I had been asking for a sign. For God to speak to me about the future and His purposes in ministry. Truth be told, I know I can’t do both full-time PCM (Polished Cornerstones Ministry) and full-time Prison ministry. But who wants to say no to either one? Both are good. Both are making a difference. Both are valuable and needed in our world.
I’d been praying. I’d been asking for counsel. I’d been wondering what God wanted for me.
March 24th, 2019, He spoke. I was sitting in a church pew hours before I would leave town for another prison trip and listening to one of my favorite preachers talk about Job and Elijah and Elisha and yoke of oxen. I know, you’re wondering how all that connects. Believe me, it does and it is beautiful.
I was sitting there thinking about the picture of being yoked with Jesus and allowing Him to lead. Following Him wherever and being content to pull a load and tackle the world knowing that He will do the hard work and I just need to submit and follow in joyful obedience.
Then he drops the bomb. He starts talking about how we need to be willing to abandon our former lives to reach for what God has for us in the future. That’s what Elisha did. He was a skilled yoked-oxen-farmer and when he was called to follow Elijah and do the work of God, he burned his yoke, plow and oxen. That way he wouldn’t have the opportunity to come back to his old life. He burned his bridge back and chose to run after a life that looked completely different than anything he had ever known.
I felt it in my spirit. I heard His voice. Jesus was calling me out.
I’ve heard Him and felt His work in my heart before, so I knew this was Him. The tears were streaming down my face at that point. I saw my past… beautiful, good work that I loved, but that was fading. Would I be willing to turn and start something different? Would I be willing to burn my plow and oxen and run towards a new life?
It all boiled down to surrender. I knew He was asking me to offer Him what was in my hands… my dreams, my family, my church, my Community, my Church, my friends- for something that He had for me. He said it would be better for me. Not easier. Not more comfortable. Better.
This much I knew: in order to grab ahold of the new (unknown) life ahead, I had to let go of the current world in my hands. That hurts. It stinks. And for a chronicly fearful gal, it’s scary.
But for all the scariness that stood in front of me that night, I knew this: it scared me more to miss the opportunity of adventuring with Jesus. So, I said yes. I knew, He meant business. And so did I.
Fast forward five months and today I sat with part of my PCM staff and told them I was resigning my position. They didn’t even wince. They saw it coming and they were willing too. They smiled and said the things I most needed to hear… “You can do this, Faith.” “Everything is gonna be okay.” “It was a beautiful season, but we knew it wasn’t forever.” One of them told me, “I think the last five years was a warm up for this next chapter of your life.” I choked back the tears…because these women were doing what they do best… cheering me on as I run at the heels of Jesus.
Life is never as we assume it will be. It’s unpredictable. It’s ever-changing.
Jesus is the only steady in my craziness. He is beautiful. He is faithful. He is Someone I can count on when the rest of the world seems shaky and unpredictable. And even though the unknown scares my socks off, I wouldn’t want to be adventurous with Anyone Else. He’s got the map. He’s got the power. He knows what He’s doing.
I can burn my plow for Someone like that. Jesus is worth it.