Nineveh or bust...My journey to overcoming my misconceptions and relentless fears of where God wants me.
"Oh but God you have the wrong woman, I'm not what you want!!!"
His response: "Mandi I know who I want, you are it... But you aren't WHERE I WANT YOU."
Letting God lead me hasn't always been easy, I see it, I know it... And then I kinda shrug "meh, later..." I'm no fool (or perhaps I am) I KNOW MY PLACE, and I ignore it.
OH LORD, BUT THE PEOPLE THERE:
I was very recently, (in the last month, "recently") was introduced to a bible study. The first night I sat with this group of total strangers as they discussed ideas and hopes for a church plant... "WHAT THE HELL?! Im sitting at the cornerstone of a church plant?" I remember thinking "ha ha God, very funny!" Since my walking away from direct and indirect ministries (basically all I knew my entire life) I took a break from church, to be more specific the people (GOD YOUR PEOPLE!) and the stigma of it all.
What is interesting is people want to be led, people want to be enticed, people want new, and raw, and real... However it comes back around "wellllll mayyyyybe not that new, maybe not so raw, perhaps a little less real and a little more... well, back in the dark like things were, we know those ways best, anyway". I have technically not "belonged" to a church in over 10 years but I have had off the cuff offers through out the last 10 years to be the worship director, lead children's ministries, 3 different youth pastor positions at different churches (with the understanding that bible college was on its way). And I look at these people and I think... "You love me now, you will get to know my heart and love me more, but I don't follow YOUR direction, I follow Gods. And my honesty and raw sparkles will become a thing to fear and I will become church bouncer"... I don't want that. I want a shared vision, I want a body of people that are literally the body, not a bunch of surrogate parts slapping out whoever for their turn to play a part, to be heard over the ego.
This church plant tribe of strangers I am starting to quickly bind to... "Where the hell did these covalent bonds come from?" When you find Gods purpose and Gods timing in the same place, it's amazing how fluent your gifts become, even the ones you suppressed for seasons or thought you lost. It's like this force you cannot deny. (Looking into myself "who is driving you?") I'm actually interested to see what comes of this.
Fun fact, if you've been called into ministry in Southern California in the last 40 years, if you think for yourself, and speak your mind, especially if you are a woman there are very few degrees of separation between yourself and "The church on the way", and myself. We all know the same people and it is ridiculous how I cannot escape, not even into the mountains of Ojai, with friggen strangers, from my calling.
OK GOD, SOOOO IS THE WEATHER IN NINEVEH... BETTER, WORSE, OR COMPARABLE TO THE BELLY OF THIS FISH?
This season in my life... Ok the last 2 years has been a friggen joke! I've never been so stuck. I cannot do it anymore, literally every moment is dictated in such a way that I honestly don't know if a real chance of survival is around the corner. At first, I saw it as enlightenment, to basically live in the now and trust God. But that isn't working anymore, it's not all cool and fun and rainbows; it's stress and depression and thoughts of not knowing if I am meant for this life. It has become so bad I can't think thoughts without some serious emotional grunt work to put them back in line with positivity and love. It's too much. I'm half pissed that I don't know what my kid is going to eat in 3 days or how my rent will be paid or if I was fake enough to hide my scary "can do" attitude, people giving interviews seem to shy away from; here I stand broken hoping they actually want to throw my broke ass a bone. It's rough. And the other half is so defeated, so humbled.
What am I doing, how did I end up here and WHERE GOD, FOR PETES SAKE, WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU WANT ME?! I've never not had my faith in God or questioned him. But I do question me, I question you, I question the willingness to actually See me and God for what we are. What is the forecast for this adventure? How much is it going to cost me? I already nearly have nothing.
LAYING IN SEA-VOMIT ON THE SHORE...
What now? I know the direction and I'm headed that way now... And...