Good late evening blog friends! Better late than never. There's still a little less than an hour left in this day (on the East coast, that is), so I haven't skipped a post yet on this 40-day journey. Whew! But...I wonder how many of you are out there thinking I did right about now?? Ha! Ha!
As God would have it, he's allowing me to see a little more of His hand in my life with this "Gilgal thing" that I referenced in yesterday's VLOG post. To know more, either watch that video post or simply read about in Joshua 4 and 5.
In a very quick summary...Gilgal was the first stop on the Israelites journey into the Promised Land. It was the place where God essentially brought them "full circle".
Full circle...hmmm....I have recently had an opportunity to witness God doing that in my life in a very specific way. A few weeks before my husband died, I was asked to be an assistant teacher for a women's Sunday morning class at our church. I was excited about this opportunity to serve in my own church, because it seems that so often as a speaker, I have the opportunities to serve more in other churches or places of ministry. To be able to teach and share in my church is an absolute blessing.
I attended that first class back on May 1, when my friend Lorie and I were initially introduced to the class. We were so excited to be joining this amazing group of women and to be able to serve together as teachers of God's Word (my FAVORITE thing to teach)!
My life shattered just 3 days later, when my husband's lifeless body was discovered, and my journey down Grief Road began. I didn't return to the class after that. I needed to go back to my place of "comfort" - the class my husband and I had attended together since we were first married. These were the very people that discovered my husband after his suicide...the very people that cared for me in the days, weeks, and months following Chris' death...the very people I've been doing life with for quite awhile. I had to go back to that class. There was nothing left of me to give to anyone else at that point.
As the weeks have passed, God has been speaking VERY clearly to me about returning to this class. But, I thought...Lord, you must be kidding. I certainly must not be hearing you correctly. What do I have to offer - especially now?
He never stopped pursuing me. He actually led me to the book of Jonah to study, and I studied Jonah from late May through mid-September. I know...I know...how can one person study four little chapters for that long? Trust me...it's possible. I kept wondering why I couldn't get out of the book of Jonah...why I couldn't move on...you know, to something else - anything else?
And then...I got it. God wanted me to see how I was running from my own "divine interruption". Just as God divinely interrupted Jonah's life by asking him to go to Ninevah, Jonah ran and tried to sail to Tarshish. Much like Jonah, God clearly told me to return to that class back in June, but I didn't want to...I wanted to stay in my own place of comfort...in my old class. I was clearly disobeying. Clearly. It's not that this ladies' class is composed of "Ninevites". Quite the contrary, actually. It was just a symbol of me running from what God had clearly commanded me to do. I was Jonah, trying to sail to Tarshish rather than obey God and go to Ninevah.
But, in early October, I changed. I obeyed. I said "goodbye" to my old class and by mid-October, I walked back into my new class, but this time as an attendee - not with the intention of teaching (or so I thought...).
A couple weeks ago, the pastor over these classes at our church called me and informed me that Lorie would be stepping down as the class teacher, as her family would be moving out-of-state in the next month or so (I knew about the move - just didn't know when she would be leaving the class as teacher). And then came THE question...the one God had been preparing me for by asking me to return to that class..."Leah, will you pray about taking this class? I really think you have a lot to offer this group, especially in light of what God's been teaching you these last few months."
Oh boy. Here it was. God...is this what Jonah was all about?
I promised to pray. I promised to call him the next week with an answer.
I did. I answered. I'm obeying. And, this morning, we announced to the class that God would be moving me into that role at the end of this month. November 27 will be my first day back in the role of "teacher". Please pray for me. I want nothing more than to serve God well and glorify Him completely! Thank you friends!
P.S. A little funny...my 4th grade teacher is in this class! Talk about "full circle"! :-)