Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What is #projectfaithfulness?



#projectfaithfulness is for me, and hopefully it will help others along the way. 

Let me tell you who I am. My name is Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Biz (so you can call me Biz...cuz you're an "everyone"). 

I grew up most of my life in the church. As a matter of fact I was 5 when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and 7 when I was filled with the Holy Ghost. I honestly cannot remember a day in my life without Jesus. Here's how I got there:

My parents were hippies and druggies. My Mom wanted more, and was introduced to Jesus through some farm ladies in the small rural town we lived in. My Dad wanted nothing to do with it. However, my Mom just kept right on doing her thing (she's always been an independent sort). She would ask him to come to Bible Studies, and he would say "No". Finally, he caved in. My Dad was one of those 'sinners' that would drag his 6 pack of beer to the Bible Study my Mom had dragged him to, start a fight, and then leave. But, the faithfulness of God prevailed. One day God got a hold of him while he was on his knees next to a cow named Beth. My Mom had told my Dad that she would follow him anywhere except to hell. My Dad couldn't stand the thought of an eternity without his family, so he gave his life to Jesus Christ. 

My Dad's conversion was a radical one. We were involved in a denominational church to begin with, so we burned all of our 'satanic' music. Hundreds of collectible LP's...up in smoke. We thought we were doing the right thing. Found out later on it was just a lot of legalistic rules. We continued to attend the denominational church for several years. Then, my parents were introduced to the Holy Spirit at the first Kenneth Copeland Believer's Convention in Dallas, TX in 1981. This was another radical spiritual change for them. It didn't take long for our denominational church to catch wind of the fact that my parents had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and wanted them out. They didn't exactly tell them to leave, but they did tell them they were not allowed to teach Sunday School, or basically be involved in any aspect of the church. People shunned us like we had the plague. All of a sudden, I remember not being allowed to even talk to my best friend Heather (that's all I remember of her name anymore). My parents couldn't fathom staying somewhere that we were so obviously unwanted, so we left our denominational church. We then started traveling 2 hours one way every Sunday to attend a non-denominational church that was alive, and taught the things that we needed to hear. Within two years, my parents were licensed and ordained ministers, and started a church. 

So, as you can see, I've been involved in "church" almost my entire life. I walked away from serving Christ when I was around 15 until I was about 20. Stupid years I wish I could get back....but I can't...so I just go on with life and accept the forgiveness of Jesus. Up until 2-1/2 years ago my family and I were in ministry with my parents. We were both licensed and ordained ministers, had been youth pastors for more than 10 years, were on the church board, I was the treasurer and worship leader, my husband was head of Helps ministry.....it was good. It was at that time that my husband was offered a job in Florida, and we wanted out of Northern Wisconsin, so he took it. Honestly, we knew it was a "God move". There wasn't a doubt in our minds. Everything transitioned smoothly. Florida was where we belonged, and we were going to do great things in ministry when we got there!! 

Fast forward 2-1/2 years. These have been the hardest spiritual and physical years of my remembrance. We found a church right away. Within 6 or so weeks we decided to become members. Eventually I started singing with the choir and hubby was ushering.....then our kids told us they were immensely unhappy. The kids in the youth group were terribly unfriendly. They liked the youth leaders, but couldn't get past the snubbing of the kids. There were major ethnic and cultural differences, and the kids in the youth group treated them poorly. So, we decided we had to look elsewhere for a church. That sent us on a two year journey, visiting more than 10 churches, to find the one we currently attend. 

Through this 2-1/2 year journey I became increasingly disillusioned. Did God really send us here? Did we just jump at the first chance and do the wrong thing? God where are you??? Why are we not in ministry?? Why are we unable to find a church that we can call "HOME"?? Are we supposed to start our own ministry...(in a city that has more than 800 churches already..*gasp*..)?? What is going on??? This wasn't supposed to be this hard! God, where are you?? This was not the plan! This was not how it was supposed to be! We were supposed to get involved with a church and serve and preach and teach and....be in ministry!! 

That was all we knew... Ministry. 

We had gotten so busy in ministry that we didn't attend to so many things that we needed to attend to in our personal lives. Like, learning how to NOT be the babies of the family and run to Mom and Dad every time we had a problem. Learning how to be independent and stand on our own two feet. Learning how to go without, because the bills took all the money, instead of Daddy always running to the rescue. Learning how to REEEEAAALLLYYY seek God and rely on God. 

This is where #projectfaithfulness comes in. 

#projectfaithfulness is for me. I am so thankful for a God who never gives up on me. I am so thankful for a Holy Spirit that keeps poking at me in the midst of my self-pity, and my anger, and my stupidity to convict my spirit. I am so thankful that I am now listening.

Recently my heart began to ache over all the things we lost in the move. I don't even remember what the trigger was that snapped me out of it. I was moving fast into a depression that was not going to be pretty. I was super unhappy at my job, and getting angry with people and things; all very ugly behavior. One day I thought to myself..."Set your alarm for 6 am and get up and read your Bible". 

So I did.....and I was encouraged. Then, I set my alarm for every day of the week for 6 am, including Saturday and Sunday. I have been getting up every day and reading the word...and I am encouraged. One day last week I was flipping through the channels and saw that Joyce Meyer was on. Her voice has always driven me up the wall to the point where I refused to watch any of her broadcasts. This time, I stopped and watched the show....and DVR'd all of her future shows! I have been watching her show every day...and I am encouraged! There is an anointing that draws me in. She has been teaching about taking offense. Exactly what I needed to hear! I am driven to watch her broadcasts. I can't wait to be fed the Word. 

It was yesterday that it dawned on me that what God is working me through right now is a return to #faithfulness. I had lost my #faithfulness. I was doing my own thing, making my own decisions, watching what I wanted, eating what I wanted, talking how I wanted....and it had no part of God in it. Through reading His Word again, I am learning that it has not been a matter of "God where are you?", but "Biz, where are YOU?!" I have repented for being an unfaithful child of the Most High King. I really was quite the brat. 

So, like I've said several times...#projectfaithfulness is for me. This is my blog to talk about what God is saying and showing to me. But, maybe, if you made it to the end of this long tale...it might be for you too. Maybe we'll journey back to #faithfulness together. 

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