Hi my name is Lisa.  I’m a twin, mom, wife and a children’s pastor.  I love being all of these, but the one thing I love being most is a child of God’s.  We all have a story, a story that God is writing into our lives.  Mine is messy, complicated and sometimes painful.  But it is also beautiful, with God’s love woven into each fragmented piece that makes up my life.

You see God saved me even before I knew I needed saving.  God saw this life of mine, one I had committed to him so many years before, but that was dangerously walking on the edge, the point of no return.  My story doesn’t have nail biting ups and downs. No damsel’s in distress and princes coming to the rescue (although I think my husband is my prince charming!)  In fact, I think my story is pretty typical in many ways and yet very different.

I found my Lord and Savior at 17 years of age.  He held promises of unconditional love I had never known before.  I found community with people I never dreamed I could have before.  I found acceptance.

But life has a way of coming at you at speeds you never imagined.  And the enemy in his subtle and beguiling way can creep into a life unbeknownst to anyone.  After years of believing the lie that all I had to do was try harder, be smarter and be better than, I gave up.   I surrendered.

I wish I could tell you that I surrendered into the arms of Jesus willing, humbly and accepted his mercy and grace – gracefully.  But I didn’t.

Anger filled my soul when I realized I couldn’t be….a better wife, mom, children’s pastor – child of God.  I was angry I couldn’t do it on my own, in my own terms.

I don’t think God wanted a pretty surrender.  For me, I had to be broken, completely and utterly broken. And that brokenness came one April morning in 2010.   The words that blurted out of my mouth that day came as a total surprise, probably more so for me then anyone else.  I was done, I told my boss.  I didn’t want to do “this” anymore.  “This” being ministry.  It was not quiet, nor forgiving.  I was angry.  These weren’t hollow words of drama.  I meant them.  If doing ministry, if being a follower of Christ meant this much pain I wanted no part of it anymore.

It wasn’t until I climbed into my car a few minutes later that it hit me what I had just done.  The job I loved for so long, the church I had been a part of for 2 decades, the community, my community, had I really just tossed it all out the window?

I hadn’t even discussed any of this with my husband!  I didn’t even know I felt this way!  In fact, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling except anger.  So, so much anger.  Unfortunately, no one was immune from the wake of anger I left behind.  My kids, my husband, my family and friends.  It was ugly and awful.

God has a way of peeling back layers of your soul, spilling your broken mess out in the open.  Maybe not for everyone to see, but there is no denying what I saw.  I saw the rough hard edges of a life that had not only believed a lie, but embraced it.  God saw a beautiful mess.  A soul that was his from the beginning.  His child, who he loved so very much he would sacrifice for her.  Sacrifice so much for her……and you too.

This journey I’ve been on has some very rough patches and some beautiful moments that only God could put together.  It’s a story still being written, but God had done and is doing a beautiful work in me.  Yes I have a messy story, but God can use that mess for his purpose.  God is using this mess for his purpose.

I’m still in ministry at the same place with the same people who I love so very dearly.  I see a small part of his purpose in my life.  I dream of bigger and better things to come from this.  But instead of angry clenched fist my hands are open to his spirit.

Here I am Lord, send me……

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