In fourth grade we had “DEAR Time” which stood for “Drop everything and read”. It was probably a way to get us calmed down and refocused for the rest of the afternoon lessons (Bless teachers – I can’t imagine getting a bunch of nine year olds back on track after an intense game of kickball!). Unlike many of my classmates, I was a nerd and had no problem sitting quietly and getting lost in a book.
Most of the past year has been the opposite of an exciting kickball game and definitely not as fun. I sat in a stale waiting room watching everyone else come and go, wondering if I had been forgotten or if I had missed my appointment.
But God sees…
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Gen. 16:13)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)
God has it all planned it out…
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
It would be selfish and remiss of me to only ask for prayer when things are tough and not share the wonderful, incredible, miraculous things God has done for me. So I’m going to take a different kind of “DEAR” time to DROP EVERYTHING AND REJOICE! Here’s what’s new with me:
- Tomorrow I’m starting my new position as the Kids Ministry Coordinator at Fellowship Bible Church Nashville Campus/Promiseland Teacher. I am thrilled to be a part of a young church that is diverse, outreach oriented, and happens to be located in my dream Nashville neighborhood, 12 South. This is answered prayer on so many levels: I get to work with kids and families, have some flexibility in my schedule to work from home and continue to work on other freelance projects, many of my friends already go there and I’m excited to build on that community, and I can contribute in a way that is creative but also highly organizational. It’s exciting to know that God will be using the gifts He has given me!
- In August 2016 I submitted some writing materials as part of an application to write curriculum for LifeWay Kids. Nearly a full year later and while I was debating on whether or not to take the Kids Ministry job at Fellowship, I received an e-mail from LifeWay inviting me to join their 2018-2019 curriculum writing team! It became clear to me that both opportunities were ones I could not pass up. It’s comforting to finally start to see my passions and calling come together!
- This year I’m taking a shot at teaching a Women’s Bible Study Monday nights at Fellowship Bible Church. I’m so grateful for the support, encouragement and nurture of the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team to help me grow in the Word and to let me explore whether teaching is a good fit. I’m also continuing to write for Journey, a LifeWay women’s devotional magazine. So excited!
- Photography has been going great! I’m still a little overwhelmed with all there is to learn but my incredibly talented friend, Nikke of Heartbeat Rhythm Photography, took a chance on me by inviting me to shoot a wedding with her in May… And then booked me for five more the rest of 2017! I’m also thankful for friends and family for letting me practice on them. They say when you enjoy something so much you’re willing to do it for free it’s a passion – and I’ve finally had the courage to own that photography is one of mine!
The wait was painful, felt extremely long, and at times got incredibly dark. But when man failed to provide what I needed I had no choice but to turn to God. It was His grace drawing me in and He proved faithful to lavish His love, comfort, and mercy on me, sustaining me in this trying season.
My experience this year challenged me to let go of my desire for the “perfect” 31 (now 32) year old life. I’m learning to be grateful for even the smallest progress, to be content with God’s presence even when prayer goes unanswered, and to hope not in things of this world but in God’s promise of eternal life through Christ.
Here’s to a new season and adventure!
❤ amanda mae