Here at OCC we have been in this series called “No Regrets” for 3 weeks now, and this past Sunday’s theme had me reflecting and reminiscing on the last time I truly took a huge risk for a Great Cause.
A RADICAL CHANGE
I grew up Catholic, and prior to coming to OCC, had worked for the Catholic Church for 16 years. It was all I had ever known, was as deeply involved in their worship and lifestyle, as I am here. Chris & I were raising our sons in that faith, had them in Catholic preschool and elementary school, learning about the sacraments, attending church on Sundays, doing what we had always known. However, God grabbed my heart a little over 20 years ago and was now pointing me/us in a completely different direction. After attending a few services at Okolona Christian, I couldn’t deny the affection, the passion that was growing in me for a relationship I didn’t even know could be so real. I was experiencing a stirring in my soul as I was starting to understand this amazing love that was demonstrated and poured out on a cross for ME. I wanted to pursue this; I wanted more of it! So Chris and I sat down and started talking about making what was then a radical change: To leave the security and familiarity of the only job I’d even known, pull our kids together and ultimately move to another side of town we weren’t familiar with to be a part of something so much bigger than us. God was moving and we wanted to be on this ride. Not only did we want to, we were compelled to! When I think back now, it is amazing how God opened doors for us along the way as we continued to step out in faith. It was exciting, even thrilling as we anticipated how He’d move and orchestrate things.
Fast forward to January 20, 2017, a new president is sworn in. Some are rejoicing and some are still shaking their heads in disbelief. Radical change is scary. Not knowing what the future holds can leave us numb and just going through the motions of life in fear. But I am reminded time and time again that He is sovereign, faithful and nothing escapes His notice. He is still moving whether we are or not.
STIR OUR AFFECTIONS
Therefore, I want to move with Him! As Bryan challenged us last week to remember what stirred our affections for Him, I am grateful to have had a moment to stop, pause and remember how it felt to move with His Spirit, trusting Him as He made things possible for our family all those years ago.
And so that is my prayer, my excitement, my encouragement (albeit mixed with true sadness) to my precious friends, John and Val as they begin to dance in step with the Father as He leads them on this new journey. Fall deeper in love with the Lord as you walk by faith. I cannot wait to see and hear how the lost come to know of His indescribable love through your lives and witness.
I HOPE YOU DANCE
The apostle Paul lived with a “no matter what it takes” attitude for the cause of Christ Jesus. Some current events have given me opportunity to pause, to remember, to reflect on living a life of “No Regrets.” It starts with our focus on Christ. My prayer lately has been for Him to stir in my heart again, fan those flames so I am truly in tune with His desires and will.
This past May I sang a song at my stepfather’s memorial, “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. There’s a verse that comes to mind that’s in line with this No Regrets mentality. It says:
“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance. Living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking. Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making.”
Now I know this is just a secular pop song, but what could be any more worth it, than a life lived to make Jesus known… facing our fears, taking the road less traveled, taking chances and loving for the sake of Jesus Christ?
Be bold – take chances – trust in His leading and timing, but you must be in tune with the Master. “So when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” No regrets!