Rachel D.* leads a local nonprofit organization. She has been married for over twenty years and is the mother of two teenagers. Most Fridays, her and her husband host a group of international students at their house (karaoke is frequently involved).
One of the most life-changing sequence of events happened to me eleven years after I became a believer. In that season, God revealed himself so clearly that He dispelled all my doubts – He became real to me.
I became a believer at 19, and for a long time, even though I desperately wanted to believe, I struggled with uneasy questions about my faith. For over a decade, I had daily voices in my head asking, is this really true? I almost felt like I needed to apologize to non-believers for my belief. Once, I refused to answer a co-worker’s question about the cross necklace that I wore every day; I just stonewalled him. No, back then, I wasn’t open about my faith; I was, in fact, hiding it to a degree. Funny how that has all changed. Today, I am thrilled to be able to glorify God in front of government and civic leaders who think Christians are ridiculous. I can boldly proclaim how God thinks about the very issues that these leaders love and are passionate about.
“As if God stuck his head out of the clouds to talk to us”
The events that wiped my doubts happened when I was about 30. At that time, my husband and I both wanted to do something extravagant for God. Like Mary, who poured on Jesus a jar of expensive perfume worth a year’s wage. He quickly led us to a decision to help start a church plant. As we were scouting out locations, Charlotte, NC came up. I am asked myself, why Charlotte? Is that where God wanted us? There were already so many churches in the city that the city’s nickname is the “the city of churches.” We decided to go on a scouting trip, and it was then that we saw God’s hand through a series of God wink moments.
He confirmed our decision at the end of the trip. A woman overheard a conversation we were having with a local pastor and asked if we were planning to plant a Fellowship Bible Church in Charlotte. We said yes, and she told us that a group had been praying for years for a Fellowship Bible Church to come to Charlotte. It was all too coincidental to be merely chance. It was as if God stuck his head out of the clouds to talk to us.We were working with another couple in the church planting process, and the husband was a seminary student at the time. One day, a classmate of his, who had never spoken to him before, sat next to him and asked about his plans for the church plant. Come to find out, this classmate was from the same neighborhood in Charlotte where we were looking, and he confirmed that the area needed a solid church. We left for Charlotte the next day with full confidence that God was going to guide our steps.
In that time, I saw God clearly direct our path. Having Him so plainly intervene made Him real to me. I stopped asking, is this true? I knew He wanted to be involved in our lives, and He wanted us to ask Him for guidance. He had answered our prayers. I was so excited that we didn’t have to speculate what He wanted us to do, and I stopped worrying about making choices. No, it’s not like I see my life laid out in front of me or anything, but I know He is in control, and I watch for His will through the opening and closing of doors, through the council of other people, and in my spirit as I speak to Him in prayer.
In life, there are too many moving pieces we can’t see, have faith God will make things happen when the time is right for all parties. Remember that in Heaven our relationship with God will bring us total peace. His love for us is extraordinary, and our faith in that – our faith in Him – will guide us through all.