From Ruin to Recovery, and the Ministry Beyond…

I was struck with a very encouraging realization recently.

My prayers have been answered. Literally.

For those of you who have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that I followed the Lord’s leading in December 2010 to do two things: First, return to my home state of Delaware; second, write a novel. The process of doing these two things I have not shared in full on the blog as of yet, and I am unsure I ever will. To make a long story short, I did the first in August of 2012 and completed the second in May 2013. Since that time I have felt like my life was in a holding pattern while waiting to make my next move.

I went through days of thinking the Lord would reveal some next new path, and I prayed for that. Some hours I prayed for his nearness and encouragement in the face of pressures and stressors that were taxing my mind in both waking life and dreams. Of course, other days I simply wanted to make it through my 9-5 without damaging my testimony with gossip, malcontent, or vitriol (I will admit that I have failed here more than I would have liked).

Even now, as I type this, I find myself wondering what is next to come. I have felt consistently that 2014 will be a major year for my wife and me–in what ways, I do not know, but I am certain that this year will be significant.

In one way, really, it already has been, for I am in the midst of online training to lead a small group for a recovery ministry. I have to pour through a great deal of curriculum before I begin to interface with others, but the content is excellent, and the program directors with whom I’m working are encouraging. But it was not until earlier this week (during a discussion with my wife), that I realized something: this blog, my writing, and that novel I felt led to complete have already resulted in some level ministry, and now, with this new role I will undertake, more is coming.

I prayed for such an opportunity for a long time. Years.

YEARS.

Is this new function what I expected? Not at all. Do I believe it is the culmination of Stronghold’s reach? Not remotely. In fact, I believe this is just my putting a foot through the threshold of a new phase of life, and I am wildly enthusiastic about following it. The Lord has answered my prayers. My hope is to live worthy of the call. By his grace and to his glory, I will. Through the fellowship of believers,  through encouraging community, and through the power of one greater than myself, the Lord will be honored.

And that, my friends, is worth the wait.