God Spoke Big Through Friends

Today, God has spoken to my heart in many ways. I know He speaks through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and through circumstances. But, often He speaks through people. I won’t mention their names in order to give God all glory. However, two messages I received today gave me significant encouragement.

The first church I ever started in my home town reached many people. Every step I took I sought to let God lead through me. Then, about 5 years into this outreaching church plant I became extremely burnout. I felt led to resign and I tried to leave the church in good hands. The church ended up totally shutting down two years after my departure. It ripped my heart out to disappoint so many. God led me in 2011 to move my family to Walterboro.

Here is the encouragement I received from someone who use to attend that church and now attends the church I currently pastor. My previous church was called GracePoint and the one I started 6 years ago and still pastor now is called Refuge. This lady said out of the blue with no pre-conversation of this matter.

She said, “I’m so grateful you started Refuge because I’m not sure if we’d have a church otherwise. I’m grateful for Grace Point, too, because even though it may no longer be there, it still planted seeds with my kids (and myself) and to me, that is success. Refuge is watering what Grace Point planted! Never forget that.”

Then, less than an hour ago I read an email that was sent to me last night. I had already gone to bed so I missed reading this prayer last night. It still meant plenty to me as my dear friend lifted me up to the Father and spoke such encouragement over me in an email. Then, I read one line that grabbed my heart most. In fact, it released me from something that has weighed so heavy on my heart for so long. Especially since I can’t help so many like my health used to allow.

My dear brother in Christ prayed, “Please give him the discernment on how his time can be allotted. If that means his wife and family get 95% and everyone else 5% then please give him the sign that he can be let off the hook for matters that tug at his heart from outside of his family. Let him know that if he could not be at another bedside due to his condition that he has not failed You at all.”

When I read each of these statements relieving tears washed over me. Too often we rest our identity in who we help and how much we accomplish. Then, when life limits us greatly we have an identity crisis. God has to remind us often whose we are and who we are in Christ. I’m finding much greater peace as I learn to rely more on Christ instead of Craig.

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

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