Everyday Doers: An Unexpected Call

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Yesterday, I popped in over at Tammy’s blog and read her post that was related to Cheryl’s blog post that is in response to a movement at Mandy’s blog…. Everyday Doers. I will be hosting an Everyday Doers post on September 18th … So, come on back and read about a ROOV – and that is all I’m saying about that today!
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Tammy and Cheryl wrote about how they discovered a calling to help others through teaching and/or writing in the blogosphere. The questions prompting their response:
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What is God calling you to do today?
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And more importantly how will you respond?
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Okay, so my answer? God is calling me to be a “big tree.” Remember that scene in “Hope Floats” where Gena Rowland’s s character tells her grandson “Travis” to “be a tree.” Well, it kind of was like that.
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Please don’t laugh. It’s symbolic to be sure – but a tree just the same. However you interpret 1 Corinthians 14, I tend to lean on the prophecy still exists side and I know this because 1.) I’ve received words in due season; and 2.) I’ve given words in due season. So… knowing this truth is vital to understanding and since one of my giftings is prophecy… that little nugget of how I landed on this truth is all related.
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How did I arrive at the idea that I am called to be a tree?
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Last summer I had the unfortuate opportunity to make a very bad decision. That decision? I decided in haste and fatigue to stand on a barstool to help some youth decorate for a lock-in. A stool that was not uniquely designed to support my more than 200 lbs. of body weight. The result was not only painful… It was admittedly embarassing.
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To top it off, I had just applied for a position I really wanted and the injury might be working against that whole idea. (This job opportunity was the catalyst for big change, and BTW I did not get the job… But, that was okay because it was not “my” position.)
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(I know you are asking where all this is going, but just hang with me – I’m really growing a tree here.)
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So, I am laying in a hospital ER that night that I fell with a swollen and incredibly painful knee that was hyper-extended and I asked God, “I really missed you on this job thing. Didn’t I?”
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I really didn’t get a response. Could have been the pain. Could have been the pain medicine. All in all, that night God wasn’t speaking.
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For a week, I was laid up with a knee brace, crutches, lots and lots of pain medication and a real concern I was going to have to have knee surgery. However, the following Monday, after a weekend service on the Healing Power of God, a prayer and anointing from and altar minister and a good night’s sleep – I took off my knee brace, stopped taking my pain medicine and began to carry on like nothing had happened.
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The appointment with the ortho was made and after several weeks and electronic imaging appointments, the determination was made that I had actually broken the very tip of one of the bones that joints at my knee in the fall. However, there was a significant tear in my cartilage (not related to the injury) which was most likely the thing that I needed surgery for… and so we scheduled the surgery for the next week.
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(Are you still with me? There IS a tree in this – I promise.)
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At church that weekend they flashed the promo for the upcoming marraige conference and there upon the screen sandwiched between the between the beginning date of the conference and the ending date of the conference was the date of my surgery. OOPS!
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I leaned over to my husband and had a conversation that went something like this:
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“Uh, honey.”
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“Yeah?”
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“Um. I just realized that a month ago I paid for us to attend that conference and this week I scheduled my knee surgery for the exact same time.”
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“Okay, so we definitely aren’t going now, right?”
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My face screwed up in horrified digust:
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“NO! We are still going to that conference.”
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And we did. We attended on Thursday night, I had surgery Friday morning and we missed the two sessions during the day but returned for the Friday night session and the Saturday morning one.
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It was amazing, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led and it sparked something in me that I have a hard time explaining. On Friday night after the conference, my husband loaded me and my ice-machine pack thingy into the bed. He administered the relaxing, pain-relieving medication marked “may cause drowsiness” (and later on it did) the doctor prescribed for me and he went to bed.
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Within a half an hour I was punching my husband who woke startled thinking I’d fallen out of bed and said, “What?”
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I said, “I need a pen, a piece of paper and a lap desk now.”
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I had laid there in the dark with words and Scriptures rolling around in my head for ten minutes trying to go to sleep only to find that I had to write them down. He got up and supplied my “need.” I wrote down what I was “hearing” and put the pen, paper and desk away to go to sleep.
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As soon as I relaxed and got settled again, a picture of a tree kept popping into my head with the names of my family in it. Isaiah 61 kept rolling around with that tree in my head. I laid there trying to be still and very quiet as something inside of me became very alive and awake the more I thought on what my mind’s eye was experiencing.
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About midnight, my oldest daughter walked in the door and I whispered loudly… “GET ME OUT OF THIS BED!”
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She did. She came right in and loaded up my ice-pack machine thingy, my pillows, my blanket and my lapdesk before following my hobbling frame out to the living room where I sat up for hours writing out the vision I was receiving. I drew the tree.

