was specific and clear.
I read several books during my quest for answers last year. Some of what resonated with my spirit is written in my journal.
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
• If your prayers aren't impossible to you, they are insulting to God.
• Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish.
• If you aren't willing to put yourself in "this is crazy" situations, you'll never experience "this is awesome" moments.
Passion to Action by Jay and Beth Loecken
• Most people would rather let go of their passion than take the risk necessary to see it come to fruition.
Anything by Jennie Allen
• The only exercise that works 100% of the time to draw one close to the real God is risk.
• To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch Him come through.
• You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad because really, you don't know the difference.
• We love our earth. We love our people. We love our stuff. We love our schedules. We love our short lives here. And God is saying, Look up. This is going fast. Your life here is barely a breath. There is more, way more.
• I knew that when the breath of God had dripped off of me, I was not going back . . . it wasn't an encounter tha twould shape my life: it was THE encounter with God that would define my life.
On June 19, just 15 days before the accident, God confirmed that I had a book to write. I listed what He told me not to do:
1. Research to see if it has been done before
2. Ask anyone's opinion
3. Give up before start
4. Let somebody else's dream take precedence
And then I immediately received what I called the C's. I think it is odd and sometimes corny when speakers/pastors speak from outlines where all the topics start with the same letter. Well, that's what I got.
I heard the call loud and clear. Then came the confirmation. I assumed courage was what it would take to act on the call, but I had no idea just how much courage it would take after the accident. (When Kelly and Travis chose "Courageous" by Casing Crowns as one of the songs for the funeral, I just sobbed.)
I felt strongly that there were five C's, so I just left number five blank. It seemed weird, but so did the whole "C" thing. And then in September, God gave me the last one: Confidence.
I'm not really sure if it should be go before Completion. Either I need some confidence to reach completion or after completion, I will have more confidence.
I know that God began a good work in me, and He has plans to complete it. Because my steps are ordered by the Lord, I am willing to dream big and take a risk and do something crazy for Him.