Conntecting the Dots

When God Does a New Thing: Wondering, Waiting, Working and Watching

Every so often in our lives, God does a new thing. It’s highly probable that we won’t understand at first, and we might find the process difficult. Here’s my story. I tell it in hopes that it will encourage anyone who’s either sensing a change coming or in the midst of change and not yet seeing things come into focus.

I’ll break my story into four parts. I suspect that your story will share the same components.

Wondering

Nearly three years ago, I seriously wondered whether my speaking ministry had ended. When I looked at my upcoming itinerary with its empty dates, I felt a variety of emotions, but mostly I struggled with feelings of not being “enough.” I felt washed-up, too old, and overlooked.

But then the Holy Spirit spoke truth to me. He encouraged me to stop navel gazing and instead, cast my sights on God. After all, wasn’t He the One who designed the plans for my life even before I was born? Was He not aware of every detail concerning the speaking ministry He’d entrusted to me? And was it not His prerogative to do with it whatever He deemed best?

The answer to all three questions was a resounding, “Yes!”

I opened my clenched fist and released my speaking ministry as I’d known it. “Here it is, Lord,” I prayed. “Take it and do with it whatever You want. It’s Yours.”

Waiting

Over the next months, God changed my woe-is-me attitude to one of expectancy. I prayed for direction and committed to not making any major decisions about speaking opportunities and writing projects until He gave clear guidance. Meanwhile, I went about my life, busy with other ministry opportunities at home and overseas.

Eight months passed. One August morning during my devotions, I sensed the Lord direct me to Psalm 34:4,5—“I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”

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I read the verses, and one word popped off the page and into my heart. Radiant. Then I sensed the Lord say, “You will begin a one-day women’s conference. It will be called “RADIANT” and the theme verse will be Psalm 34:5. The purpose will be to draw Christian women into a deeper walk with Me so that they might experience transformation. This endeavor will be a team effort.”

Working

Long story short, I invited Heidi McLaughlin and Kelita Haverland to join me. I’d traveled with Kelita doing World Vision Girls’ Night Out tours several years prior, and she’d recently moved from Toronto to a city only a half hour from my home. I knew her testimony of overcoming abuse, betrayal, and more would resonate with many women. Besides, she was a musician and comedienne, and her skills could lend themselves beautifully to a one-day conference.

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Heidi lost her first husband suddenly many years ago. She’d successfully navigated widowhood, single parenting, remarriage, and the blending of two families. Again, many women would relate to her life experience. She’d also taught women’s Bible classes for years.

Both women agreed, and we formed the RADIANT team. We developed our byline to reflect our purpose: “Creating a Deeper Life.” We produced business materials, keynote sessions, breakout sessions, and a conference schedule. We also became an official ministry of International Messengers Canada with a goal to take a team of women on a two-week mission trip to Eastern Europe annually.

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Preparing to launch RADIANT took me nearly a year and countless hours behind-the-scenes. As I worked, I thanked the Lord for clearing my itinerary so that I could focus my energies on this endeavor. I no longer felt like a “has been” because I now recognized God’s sovereignty over my calendar.

Watching

God left us in awe when two donors committed $25,000 to cover startup expenses and help pay for operating expenses. And He continues to leave us in awe as He opens doors for RADIANT to minister to women in Canada.

Last weekend we drove to Taber, Alberta where nearly 110 women joined us at the Evangelical Free Church for the fourth RADIANT event. What a joy to meet them, pray with them, worship and laugh with them, and to explore God’s Word together. We look forward to partnering with two other churches in March 2017, one in Alberta and the other in BC. We’re about to enter dialogue with a couple other churches as well.

When I recall those months of wondering what had happened to my speaking ministry and waiting on God for direction, I admit it was a painful time. And yet, it was a time when, as I opened my clenched fist, I learned to surrender and trust the Lord in a deeper way. Remembering that His designs for my life were drawn up before I was born helped me learn to rest. So did acknowledging His lordship over every detail of my days.

I have no idea what the long-term future holds for RADIANT, but I do know that God has it covered. That’s not to say there’s not a lot of hard work involved, but we needn’t strive. He’ll lead us one step at a time. Like the old chorus says, “All we have to do is follow.”

