Where will my 'YES' take me?
‘..Yes. I’ll stay with you, I’ll protect you wherever you go, and I’ll bring you back to this very ground. I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything, I promised you.” – Gen 28:15 MSG
Back in the month of March this year, from the ambiance of an outdoor alfresco café, overlooking the swan river with friends – I felt God nudging me to be brave and commit my ‘yes’ to a venture that I had been putting off due to other commitments!
Part of this ‘yes’ was not only for me (will get to mine later) but to fulfill a 2-year cancelled birthday present (due to COVID) for my life companion, best friend & hubby … and today we are doing that by stepping on a plane for the first time in 33months for me, longer for hubby. I am not really keen on flying these days, but today’s effort will be a grueling 17 hours (approx.) plus another 3 the following day to reach the other side of the world and hopefully see the northern lights in person 😊
In completing this unfinished ‘quest’ for my better half, I am also planning to arrange a coffee catch-up with a long-time friend of my mum, who I hope to meet for the first time and hear from her about memories from the past. Possibly get another perspective of who they found my mum to be for them, as I no longer have her here with me.
Not only will my ‘yes’ enable extraordinary travels but I am also choosing to step into a commitment of ‘accelerated personal discipleship’ at my church in 2023 to invest in intensive training of the word of God for my life to encourage more God encounters, equipping and engagement of new experiences!
ENGAGEMENT – Our minds are renewed by learning, but our lives are shaped by serving. Jesus modeled it, and we never graduate from serving. If we are too big to serve, we are too small to lead. Be practically engaged in bringing the reality of God to your world. Your gifts are God’s gift to you and designed for Him to work through you.
EQUIPPING – Hunger for the Word is vital. We have David Storer, Mervin Jayaseela, Martin Steel, Shane Willard, Matt Fielder, and other guests joining us in 2022, speaking on wholeness, biblical doctrine, leadership, spiritual disciplines, building culture, moving in the Spirit, and practical wisdom for life and ministry.
ENCOUNTER – Beyond learning and serving, it’s our prayer that you have an encounter with God. Whether it’s a dynamic encounter that you can point to or the cumulative effect of being in His presence for many hours over the year, we know God’s presence will mark the rest of your life as you set your affection on Him.
EXPERIENCE – Jesus taught the Word, engaged His disciples in serving, gave them power and authority in encounters, and also sent them on missions. Some of life’s greatest branding moments are the mission trips we go on. We go hoping to bring change, but often, we come back more changed.
Writing this is now reminding me of another ‘Yes’, I made back in 2008…
In August 2007, I was reading a book called “Completely His” by Shannon Ethridge. Her dedication to praying over her and her husband’s passports to be available and used for the Father’s business was inspiring. At that time, my husband and I had passports sitting in a top draw (for seven years) for a family trip to the UK that had never happened. I thought what a waste of money to spend having them and do nothing with them so from that day on I took out both mine and my husbands to start to lay hands on them every day for them both to be used for God’s purposes for whatever life they had le. in them. I did not want them to be a waste but used for His glory.
In December of 2007, I was on the door one Sunday morning, shaking people’s hands when, a lady that was praying for my husband and I came to me very excitedly to say that she had a vision that morning of me standing up in front of women, preaching! Of course, I just said “good morning, thanks for that, enjoy the service” I was a little skeptical and thought that is one I am going to put on
the shelf for the time being.
Early in the New Year, some months on, I was experiencing some difficult circumstances and had the desperate sensation of just wanting to run away – any way possible. I happened to be speaking with our mission director. I jokingly said to him, “do you have anywhere I can run away too?” He came back to me and said there is a woman at church who would like to take a team to Sri Lanka to minister to groups of women and would I be interested. Straight away, I said, “no, thank you, I was not asking for that type of running away to.” Over the next few months, several situations arose (and it would take another whole book to recount – but I shall share just one below) but God was orchestrating for me to make a choice – would I go and do what I had been praying for over my passport or not?
It was a hard choice to make as the enemy tried so viciously to interfere, but as I chose to be obedient and went, God was always a step ahead, and walking in that revelation is a whole new level again. Awesome actually!
A few weeks before traveling to Sri Lanka, in August 2008, our team of three had the intercessors at our church pray for us before going. In that session, a passage of scripture (please read chapter “Challenge to be Unique” ) was read over us, and one particular verse stood out to me. In that instant, it was read out; God took me back to when I was ten years old where that same verse was written out and given to me by a church leader (Ann Thomas) when I was at a kid’s camp. the Lord said to me that He had that written back then for me now. I cannot explain in a few words the impact that had on me – to know that God saw me standing in front of hundreds of Women preaching in the present back when I was only ten.
In amongst that, God made way for my husband David and I to also travel to the UK for our 25th Wedding Anniversary 8 months later. We were able to travel just before our passports ran out. In stepping out for Him and His purposes, he also turned around and blessed our obedience, giving us the desire of our hearts along with it!
Around this same time, a prophetic word was shared with me to say that the Lord was going to open up to us five doors, and the first was to open up while away on our trip to the UK. Not only does God give you the desires of your heart, but in traveling to the UK and meeting up with contacts over there, a pilot program for a new Parenting Course was given to us to run back home in Australia that was a God orchestrated and appointed moment. So, the Lord opened up doors and used us as well.
God has been so good, and these circumstances were all instrumental in bringing us into relationships with many others. These relationships have played a large part in our walk over the years and have gone on to be a huge blessing to us and God’s influence further afield. I so desire for those I meet to know the kind God that wants to be influential in their life too.
We were blessed over many years to have doors open up to us, at the invitation from Principals in Government Primary Schools during this season. There were approximately five schools in the district surrounding our church, where we ran the Parenting Program. Along with many dedicated volunteers supporting us .om our church community, we touched many families through this mighty program, and we give God all the praise, He was up to something great through it!
Quote from ‘Door of Hope’ by Kim Stanfield - https://www.kimcreations.com.au/publications
Life is a journey of experiences, and our heavenly father wants us to enjoy our life to the full…
‘…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].’ – John 10:10 AMP
I so wish to be honourable in my choices and make the ‘yes’, I give be meaningful for the plans and purpose God has for me. So even though I am traveling to the other side of the world today to complete a dream for hubby I also wish this to be a ‘pivotal’ time/season for me personally in my own walk and return home with such awesome testimonies of God’s goodness as well.
As the scripture I opened with states, ‘I’ll bring you back to this ground’ – that to me shows God's dedication to our individual stories and His desire for us to pursue completing what He started in us.
Praying that you too have a ‘Yes’ in you to go further and be more for God to use?