“My sheep hear my voice..” - John 10:27

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"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
- John 10:27

So, this month has been incredibly enlightening so far. So many "coincidences" have happened and since I don’t believe "coincidences" exist, I’ll call them God Winks. I once read a book about how God communicates with us in our life by sending us little signals that the author referred to as God Winks. These signals came in the form of coincidences. For instance, when looking back on the last 4 weeks, I find some things incredibly "coincidental." WINK WINK

1) The Unity church was my first choice during week 1. It just so happens that as I embarked on this journey to understand different religions and spiritual traditions....my first chosen church was one that has its mission rooted in the fact that they are a non-judgemental of other religions even though they have Christian undertones. I didn’t realize this when I chose the church but instead afterward. I believe this was a God wink. God chose this church first, to encourage me to move forward with an open heart and mind.

2) The Mormon church was my second choice during week 2. When I left the Mormon church, I was high on the energy I got from this group. I was talking really fast, I came home in almost a manic state as I spoke about the unique traditions and beliefs that these individuals hold. But the one thing that kept creeping up in my mind was from my research I had done on the Mormon website. It said DO YOU WANT TO KNOW IF THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD, YOU WILL KNOW IF THIS IS FOR YOU BY ASKING GOD IN PRAYER TO SHOW YOU THE TRUTH. This was so powerful! And something I truly respected. Regardless of my mania caused by the newness of this congregation, this was by leaps and bounds the one thing that kept creeping up in my head that week. Consequently, I did take their advice and I am not convinced that the church is for me. I am still learning about their faith weekly as the missionaries come by and educate me on their practice, but the Holy Spirit has convinced me that I can learn about a religion and not take everything they take as "gospel". God winked. I now have the knowledge that I can take this journey confidently because I KNOW that God will not allow me to take a wrong turn. The Mormon church taught me to not fear this process. But to embrace it.

3) My third week was the Catholic church. The sermon here was about living a life for God. It made me question my position in life and ask myself why I do the work I do. It was all about service. Days after the sermon, I had started 2 volunteer projects I had planned for over 2 months. One of these opportunities is aimed at helping young women create social change in their neighborhoods. My job was to coach them to make these changes. When I asked myself why I was doing this volunteering, I soon realized this service was for me, not for the girls. I wanted volunteer work to fill my time, I wanted to coach so I could get experience working with people to improve my communication skills, I even wanted to do this service so I felt good about myself...nowhere in my answer was I doing it to actually CREATE social change or help the girls gain confidence that comes with accomplishment. God winked, and He showed me that there is a greater task at hand. I have learned to take a hard look at what I do and ask myself if it is self serving, or if I am doing my work with other people in mind which is true service.

4) Finally, this week I learned the story of Nehemiah at the Velocity church. I have truly been struggling with this blog. I have had a major AHA moment when I looked inside my heart to see why I was writing this. Why this project was important, and what I hoped to get out of it. I have been called to share this blog and share His message. Like Nehemiah, I should move forward courageously. But I haven’t because of fear of selfishness. I secretly hope this blog gets huge. I secretly hope people read it and praise me for showing them the way. How foolish. How freaking foolish! This is NOT ABOUT ME!

God’s wink was a bit stronger here than ever before. My pride is stopping me from picking up my cross. I’m afraid to share this blog because I’m afraid that in doing so, I’m opening MYSELF up to ridicule. I’m hoping people like MY writing. I’m hoping I GET acknowledgment from how cool this is. HELLO? WHO CARES ABOUT ME? This is God’s blog! It is God’s message. God didn’t come to me and say, "share a message about you! And let it give people hope because of you!" NO! He said, "Tell people about ME, so they can have hope in this life" Like Nehemiah, I am to tell people about it. I am to build the walls here. But I am to do it for God. this has absolutely nothing to do with me. I’m blessed He’s even letting me be a part of it! I need to give up this fear and share the blog with other people so I can share what I’m learning about God with others because this is His will.

Last night, after having this great revelation, I stopped at a restaurant in Baltimore on the way to see my sister in NJ. I overheard the bartender there talking to a customer about a movie called the Book of Eli which is about the hopelessness and destruction that would exist without God. I immediately wanted to launch into "I HAVE A BLOG!" but instead, I stopped myself and sat silently in prayer as I asked God whether I should share the good news or not. I asked God to let HIS will be done. The woman was talking about how she was a Christian but didn’t have a small church she liked for her and her son because she doesn’t really love conventional churches because they’re exclusive and judgmental. When I had the permission from God, I shared with her that the Unity church might be a good fit for her because they are very open and non judgmental. I also shared with her this project. "Coincidentally" another man overheard. By nights end, they had both requested the web address. The story poured from my mouth without my permission. This was God’s voice, not my own. I wrote down the address and I sincerely felt that God’s work was being done in my brief conversation with these two individuals. SO if either of you are reading......I wholeheartedly want to thank you. Because you were both in the place you were, at the time you were, on the day you were, I am now able to move forward confidently and courageously for God. You were both very much on purpose. I overcame my fear because of your interest and encouragement. And for this, I sincerely thank you!

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