Have you ever had the feeling that there is something you really have to do? An urging, a sense of direction, a Divine Leading? In my whole life I have had such a feeling only a handful of times.
The first time it happened was soon after I graduated from college. I was torn about where and what to teach. It was then that I deeply felt that I was being led to teach first grade, in a Christian school. As a student who attended public schools, and who had no experience with Christian schools at all, this seemed an impossible and unlikely goal. God likes those impossibles, I think. They make Him smile. Throughout my whole teaching career, I taught in two schools. Both Christian. Both first grade. Not really impossible, at all.
Another clear leading happened at a church service when we were asked to pray about our calling. I knew my calling at that time. To teach. Easy prayer. As I sat quietly, I talked with God about how confident I was about what I was here to do. Instantly, I was humbled as I felt God telling me that teaching was for now, but what I was called to do was parent the children He would give me. I was called to open my door and embrace the children who would become mine. I could not have known then, as a young, single teacher, that I would raise a family full of children... some biological and one born in China. Sitting there, having not yet met my future husband, the whole of it seemed impossible. The dream of family, unattainable. And yet this morning, I helped our four sweet children get ready for their day at school. Not really impossible, at all.
I remember another calling... one I have not yet been able to fulfill. It happened in a classroom on the campus of Illinois State University. I was attending Hearts at Home for the very first time. I had been invited for years prior but had found one excuse or another to decline. But, after the opening keynote, given by Lysa Terkeurst, I knew that Hearts was going to be significant for me. At that time, I had already begun my speaking ministry and loved watching so many people, who do what I do, encouraging moms all over the world. Even more importantly, I could sense that the weekend would have a significant impact on my life with my family. I knew I was supposed to be there... but that was not about calling at all.
One of my sectionals was going to be given by Marybeth Whalen. I walked into the assigned classroom and chose a seat in the back. The day had been long and I was tired but I took out a pen and my notebook and prepared to take notes. Marybeth began to speak and then said, as an aside, that there was an upcoming conference being offered by Proverbs 31 called She Speaks. The conference is designed to train women who feel called to speak or write. She passed out a little piece of paper with all the information on it and I have to tell you, I heard little else. At that very moment, I felt like God was telling me, "Nadia, THIS is why you are here. Go to this conference."
For five years, this has weighed heavily on me. For five years, I have wanted to go. My speaking ministry has grown. I became a Hearts at Home speaker. I have worked on writing books and began book proposals. I know that this is next. And yet, in so many ways, it seems impossible.
Each year, there has been a stumbling block. For the first two years, the She Speaks weekend was booked the same weekend as our adoption reunion. Since my daughter has a deep connection to eight other girls with whom she spent that first year of her life, I knew I had to attend that reunion. Then, the She Speaks weekend was changed. It was at this time that we found ourselves squashed by the fall of the housing market, with our finances and choices greatly impacted. Each year, the registration has opened and then closed again, full. And my name was not on the list. For way too long I have wallowed in the world of impossible.
Not this year. This year, I will answer that Divine Direction and find a way. There are scholarships available and knowing this, I have registered already for the event this summer. I have taken a leap of faith and know that my effort will be blessed. This conference is what is next for me and it is time for me to look away from the impossible and focus on the smile of God. My whole life shows me that what seems to be just beyond my reach is never outside of His.
Over the years, I have done what I felt I needed to do. I ran a MOMs Group for over 10 years and learned about speaking by listening well. I have found myself drawn into this work though I never knew it would be the plan. I have grown my speaking ministry from instinct and guesswork, with a heart for the women who come to hear. Now is the time for training. Now is the time to build on what has begun and improve the direction of my speaking and my writing. This work has become a deep passion of mine but even passion needs training to become what it needs to be. Now is the time to learn what I don't know, to discover how to do more with what God has given me, to find my way in the world of publication and to connect and network with other women, just like me. This is my summer and I will do what I was called to do, so very long ago. The time has come to set the impossible aside and respond in faith. I will go.
Pray with me, will you? Pray that the way is found for the registration fee to be met. Having been stuck in this economy for three and a half years, the fee is completely out of reach for us. Yet, with scholarships available, I can see a way! Pray that I will finally be able to attend this conference and incorporate all it has to offer into the work that I now do. It is a lot to ask but the timing is right and I know it is what's next for me.
One more thing... If there is something before you today, something that is stopping you from doing what you know you need to do.... If there is an impossible standing between you and your next thing, turn your gaze, dear friend. I know it's hard and I know it can be discouraging but there is a God who loves you, who smiles over you and who can make all things possible today. Trust. Then act. I am doing it, too.
Blessings on your day!
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