Written by Guest Contributor, Kathy Weckwerth
Isaiah 58:9-12 – “I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places…. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.”
As I’m driving this afternoon and feeling the warm sunshine settling in around my shoulders, I look at the mile marker by the side of the road, and I’m thrown back to a day like this several years ago. I smile as I allow myself to adjust the rear view mirror of my mind.
For years, I have driven down my own road of life, confident for the most part, knowing where I’d been and where I was going.
“Director of Worship & Creative Arts” at the local church was where I hung my hat each day. It felt good, it felt right, and I felt called to the position.
The day in and day out of everyday life was a privilege and a blessing, as I led the congregation in Worship and invested in my team week after week, Sunday after Sunday. Comfort….. Comfortable…. That was the description of my life.
And then it happened. Tragedy struck my family, as my middle daughter was violently attacked and was close to death at the hands of her attacker.
The subsequent days to follow were filled with calls to police officers and dates in court.
As my children and I clung together, praying, trusting, praising God for life, a strange turn of events took place. The phone call came on that warm spring afternoon, as I stood in the middle of Wal-Mart. It was a call that changed my journey forever. The lawyer on the other end of the phone told me that there was not enough evidence against the attacker, and so he would receive a year probation. In the middle of the aisle, on that spring afternoon, in front of strangers who had no clue, I sat down and cried.
My girls came and pulled me up, as my daughter who had suffered so deeply looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Mom, we prayed and we released it to God. This is His will. We must accept it. We have to go on.”
I gathered my strength from my girls and looked at each one of them, wondering when they had grown from the little girls playing Barbies in their rooms, to the mature individuals that were now leaning into our Heavenly Father, pulling me along.
I climbed behind the wheel of my car and settled in for a long trip, away from the cities and out to the countryside where I lived, and began to cry out to God. No…it wasn’t really crying…it was a lot of screaming. How could this happen? I was angry. And if you’re a friend of mine, you know that anger leads me to have determined actions that will make things different…..better.
It was a mile marker, a place in life that I’ll never forget. The sun was blazing through the window of my car and all I heard was the continual sniffling and sobbing of my own voice.
But as I drove into a small town and slowed down, I knew what I was going to do. I was going to take what happened and make it into something fabulous for God. I was going to somehow, someway make a difference in the lives of women. Not just women in my neighborhood or at my own church, but women…. everywhere.
The life that I had lived, the journey that I had traveled on, my comfort zone was now released into the arms of a loving Savior; and talk about being scared silly…. that was me.
That day, I relinquished my hopes and dreams as worship director and committed to make changes… for me…. for others, so that no woman’s hurts and pains would go unnoticed… dismissed… unverified.
In the days to follow, I waited on God. I prayed, I listened, and God developed a plan inside my heart. With the help of my daughter and several of my friends who had incredible abilities, we would create a ministry.
Another mile marker…. the afternoon I searched my Bible thoroughly, waiting for God to deliver a name for this ministry. And there it was, John 10:10b, The Message, “I came to give them real and eternal life. More and better life than they ever dreamed of.” I know God. It wasn’t just a better life he wanted for us… he wants us to live our Best Life.
The road ahead now took a different direction. No longer did I experience the comforts of the familiar worshippers and a weekly paycheck. No longer did I embrace my comfort zone. No, God began taking me on a road that was completely new and unique. Each day delivers fresh hopes and dreams, while each evening reveals the satisfaction of new lessons learned.
As I’m pulling into my own driveway this afternoon, I take a moment to look around me. Life has certainly changed for me. The journey is no longer worn and familiar, but fresh and new. It is increasingly demanding. I now travel a road that leaves me utterly dependent upon God. This place… this place of unfamiliarity is now THE place I want to travel.
The old road… I loved it. I treasured it. But for today…this is my path and my journey. I will continue to watch for the mile markers as time goes by, learning and living… really living.
For more information about Kathy Weckwerth, or her women’s ministry, Best Life Ministries, that delivers conferences to the local church. log onto www.bestlifeministries.com, or find her blog at http://bestlifeministries.com/best-life-lifelines/, or listen for her radio spot “Best Life Thoughts” aired on Spirit 92.9 weekly.