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A large tree with five branches – one that had been cut off but had sprouting branches off of it. My daughters whose branches were low and long, and my step-children were the two shorter branches – but they were there just the same. The roots went deep and long into the ground and stream ran along beside the tree. Beside my son’s branch where the little branches were sprouted I wrote in the names of his half-brother and sister on his dad’s side. Justin’s death provided money that kept them in Christian childcare and school. A blessing and a promise if you ask me. The leaves on the tree were for healing.
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In the trunk (a BIG strong trunk) of the tree was Scott’s name above my own and I felt like this vision was for my husband. I felt like God was showing me Scott’s gift of healing. He has brought so much healing and reconciliation to my life since I’ve known him I thought it was sure. I believed he was the key to healing and breaking some generational curses in our bloodlines. I shared the vision with him and he seemed to consider it. But for months, nothing happened with him. I however went on an odyssey of intense time alone with God. Habakkuk 2:2-3 began to resonate in my life and I started blogging.
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God uprooted us from our old church where I grew into a ministry “sprout” for lack of a better term and replanted us in a larger, Spirit-led environment. And, I waited for the vision to come to fruition. The last day at our previous church was the same weekend of my surgery and the marriage conference.
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I even signed up to lead a small group at church that Fall and no one signed up. I just hung out with God that until after the Holidays. In January I fasted 40 days for direction and joined a small group Bible study. I made new friends and in the latter days of the Spring semester a group of Prophetic ministers came to our group and gave me a word: “Whatever I had done in the past for the Lord, and the sense is that it is BIG … well whatever you are about to do is BIGGER.”
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At our annual women’s conference in March, I served on the ministry team as a team leader preparing gifts for the women who attended. By the end of the conference I knew I was supposed to walk out a calling to mentor or lead a support group for Bereaved Mothers.
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I spoke to the Womens Groups Pastor and we agreed to meet and discuss it. Fast Forward to June… I met with the pastor and we discussed curriculum. She had prayed with another pastor about my group and they both agreed whatever I felt led to do was the direction this group should go. I wanted to do weekly Scripture focused discussions about grief and then give them a promise Scripture for them to meditate on and journal about.
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The Womens pastor sent me to meet with a pastor in our “healing” focused ministry (Freedom Ministry) and she talked me into making my group more healing/recovery oriented than CRISIS oriented. She recommended I meet with the general grief recovery leader and write my curriculum. I adjusted my focus and started working on that. I was sent to a traning course for Freedom group leaders. I met up with the other grief recovery leader. I just completed a few weeks ago the 12 weeks worth of curriculum in a month and about a week. I was overwhelmed and elated.
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I designed and layed out a beautiful Bible study. The theme – TREES. Leaves and trees everywhere. I went into the office this week to print out copies of the member book for the four women signed up to attend my group and the pastor who had trained me and encouraged me to move in a healing direction honored my work. She introduced me to the Executive pastor of the Freedom area of ministry in our church. I had actually met him a few weeks earlier at a Freedom event and he said he had used something I had said to him several times.
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I shared my testimony at a Freedom class on Hurts and Traumas and discovered that the bungled job I felt I had done had actually ministered to many. I have been so blessed – not tooting my own horn here – really. I mean I never would have chosen this route or avenue of service. Out of all the things I felt I was called to do – HEALING was not in my vocabulary.
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Prophecy. Yes. Healing. No.
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So, now I am awaiting the start date of this group. I believe God is growing something bigger out of this opportunity. But – we should never despise small assignments.

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You would think this would be the end of this story until I started writing this post. And guess what God reminded me about! And, now I see that this is all tied to a ministry vision He gave me in 2006 of a center for grieving families (especially children who have suffered a significant loss) where the whole family receives support and recovery focused care through a team of groups that take care of each member of the family specific to their loss in a Christ centered environment.
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In this vision I had received a commissioning to plant a “Key to Healing Garden.” In this Garden I saw large plots of ground unplanted just – fertile soil. The entire garden was shaped like a keyhole with a large walkway entrance complete with fountain leading into a round garden where families could come and plant flowers and plants to remember their loved ones on the grounds of the center/church. The only plants in this garden that were not provided by the families were … You. May. Have. Guessed. It. TREES. I saw HUGE. LIVE. OAK. TREES. In the center and planted around the garden to provide shelter, protection and shade. The garden would serve as a place of remembrance and solitude for families who had suffered losses until they reached a place of HEALING. Then they would purchase a stone of remembrance and put their loved one’s name on it and the date they received their healing to place as a marker in the garden.
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If you then fast forward to our recent Siesta Fiesta in San Antonio. One of the women, Lora, gifted in delivering words of knowledge was given a word to pray over me weeks before we actually met. The first thing she said to me was, “God has BIG… BIG plans for you.” She shared much more about now being the time to walk in my calling and His anointing. But the BIG resonated.
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The final confirmation was at church during a time of prophetic/presbytery ministry on Sunday night when we got back. I asked a friend to pray and confirm all that God had shown me over the weekend. I did not tell her about the word I had received and she knew little if anything about last summer’s vision. She prayed with me and she told me this after our prayer: “All I saw was you as a BIG TREE.”

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Ya’ll! I. CRIED.
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A big tree with many branches and the leaves on the tree were women. HEALED women. The many branches are the lives I’ve influenced who reproduce the ministry God did in their lives.

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The vision is finally complete. A great burden of responsbility and anticipation now accompanies me as I walk confidently in this calling and start my first Bereaved Mother’s Group – Heart to Heart on September 17th.
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I now host a blog for Greiving Moms also called Heart to Heart. And, I recently set up a blog for my group at church. I am so determined to just follow the Lord out on this thing. To do what He has called me to do.
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I said to my friend at church, “Big trees start as little trees, right? But, I have a feeling I’ve been a little tree for a while now.”
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DO Something. Seek out the Lord and then Do Something. It’s so worth it.

One thought on “Everyday Doers: An Unexpected Call

  1. Michelle, This is awesome and beautiful…. I hear ya on the prophetic words… I love em!

    I’ve had a vision that God put in my head…a picture….like yours but different… I’ve had 2 separate ones, yet the same message of what my life is about. In some ways I am still waiting for the door to walk through. In other ways I have walked through the door. I don’t know how to explain it, but sometimes I feel like He has more for me in this picture than I have lived at this point. Some times I feel like I am still in the preparation mode.

    I understand what you are saying.

    For many years I have prayed that I would be an oak of righteousness that displays His splendor…Because of this, I love oak trees.

    Thanks again for sharing your beautiful heart.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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