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You’ve probably realized – and may wonder why – I’ve labeled this entry “part 1,5” instead of “part 2.” Truth is, I’m not sure I’ve made it through the second part of  this journey of faith. Along the course of the past week, however, God has graciously given me morsels of encouragement here and there: letters from friends who saw the last blog entry, a boost from my pastor and the Alpha Ministries leader at Renovation Church, and friendly help from my student advisors at Gordon-Conwell.

When I opened Journey Magazine to today’s devotional page, the first two sentences blew me away and I had a still, small feeling that God was using the message to underscore in bright red the aforementioned morsels. The author uses Matthew’s account of Jesus’ plea to His Father in Gethsemane on the night before Hos arrest and crucifixion (chapter 25:31-46).

I hadn’t planned to post an entry on the blog today, but on the off-chance someone out there is stepping into uncharted waters too, I didn’t want you to miss this.

Faithfully Following
(page 14, Journey Magazine, December 2011, author unknown)

“I am by nature an introvert; I am not the first one to speak up or draw attention to myself. Yet over the last year, the Holy Spirit has been prompting me to speak up more about who God is and what He’s done in my life. One unexpected opportunity came when the coordinator of our church’s prison ministry to women asked if I had ever considered helping with that ministry. I told her I would pray about it. I had some reservations – what would I say to a prisoner? Would I be nervous? Would they be offended that I was nervous? Even though these thoughts were running through my mind, I kept thinking about when Jesus said that when we’re caring for prisoners, we’re caring for Him. The Holy Spirit confirmed that I needed to take a step in faith and just show up for these prisoners, being faithful to tell what God has done for me.

So the first day I went to the Bible study held at the facility, the coordinator introduced me around and had me sit next to a newly incarcerated woman. After the study, we drank coffeee and talked. Though I was uncomfortable at first, God broke down barriers and gave me an opportunity to talk to her about how He’d been working in my life. Before I left, we prayed together, and I agreed to write her a letter before the study met again. I don’t know where this relationship will lead, but I know that our faithful God will guide me.

God’s ways are not our ways, and He may guide us to do something difficult so that He might be glorified. He will never ask us to do anything contrary to His Word, but He may ask us to do something we could only accomplish with His help. We can follow Him gratefully, thankful for all He has done in our lives, and we can follow Him confidently, knowing that He is always faithful.”