I am a chicken! All right there you go, now the truth is out there. Truth brings freedom, right. Well the truth may bring freedom; however, I am still a chicken.
One day in May, I was on my way back from moving our daughter home, when Fr. John called me. He said, “Lisa, come to the Reservation Parishes I pastor at and infiltrate the teens with Jesus.” He explained the situation that the teens are using drugs and alcohol and as a result are making bad and hurtful decisions.
In a bantering back and forth on why I could not help Fr. John. Fr. John said, “I choose you because you are passionate about Jesus and that is what the teens need.”
I paused and was stunned. I have not had many encounters with Fr. John, and yet Fr. John knows my heart so well. As I have been discerning on God’s purpose in my life, I have concluded that I am not done with ministry and sharing my passion for Christ. I told Fr. John that I would get back to him and let him know if there was a way I could help him.
During my prayer time and spiritual direction with my spiritual director Fr. Steve, invited me to join him and four of his parishioners at the end of the month as they visit the Reservation. I accepted my spiritual director’s invitation and felt that I could at least visit the churches in the area to assess the situation. Then I would be able to advise Fr. John the best way to infiltrate the teens with Christ.
On the morning as I was getting ready to meet up with Fr. Steve and his parishioners, I noticed I had a rash. I begin to second-guess my decision, and Fr. John’s confidence in me that I could help him. As I begin to doubt my decision to join, I thought I could easily back out and just say I had a strange rash and should probably not go. It was at that moment I realized that this was a spiritual attack. I prayed and asked God to give me peace if I was to go, and God did just that. By the time I left my home, I knew I was supposed to go and I would walk by faith that God was using me for something or someone.
I would best describe the trip INSPIRING! During my visit, Fr. John was in Uganda and gave me specific people he wanted me to meet with. However, I was not sure of the schedule of those I was traveling with, so I had not made any prearrangement. My plan was to go along for the ride and trust that the Holy Spirit would put everyone in my path and inspire me with wisdom.
Every place we went God had placed the right people in front of me. The desire of adults to give the teens Christ was apparent. I also learned that these same teens were hungry for adults to walk with them on their journey to adulthood and to show them Christ. They were just like the teens I had worked with the past 19 years.
One community and Parish we visited there was a loud party just a block away from the church as Fr. Steve celebrated Mass. Two women from the community came to Mass to join us. My prayer during Mass was bold for those outside who were partying. After Mass, we ate with the two women, and fellowshipped with them. The Lord showed up in a big way.
In the same evening, we also visited with two amazing women from two different Parishes. God used that time to bond them to be there for each other and to pray together once a week. We also had an opportunity to pray over one of the women who was experiencing health issues. What a witness for all of us that was present.
The next morning Fr. Steve celebrated Mass and we packed up to make the next Mass in another Parish. Following Mass, we invited our brothers and sisters in Christ to join us for sandwiches and fellowship. Fr. Steve came to me and said, “This couple here would like to begin a Bible study I told them you would help them!” What a beautiful witness this young woman was to me. With all the trials she had been through, it was at her lowest point in her life with the loss of her children that she came to know Jesus Christ. As she begins her new life, she is married to a better man. They are both attending college. Her desire is that Christ would be in their lives in everything that they do. Our conversation inspired me immensely.
On the way home, I had tears rolling down my face as I reflected on how God orchestrated every detail of my trip. How He was in this moment even before I received the call from Fr. John; And during the conversation with my Spiritual Director; to riding with great people who reach out to their brothers and sisters in Christ on the Reservation; and to the present in meeting so many inspiring people. I am humbled that God would use me in such a sweet way.
As I am patiently on this journey with God, I am letting go of having a plan and to let Him lead me. He would like me to get out of the boat, trust Him by keeping my eyes on Him, and to venture out by walking on the water with Him.