As I read the words, my eyes began to tear. The Prayer Patterns focus in Missions Mosaic was on Moses. Judith Edwards wrote, "‘Burning bush’ experiences come without warning and often in ways that are indescribable in human words. Any encounter with God causes us to examine where we have been and what may lie ahead, but ‘burning bush’ encounters are those that catch us by surprise, take our breath away because of their inexplicable wonder, and sometimes leave us asking, ‘God! Are you sure?’”
That sums up my journey to national WMU. In a way, that sums up my entire life. I am the daughter of a coal miner and foundry worker and have been caught by surprise time and time again. Repeatedly I have asked, “God! Are you sure?”
A friend sent me a book by Alton Lee Webb. In Go Outside, he writes, “So, if you feel completely called and completely inadequate at the same time, you are in the perfect place to get up, get out, and change the world.”1 I do feel completely called and utterly inadequate.
It has brought some measure of comfort to know that others have felt the weight of responsibility when they assumed this office. Bill O’Brien, widower of Dellanna O’Brien who served as executive director from 1989 to 1999, wrote me a note of congratulations. As we emailed back and forth, Bill shared that when the search committee told Dellanna they were recommending that the board elect her, she was reading a book about Alma Hunt, who led national WMU from 1948 to 1974. Halfway through the book, Bill shared that Dellanna turned to him and said, “I can’t do this job. No one could do it like Miss Alma.” Bill went on to say to me, “No, Dellanna couldn’t and was never intended to. God used the unique gifts Dellanna had for that time in history.”
I know Wanda Lee experienced similar feelings as the torch was passed to her. Recently she told me, “The One Who called you never leaves you. That I can promise with certainty.”
So I find myself at national WMU because of God’s consuming call on my life and my desire to be obedient. I am here because I believe in the assignment God has given us—to challenge Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. I am praying we will be utterly and totally dependent on the Father for His direction and provision.
One night while trying to discern God’s will for my life, a study of Jeremiah 29:11 led me to write this prayer:
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
Which path? The beautiful garden with butterflies and ornate stepping stones; the winding forest trail with rivers, hills, and switchbacks; or the rugged terrain with painful thistles and dangerous wildlife? The path matters not to me. Any one of them will lead to great adventures. You choose. I will follow.
How about you . . . are you willing to follow where He leads?
1Alton Lee Webb, Go Outside: Get Up. Get Out. Change the World (Fedd Books, 2016).
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