{countdown to thanks} i work for god

It was in sold out tears streaming down worship

where I found myself breathing in peace and exhaling trust.
In a room of hundreds of Pastor's wives I stood thankful.
 I released my broken.
 I felt the consistent presence of God in my life.
A beautiful soul shared her heart with us.
She brought to mind all the times in ministry where
we could say with gladness or sadness that
 we worked for God and not anyone else.
This is my "countdown to thanks"

time frame of being employed by God.

The call to journey with Jesus, 
next to people  in both the  dreams and devastation
 has been my calling.
Jesus was there in those moments of worship bringing to mind
all the days, the nights, the middle of the nights
where I was working for Him.
When the work was lonely, or noticed, or forgotten
He lovingly spoke to me.
Its all for me. Stay faithful to Me.
The summer God called us to direct a summer camp
 full of kids who needed to feel loved
(but the real leading was to our college leaders who were searching for purpose)...
I worked for God.
The year we moved to the sticks of Missouri
to serve a community where kids needed hope but there with no student Pastor
(and we had a club at the local pizza joint every Friday to keep them from drinking in the pastures)...
I worked for God.
As we visited a different church every Sunday
to be available for parents but I really had no church home
(which nearly killed me since I am highly relational)...
I worked for God.
The growing friendships with girls in that tiny community passing on joy
(girls who felt lost and empty and unimportant)...
I worked for God.
In the tornado that literally spinned over our rental house
(as I huddled in the corner with a newborn baby and a 2 year old) and the lack of funds meeting that voted
 to close our ministry to that community...
I worked for God.
Whew. I am debating continuing this list.
Same day the ministry in the sticks closes down shop,
 the call from Alaska came. They are looking for a student Pastor
(they have no clue where we were or what had just happened).
We interview, we move, we start life at my home church...
I worked for God.
We build relationships of trust.
We teach Jesus and make unforgettable moments with kids
(our favorite group of kids then still hold that favorite spot today)...
I worked for God.
I had the honor of counseling daughters of the King who feel
 unworthy, who feel dirty, who have lost hope.
I worked for God.
Five years later we fell broken hearted, confused, and hurt
 that God was moving us away
from what had been such a beautiful gift.
 I cried, I grieved the loss of relationships.
I struggled with trusting a church again.
I worked for God.
 But He recovered our hope. He rebuilt our trust.
The haunting words that once replayed in my mind...
"You don't fit here anymore."
"We are going in another direction."
settled in my soul because I didn't work for them!!!
I worked for God.
When we sold our home in Alaska and moved our family of 5
into the basement home of dear friends
(as I wrestled and felt lost in the sea of people
I poured my heart and soul into)
He spoke the truth of who we were.
He spoke healing and restored our disappointment
so we could move forward to our next assignment...
I worked for God!
The months when my husband was interviewing over the phone
with 6 different churches and I tried to carry on with life
(and I knew He was calling us to move and leave my family)...
I worked for God. 
Mothering, home school, and finding joy in the loss was my daily task.
 I took steps one foot in front of the other
 trusting that there had to be a better environment to serve in.
 Even when we weren't employed...
I worked for God.
We put our life in storage, packed suitcases and moved our family back to Missouri. We had no job, only hopes that God  had gone before us...
I worked for God.
The very night we landed a call came in from a church we were talking too. They wanted to meet. That was the end of the job search. We moved to Tennessee and started a new life of serving...
I worked for God.

A call came in a few Thanksgivings ago of a student friend who struggled in this life. The struggle was finished and she entered into eternity. The conversations we had over the years replayed in my heart. I had to trust that the words we spoke helped her trust Jesus for her forever.  It was heartbreaking... I worked for God. Sharing hope with women who are in sin, drowning in disappointment, and wanting to be restored to Jesus is often where God sets me. I try to love, listen, and learn both in the hopeful days and the dark ones because... I work for God. Today I get to live life with families. Along side my man, we love to encourage parents to run hard after Jesus to teach and live out faith to their kids. While I hear kind words of thanks and love from parents, I am not perfectly together. I don't have perfect words or magical powers to fix. But its okay, I don't work for people... I work for God.

In each of those places...I worked for God.

I did not work for the camp, the leadership, the parents, the image, the importance, the recognition, the elders, the community, or anything else but for His great fame.

As I sit and countdown to thanks, I can see His mighty direction, the perfect timing, and all the ways He guided me to step into the lives of others... and I am thankful for the stories of  Jesus giving me what I needed in each moment.

Do you have a time line of thanks for the ways He has used your availability to love others?

Do you find yourself worried about pleasing people so much that they discourage your willingness to step into the deep waters?

I have great news! You don't work for them! You work for God.

"It is strength that endures the unendurable  and spills over into joy, thanking the Father  who makes us strong enough to take part  in everything bright and beautiful  that he has for us."   Colossians 1:12