On our mission trip to the Middle East, we met with the leadership teams of five churches. The Pastor of the second leadership team asked us to share a few encouraging words with his leaders. A few of us spoke (I included, because, Marcie can’t be quiet!).
In closing, we worshipped. I turned to the row of women behind us and smiled. They each hugged me. One by one, they said, “I love you!” I replied in the same manner, as God had filled my heart with His love for them all. Then I got to the last woman in the row, and she did not say, “I love you;” instead, she said, “I love your face!”
I have never heard that one before!
I figured she meant I looked good that night, which was incredible since it was 10:30 or 11:00 pm (way past my bedtime!) and it had been a long day of travel. I was exhausted, yet full of energy! Strange paradox, I know!
Even though I thought this woman’s comment was strange, I considered she might be limited in the English language. But the strangest thing happened; every church we spoke at, I kept hearing the same words from the people – “I love your face!”
Now, I started to wonder, “What’s wrong with my face?”
I went to the restroom a few times and looked in the mirror only to discover I looked just like I always do! Nothing special, other than a few bags under my eyes from fatigue.
Then we came to a church where a few of the members spoke some English. Again, afterward, I was told by a woman and another man that they loved my face! But this time, they both explained what they were seeing.
The man said, “There is a light that is shining from your face.” The woman continued, “Your face is so bright that it is giving me energy.”
I admit I was experiencing something unique o this trip; each time I spoke; I felt 100% in sync with my purpose in life. I knew, without a doubt, I was thoroughly in the center of God’s will. Only a few times have I felt this way in my life, and this was one of them.
Before we even went on this trip, I prayed to God, “Lord, I’m yours. I’m fully in! I want You to do with and through me as You wish. I do not want to be afraid. Instead, I want to be full of Your grace, presence, glory, and power! And if I should suffer, teach me to suffer well!”
What these people were seeing was a person who was living from her deep place. I was in my purpose. When we live within our God-given mission, we have incredible power! We shine a bright light that illuminates God’s favor and mercy on those whom we minister. The result is peace, love, and energy that is vast and wonderful for all. No fear is allowed in this place, only hope.
I remember, clearly, the moment I said to myself, “I was born for this!” It was the first time Dan and I spoke on our trip. It was if God shouted to my inner being, “I made you for this, Marcie!”
A favorite passage in the Bible that has often energized me to move forward within the Lord’s will is the charge He gave Jeremiah:
“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
But Jeremiah protested, “Oh no, Lord, God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth.”
Like this man, I have often disclaimed my God-given adequacies to the Lord. I get this man, Jeremiah! However, “the Lord said to Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you.”
This charge reminds me, it’s not about me, it’s about God! I have learned that when I am afraid, it’s because I have decided to live outside God’s will. But thankfully we serve a patient God, “the Lord reached out His hand, touched Jeremiah’s mouth, and said, “I have now filled your mouth with My words. See, I have appointed you today over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and demolish, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:4-10).
Jeremiah’s charge from God was not an easy one. Easy is not the measuring stick of our purpose; it’s the feeling of fulfillment that follows that tells us we are right where God wants us!
If you are a follower of Jesus, this passage is meant for you too. We may not be prophets, but we are Priests of God! He has gifted you and me. He has given us a burning passion for something in His Kingdom.
I’m learning much about vision, mission, core values and creating goals for my life as I am currently earning my certification to be Life Coach (I will have this at the end of November! I’m so excited!).
In the book, Becoming a Professional Life Coach, I read a quote that I can relate to; maybe you can too.
“As many midlife questers discover, fulfillment often means returning to deep sources of satisfaction that we may have had glimpses of many years ago. At that earlier time, we may have lacked the courage to follow the call, or we may have allowed life’s stresses and serious pursuits to cover up the glimmer of what we knew to be true.”
In my life, I have allowed life’s stresses and other people’s demanding pursuits rule my life for a long time. But no more, in February of 2017 I leaped out in faith, more of a step of great courage, to finally live out the purposes God has created for me.
It’s not been easy to live this way. To be honest, I’m not making much money, at least not enough to support us; but the strangest thing is I have great peace! I have no fear! Sometimes I worry, but oddly enough, this worry motivates me to continue in God’s plan. There is a divine energy, light if you will, propelling me forward. I have an incredible volume of tenacity that increases with each worrisome thought. This drive can only be God. It’s not me, I assure you. The face that the people saw in the Middle East is a woman entirely engaged with God’s purpose of her life.
My friend, this engagement is not just for me. It’s for you, too! You can have the same experience of being 100% in sync with the Lord’s plan for your life. If you don’t know what it is, ask God. He wants to tell you. And when He does – do it!
Will you take the risk, have the courage, and trust Your God? He is faithful!