A great man once taught me to face my fears and ‘do it afraid’, and to never stop believing in impossible dreams, if those dreams can bring about good.
Today It is January 2, 2016.
On December 30 2014, I posted a status on Facebook, playfully asking for an interpretation to a dream I had the previous night. The dream involved my former car (beloved old Rustbucket) disappearing, and me being all distressed at that loss, but when I went back out to prove it had disappeared, a brand new gold Mazda convertible awaited me.
I posted the status in jest, asking for an interpretation and expecting nonsensical responses. Instead, I received a rush of private messages and comments on that status, telling me that it had meaning, and many said 2015 would be a year of change–good change–for our ministry. (To read the status and public comments, click link here or on the photo.)
I’ll be honest, I struggled to take any of it seriously, at first, but after numerous people said the same thing, I started to listen. Some joked about the dream–which I could obviously appreciate, since that was my motive–and while many said it related to our ministry, Generations Unleashed, a few even threw in the notion that maybe a new car awaited me in 2015. That part I didn’t take seriously at all, but the thought was nice.
As I reflected today on 2015, I did so with mixed emotions. True to the prophetic words spoken, our ministry changed dramatically! We did only 2 conferences all year, with more stand-alone speaking engagements, as well as partnering in ministry with others. A highlight was partnering with comedian/musician, Kelita Haverland.
But the most dramatic change was the amount of ‘out of country travel’. I love to drive, but even more than driving, I love to fly! I would fly at least once a month, if I could. And by ‘could’ I mean that right now it isn’t reasonable for me to be away from home that much, so I do not pursue that much ministry out of country. As it stands, I spent about five weeks out of country in 2015, mostly working with victims of sexual assault and hearing stories of pain and trauma, while walking with those victims or parents of victims, to offer support in crisis.
The last quarter took a turn, and doors opened to have international clients move to Ontario to spend weeks at a time, investing in coaching and mentoring sessions. This has proven to be a wonderful option for those victims out of country who have no place to go locally–at least not places they feel comfortable going–and want to spend time developing confidence and pursuing freedom. There are a few pitfalls, bumps and scrapes, however, as there are with any growth. And for us that was predominantly in trying to determine internationally whether a client fits into a coaching/mentoring client relationship, or whether the extent of trauma or need would be more appropriate for psychotherapy with a licensed counselor or other professional, or a mental health institution. Locally I have the option of meeting a client several times, and if the need crosses that line, I can simply refer the client elsewhere, or we choose to work in partnership with licensed professionals, which is not an easy option at a great distance. We are growing and learning, and trust God to continue leading us in this.
As for the car, we did end up with a new-to-us car for our ministry, and it was indeed a blessing from someone, earlier this year. It wasn’t gold; it was silver. And it wasn’t a Mazda convertible, but it was a Honda Accord, 2-door with a sun roof. Close enough. The gentleman who sold it, donated a portion back, and the remainder was gifted to the ministry days after our old Mazda ‘died’, and only days before I was scheduled to drive to USA to spend time with a young woman in a very difficult situation. The car has since traveled thousands of miles to reach wounded hearts, to encourage the struggling, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus in broken lives. We are thankful for the gift, and pray that God’s blessing over the individual who provided it.
In other firsts and changes, 2o15 offered deep trials and confronted fears I would never have thought I could cope well facing. Rejection. Lies. False accusations. Broken trust. Threats of various sorts. Losses. And in each of these I found my God more faithful than ever I have known Him to be, personally. He has kept my heart tender towards those who have wronged me, and given me love in places where I once grew hardened for fear of being wounded. Today He has taught me to embrace wounding, even while He continues to teach me healthy boundaries and extending grace with those boundaries. And by His grace He continues to give me compassion for all, as I learn to walk more and more in the love of Jesus, while acknowledging that which is wicked in the temple courts, and praying He will overturn tables once more.
Looking ahead in 2016, changes will continue. God has opened doors to influence and corroborate with individuals with authority and in positions of influence, who have a vision for changing how sex crimes are handled in religious communities. While the process will take time, our hope is to influence dramatic changes at a level that can and will have life-changing impact in the near future, and for generations to come.
On top of this, I’ve been dreaming for some time about returning to school and, God-willing, 2016 will be the year for this. I had several meetings in recent weeks, trying to determine what is the best starting point. As a result, if I am accepted, I will begin September 2016. Because I will attend as a mature student, hoping to enter a Master’s program, I will start with a 3-month qualifying term during which time I will need to maintain a minimum 75% average in all courses. If I am successful, this will be followed by 16 months of full time Masters program. The reality is I need ‘the official paper’ and credentials behind my name for the next phase of ministry, and to continue to move forward and grow in our community and beyond, and influence changes at the next level. One on one work is good, and it is effective for that one, but the truth is that more can be accomplished with a broader vision. And the need is massive.
I will continue, for the time being, to meet with clients one-on-one, whether local or international, and do what I have done for the past five years. It has been and continues to be something I love, and something that has taught me more in life than any other career or experience.
As these things unfold and develop, and as meetings start early in the year to explore next steps, I see 2016 as a year of preparation and strategic planning. This preparation, I pray, will bring to life a dream that has developed in my heart over a period of years. Granted, there is always that tiny fear that ‘it’s impossible’, and I push constantly through such fears.
A great man once taught me to ‘do it afraid’ and to never stop believing in impossible dreams. Particularly if those dreams can bring about good. And my God has taught me that ‘doing good’ is part of being a Christ follower, and to ignore good that He has called me to do is in fact sin.
So I will choose to believe in the dreams He has birthed in my heart, and trust that if it will bring good, then He will go before me, prepare the way, and bless me. Even if all hell rises against me, no evil thing can stand in the way, no religious thing can stop His plan, and no fear or threat will hold me back from following the purpose God set before me, before I was even conceived.
Before my conception, ere ever my frame formed in my mother’s womb, or even the world obeyed your command, You whispered my name. And in that whispering, my purpose donned wings. A destiny spoken in the shadows became the light that would guide me on the way. For it is Your Kingdom, Your purpose and Your plans that fill my days with adventure; the invitation to step into something greater than myself, to live beyond the walls of selfish expectation, and partner with the Divine, to change the world. (Based on Jeremiah 1:5) (Excerpt from When Abba Whispers Her Name, (working title), Trudy Metzger)
~ T ~