How about you? Have you ever experienced a time when God did something new in your life—when you wondered, waited, worked and then watched Him do something beyond your wildest expectations? If so, please share with the readership here. We’d love to hear!

#bgbg2 #TrustingGodWithOurFuture #ChristianWomensConferences #RadiantLiving

9 Responses to “When God Does a New Thing: Wondering, Waiting, Working and Watching”

  1. Fay

    Following Ed & I participating in a Marriage Encounter a calling from our Lord to begin Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekends, we really wondered, waited, worked and prayed as the Lord prepared us for this new ministry in our lives. We were truly blessed as we saw many couples renewed in their marriages, saw couples on the brink of breaking up and have their love receive a new lease and also meeting so many wonderful couples and was able to travel many places in Canada and US as we served our Lord. He truly blessed us in our serving a Him in love.

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Wow — thanks for sharing your story, Fay! I LOVE hearing how God works in people’s lives. May He bless you for being obedient to His call.

      Reply
  2. Beatrice Nemeth

    Grace, What a great ministry you have through Radiant. I was more than blessed to have attended the conference in Taber. Blessed again last evening as I chaired in Lethbridge when Heidi spoke for our RSVP event. Looking forward to the possibility of having you speak for us in April.

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Hi Beatrice! It was great to see you on Saturday. I’m so glad you could attend RADIANT and that the day blessed you. Your name is on a paper right before me so I’ll remember to connect with you about next spring. Have a great day. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Dara Gunnell

    My spirit (same as heart!) leaped for joy when I read your story this evening on wondering, and waiting and watching, as it was so encouraging to my longing soul. I am still in the watching part, as I look forward (waiting) to see the final fruition of what the Lord will do with my hearts desire for my two daughters, who are unfortunately living a gay lifestyle “right now.”
    I know that is not His plan for these two daughters, of His also.
    I am trying everyday, after so long, as you said, to relenquish them from my hand to His.
    I Thank you for this encouraging reminder that all our days were pre-planned by Him and His plans for us are good. One day….I always say. So I’m awaiting a wedding in the future, or should I say two!

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Hi Dara. Thank you for sharing your heart. One thing I’ve learned about prayer this past year is to pray not so much for things to go specifically as I think they should, but to pray to the root of things. For instance, in your situation, let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to give your girls a proper fear of the Lord. If He does that, then everything else will fall into place. Maybe you’re already doing that?

      Reply
  4. Dara Gunnell

    Hi Grace! Such good insight, thank you so much and yes I pray for them to “truly” love the Lord, the Word says then they will obey Him, John 14:15. It is sooo hard for me as their Mother and a Christian to keep waiting and watching and
    I admit for the first time in 10 years I have begun to question if it will ever happen, starting last Christmas time.
    I have leaned on “train up a child….” this we tried to do.
    They have both been saved when children, but now bought the lie from the enemy that this is the way to their joy, it’s so sad for me to have ” 2 “daughters involved in this lifestyle. Unfortunately the older influenced the younger, oh such sad day for me. Homosexuality is so very prevalent now and trickery from Satan for our young people. Your article was very encouraging to my heart, that God knows, (and allows) I thank you again. I just hope this isn’t the way it all ends Grace, like Job lost all, it’s been 10 years that I’ve held on to hope and walked this sad road, gets hard to keep the faith sometimes, I thank you for your prayers so very very much!

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Dana, my heart aches for you. Please don’t give up. Continue holding your daughters in an open hand, trusting God to bring other people into their lives who will lovingly speak truth to them. He can do that! “Jesus, please encourage Dana at this time. Fill her heart with hope and peace in knowing that You are faithful and true. Give her a glimpse of Your goodness, a light on her path to help her keep trusting and moving forward. Wrap her in Your arms of love, Father.”

      Reply
  5. Dara Gunnell

    p.s. sorry it took awhile for my response, I had to go looking for yours, back at original place, which thankfully I found! Thought I might get an email letting me know I had a response, but it’s ok. Thanks!

    Reply

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