“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
“The Lord directs the steps of the Godly, He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”
I could go on and on listing verses that have carried me over the years. They’ve reminded me that even though I often had no idea where I was going or what I was doing with my life, God knew. As long as I kept my eyes on Him and trusted, that was enough.
Those who know me well would say that I'm a very calculated, planned, and well-thought-out kind of person. I’ve always been that way. Give me the method and step-by-step instructions to the right and most efficient way to do things, and let's get it done with excellence (I'm pretty sure Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”, was my “life verse” by the time I was 10!) I remember spending huge chunks of time all throughout my adolescence contem-
plating and praying about God’s will for my life. I would mentally go through careers that involved helping people one-by-one, and I would feel utterly uninspired or downright terrified at the idea of blood and gore (these days I almost pass out from my kids’ bloody noses, so you can tell the medical field wasn't for me!) It was so difficult to work hard for a purpose I couldn't see, wondering if I was doing the right thing or if I was running a 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction.
I always did love music though. And somehow that seems like an understatement. I started taking piano lessons when I was 9, took every music class imaginable in high school, and took on the Worship and Choir Director position at the church I attended when I was 15, because I was the only musical person in the congregation. I even left high-school days before graduation to tour with a Christian musical
performance group. And still I wondered, “God, what is it?!! What is it that You want me to do with my life??” Few can make a career out of music, and I had no desire to pursue professional performance on any level. I grew up with a Southern Baptist background where women didn't take offering, serve communion, or speak from the stage other than to maybe sing a solo or deliver a missionary report, so I never considered church work because, I didn't feel like the Bible allowed for it.
In the years between high school in Bakersfield, California and coming to First Baptist Church in Port Angeles, Washington, through tours and jr. college and marriage and children, I always felt like I was floundering. I felt like I was lost somewhere in between salvation and the divine plan God had for my life, doing things often because there was no one else to do them and they desperately needed to be done. I'm so glad that God knew, that God “forced” me into the training that he had for me.
Even once Rhys and I arrived in Port Angeles, He didn't have us stay at First Baptist (it was the very first church we tried), he took us to another church where I “studied” under other amazing musicians, spent countless hours volunteering in the office of their music director, as well as worked in their youth group and small groups program.
As I look back on all this, I can see that what felt like horrible floundering and 15 or more years of daily crying out and pleading, “God please, whatever it is that You have for me to do, just tell me, and I will do it!” was really 15 years of God faithfully leading, guiding and directing each small experience that He knew I would need.
When things began moving into place, where I had to take the Music Director position at First Baptist Church, I continued to ask, “God, what is it that You want me to do?” I finally started hearing and sensing, “This. This is what I have for you.”
Not only has it been exciting to see the pieces of my life come together and make sense as I’ve grown in the Music Director position these past years and now as I step into full-time staff at the church, but it has put me in a place of absolute wonder when I consider how every single moment of our lives is on purpose, planned, and designed by our Creator for His purposes. The dull moments, the happy, the tragic and terrifying are all for a reason. We have the potential to further the kingdom of God, when we allow Him absolute control and trust that in the silence and the unanswered He is still “working all things together for the good of those who love Him”.
My prayer for myself and for our church is that Christ would always be the passion of our hearts and as we faithfully move in service to Him, that He would give us peace in the quiet and the unknown. I pray that these times would be refining, that He would fill us with hope, and that we would not grow weary in working towards something we don't always fully understand.
I look forward to working alongside many of you in an even greater capacity than before! Our church is blessed with so many wonderful and faithful brothers and sisters who each add to the delight of serving! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
May God bless you and draw you ever closer to Himself!