Most Difficult Change
Joyce as we’re talking today, I would love to know what is one of the biggest changes that you ever had to face in your life and and how did you do it? Because we’re all facing so much change. I think probably one of the hardest changes in my life was when I, when I first went into ministry the first five years, I just taught to home bible studies and then I felt like God told me that he was gonna do a new thing and I should lay that down. And so for a year nothing happened. And that was a really, really hard year in my life because I felt like I had heard from God, but yet he just kind of put me on the shelf and nothing was happening. When I look back, I realized quite a bit happened during that year that I really needed to go on to the next level during that time. Did I’m sure you asked the question, did did I miss God, did I do the wrong thing or um did you have, did you have any frustration? Why aren’t I out doing these things? Well, sure I was frustrated and felt like, well maybe I should have not stopped the, the bible classes? Maybe I made a mistake or always start on and off. You know, it’s just this call. I think I have my imagination or is it really going to happen. And so during that year, really, the main thing that God taught me during that year was to be myself, which I really needed before I got into a higher level of ministry because it’s so tempting to copy what you see somebody else doing. And God really didn’t want that. He wanted fresh, new and unique. And so, you know, sure it was hard. And then there was a new church in our city called five christian center and David, we had started going to church there And it was very small and it was like about 30 people when we started. And ultimately they asked me to teach a weekly, this weekly women’s bible study at the church. And when I started that, It was just very successful. I mean the first one we had 100 and 10 people came to and the church is only 30 people. So where did these people come from? You know, and it grew eventually over the five years I did it to be four, sometimes 500 people. And so it was a pretty good size thing. We had a lot of good fellowship, a group of people and and then I felt like God told me he was finished with me there. Well, I got a little insulted at first because it’s like, what do you mean you’re finished with me? I mean, the church was just, we had just moved into a brand new building and you know, I had gone through all the hard parts and now we were getting into the exciting part. And uh, God spoke to my heart that I was to take my ministry and go north, south, east and west. Well that sounded good, but nobody knew me north, south east or west. And so if I quit my job and nothing happened, I was making the biggest mistake that I had ever made in my life. So I put it off for a whole year and I kept just praying about it and praying about it. And finally, one night when I was on my way to church, I almost felt like God kind of yelled at me and he said, what are you doing here, wow. And I thought, well I’m going to church and he said, I’m finished with you here. And so we actually started working out of the basement of our home and I literally had one meeting in north ST louis a month, one in South ST louis one in west. Yeah, very I mean, that’s all I knew to do. It was hard because first of all, it almost looked like I’d gone downhill. Like I’d gone back, you were taking the wrong steps stepping backwards. I mean, like I, you know, I expected big things and big things didn’t come in the beginning, you know, it was like, I’d left this job and I was lonely because I was out traveling on the road just me and Dave and I didn’t have the camaraderie of this group of people and then when I would go to church on sunday at that same church that I had left, I felt left out of everything, you know, it was just like, well, they’re going on a they’re going on a leadership retreat and I’m not invited and I didn’t have my special seat in church anymore. And uh, God finally had to show me, and it came to a prophetic word that I had soul ties to the place, and that’s true. You know, I had put so much of my heart and soul into those five years I was there. It’s kind of interesting, it’s a good lesson for people that you can leave, but your soul can still be tied to something, your mind, your will, and your emotions and so you can be in God’s will, but still really miss that thing that you left. And so it took me probably a good three years to really understand because then when I would go to church and feel that way, I would leave, almost depressed. And so that always made me think, well, maybe I did the wrong thing. And so I had, you know, quite a pull and went through a lot of loneliness. It took me a long time to to get comfortable with being on being on my own. And, and the ministry grew, but it grew very, very slowly. And so that of course, was hard when God told us to go on television, uh, that’s when things really just mushroomed. And I mean, the ministry tripled every year for three years and we were just running to keep up with God Well, and when you talk about that, the facts of change or the process of change, the things that you went through our exactly like so many people are feeling not knowing what’s happening. Did I do the wrong thing? Why isn’t this going well? Why don’t I feel happy? Um, why isn’t it growing the way that I thought that it would, so all those years that you were going through that time, God was using it to do other things to teach you things. My gosh, because that’s, that’s a huge relief to people who are right now saying, is there something good going to come out of all this? This is killing me. And I didn’t realize it, but it actually was crucifying my flesh. It was like learning to depend on God, learning to trust him for everything that we needed, learning to need God more than I needed people. You know, learning how to work with the people that we were hiring and, and how to be a good boss, not just a bossy boss. You know, there’s a difference in a leader and a bossy boss and uh, oh yeah, I mean, I’ve learned how for Dave and I to work together, we were together now all the time. And that was, you know, we’re so different, that that was very challenging for a long period of time and you know, it was, it was a very difficult time in my life, but I’ve seen God do so much and he has blessed us so much, but you know what, I wouldn’t take anything for those times because that’s what makes me thankful for what we we have now. Can you imagine how different actually it could be today if you had not allowed God to teach you all those things? Well, I wouldn’t be here. Yeah. You know, because God cannot give us something that we really don’t know how to handle because if you don’t know as God promotes you, if you don’t know how to handle yourself, you just end up making a fool out of yourself and bringing shame to the name of jesus and it’s, there was a lot of responsibility, but a lot of great times, a lot of hard times and um, but it it was challenging when I left that job because things didn’t grow fast right away and I just, I really had to like in this, you know, I’ll encourage people with this before we we closed, if you get confused and start wondering, did I do the right thing, the thing you have to do is turn your head off and see what’s in your heart. And so no matter how I felt, or no matter how hard it was, I just, I really believed that God wanted to do something big and I just, I kept holding on and holding on and holding on and it was almost like I wanted to quit, but God wouldn’t let me. And so I gave up a million times and started again the next day. Well, that’s great advice though, and I think it is very encouraging for a lot of people who are in parts of that right now and are asking all those questions about the change that they’re facing. Thanks. Good conversation.