Life has many twists and turns. A twist is something unexpected, like an ending to a movie you didn’t see coming. A turn you can see up ahead and make plans for what it requires. Knowing that a twist or a turn is from God is one thing—but staying the course is another.
The past year and a half, I’ve had many twists and turns. Surprises and changed plans are becoming God’s normal way of working in my life. I’m learning to hold things loosely so I can be flexible. Twists and turns hurt more if you are stiff-necked.
A couple of months ago God sprang a twist on me. And this coming weekend, I make the much-anticipated turn.
Since being laid off in March 2012, I've had many opportunities to grow in my faith. If you've been following the ministry, you know that I took a leap of faith when I obeyed God to give my entire severance to the church. As a single woman, I found giving up my only provision was not only risky but scary. I thought that was the biggest leap I'd ever take! But, God doesn't fail us: The day I put it in the offering box, God provided for my needs for the rest of the year with a consulting opportunity.
Then in January 2013, completely without income other than unemployment, I started Single Matters. That didn’t seem wise in the natural, but God showed me His heart for singles, so I had confidence it was His will. In just four months it has grown more than I could’ve imagined. The emails of changed lives make it worth the cost. And our team of six volunteer staff and more than 20 writers are proof that God provides and loves it when we serve together.
Many tears have come from my eyes, and many expressions of unbelief have passed by my lips. It has been the hardest and yet most rewarding experience to watch God instruct me and then prove Himself faithful.
I have sensed over the last few months that it's time to take another leap of faith. It started with a thought as I woke up in the morning. Like a daydream. Finally, I asked God, “Is this you?”
I embraced the twist, and now I’m ready to announce the turn.
I feel compelled to go share the love of Christ across the United States. When I started Single Matters, I sensed God telling me to take back the land—helping singles think differently about singleness, dating, and marriage. But especially to take back the territory the enemy has gained by influencing singles to be like the world. Now, I’m going to literally “take back the land.”
This weekend, I’m putting everything I own into storage. Then, on November 1, I’m getting in my car and going … trusting God to show me where to rest my head for the next few months.
I’m calling it the Kingdom Expression Experiment. It’s an experiment to see what would happen if we would let God express His character through us on a moment-by-moment basis.
I want to be led like Paul and see God move through His Holy Spirit as He did in Acts. That’s the daydream. And I can’t get it out of my mind.
I have seen God heal people, and I want to see more.
I’ve heard God speak to people through an encouraging word, and I want to witness more.
I’ve sensed God’s love for people I didn’t know, and I want to give away more.
I’ve followed God’s lead in uncertain times, and I want to do that more.
What would it look like if I really gave up everything that makes me comfortable? What would it look like for God to provide for all my needs? What would it look like if I sensed God telling me to stop and encourage a stranger, meet with believers or pray for the sick? Would some come to know Christ personally? Would believers be encouraged? Would people get healed by the power of God?
I know very little about this journey. I plan on going to cities where I have friends, but God could lead me somewhere else. I’m relying on the church to open their homes, and looking for places to serve as God leads. I have a few folks asking me to speak or minister already.
I’ve been studying the life of Paul in Acts. Sometimes he went to visit the churches but then came across situations that allowed him to be an expression of God's love. He taught, healed, raised the dead and encouraged people. He had hardships but also was visited by an angel!
And Paul could do it because he was single.
I want to make the most of this single season of my life. I thought I’d be married with kids by 45, and I’m not. I thought I’d have a home and a steady job by now, but I don’t. I don’t want to waste any time. I’m single and available for God to use me however He wants. I want to give God my expectations and desires and have His in my heart instead.
But I must admit, sometimes I get caught up. The other day as I stopped and looked at all the boxes in my apartment, I thought, “Am I losing everything because I was disobedient?” Before the thought was even finished, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Or are you gaining everything because you are obedient?”
I’m still learning to make my thoughts obedient to Christ. I want to be humble so God can speak to my wrong thoughts and show me what He thinks. I’ll be honest … fear is a thief that has stolen from me before. How about you? You know, it keeps us from hearing God and moving toward our destiny.
In Genesis 12, Abram heard God say he should leave and go to the land God would show him. Abram’s first step wasn’t to leave but to say yes to God. I spoke about this at the Declare Conference. What those ladies didn’t know was that I was preaching to myself!
I will document this experiment via video and blog posts. I will try to share everything—the good and the bad. And I invite you to join me. You can get the latest posts by signing up for my newsletter. Or stop by my blog or Facebook page to get the updates there. I'd love to hear from you.
Do you want to be a part of this experiment? You can pray, share it with others or give. I'd be so grateful for any support you can give. Not just to me—but to the things God is going to do in the next few months.
Well, I’m off to pack a few more boxes. I’m trying to hear what God has to say about my desire to bring lots of shoes. Thanks for being a part of the ministry. Let me know if you want me to stop by your town and say hello!
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