For those who have been following along these last few weeks, you know that I have been trying to come up with a new viral marketing campaign.

As of about a week ago, I think I have finally got my hands around something solid. Now, the fun and creative part is over and the nitty-gritty, detail heavy part is looming.

In all honesty, it’s wearing me out. I’m not a detail-oriented person. I like to look at the big picture. And it’s in the details that I get lost, feel inadequate, and am ready to toss it to the wind or pass it off to someone else. After all, I’m just the intern.

But I read something yesterday that revitalized my efforts and has given me a hope about the future of this project. Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, was recounting a conversation that he had with a friend about how they came to Christ and were saved. His friend made the statement that it “just happened.”

It seemed as though it was completely out of his control. It was unavoidable and yet untraceable. He was looking for something; he just didn’t know God was looking for him.

As random and unexplainable as his search was, he found himself in church one Sunday and as the pastor made the altar call, he was compelled to walk the straight and narrow aisle without reservation. And that was it. He was a child of the King freed from guilt, shame, condemnation and death; given abundant life. He’s a pastor now.

God knows what he wants. He wants us, the way a groom longs for his bride. Isaiah 62:5 says that “As a man rejoices over his new wife, so the Lord rejoiced over you.” But there is more to it than that.

He has a plan and purpose for each of us. He has prepared good works in advance that we are to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). And this is what gets me excited. As inadequate as I feel when I work on this proposal, I know that if it is the Lord’s will, He will accomplish it; He will bring it to fruition no matter who, what, when or where. It is not dependent upon my ability or effort.

More than that, our salvation (how great, how strong, and how fruitful) is determined by the Lord as He grows us, stretches us, teaches us, and equips us. I don’t know about you, but often times I try in my own strength to be some sort of “super-Christian.” The thing is, this effort leads to an inward focus and eventual disappointment because I never get it right. But I am learning that when I let go and let God, my eyes turn upward and its no longer me striving but God refining.

It’s messy, but beautiful. It’s not easy but it’s necessary. I’m not always happy, but I have joy. I’m not strong enough most days, which is perfect, so that God’s power might be seen and He might be glorified.

All that to say, this proposal may not be the best written document Compassion has ever seen, because I am not the best writer Compassion has ever had. But God’s penmanship, His will, is greater than all of this.

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  1. Aug 5, 2008
    at 6:39 am

    Amen, Meredith! Well said!!

  2. Sarah
    Aug 5, 2008
    at 11:00 am

    I like it ! :)

  3. Stevi
    Aug 5, 2008
    at 11:19 am

    Thanks for sharing. I definitely feel where you’re coming from.

  4. Aug 5, 2008
    at 11:47 am

    I agree wholeheartedly. Once, when I was hurt badly by someone, I spent a long time trying to work through the pain. I forgave, continued to pray for the person, thanked God, and tried to put it behind me. But it remained. Then one day, out of the clear blue, God reached out and healed me of the hurt. I knew I had done nothing to cause the healing, or to deserve it. It was just His time and He did it completely. It’s so exciting to rest in His care and to see Him do the things only He can do!

  5. Jordan
    Aug 5, 2008
    at 2:01 pm

    Eloquent, encouraging, and very well written.

  6. Aug 5, 2008
    at 4:30 pm

    Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1)

    We don’t lose heart! Last night I had a small presentation, and long-story-short, no children were sponsored. While that fact saddens me, I will not let it discourage me from the ministry God has so blessed me. The Lord has revealed to me long ago that He is responsible for the numbers and I’m just the ‘empty vessell’ responsible for showing up.

    Look at it in any other way, suddenly His yoke is not easy and His burden is not light.

  7. Kathy
    Aug 5, 2008
    at 6:37 pm

    Isn’t it nice to know that we really aren’t in charge, even when we (and others!) think we are? What a blessing that the project, or the person we’re praying for doesn’t have to be dependent on our faithfulness or our abilities because it isn’t up to us. I have a son who’s a prodigal. I sometimes become so disheartened because I can’t control what is happening in his life. The Lord lovingly taught me years ago that He is still working in his life and I’m called to pray for him, but it’s God’s job to draw him to Himself. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of the lesson I sometimes forget.

  8. Aug 6, 2008
    at 7:31 pm

    I’m looking forward to learning more about the proposal, Meredith! With our God’s wisdom, power & strength going before you, you will surely do mighty works for His Kingdom!

    Proverbs
    3:5 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
    Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.

  9. Meredith
    Aug 7, 2008
    at 7:30 am

    Dear friends,

    Thank you, yet again, for you sweet words of encouragement. You don’t know just how much I appreciate you taking the time to write and share you heart and your story. I love hearing from you all!

    Be blessed!

  10. Shelia Johnson
    Aug 13, 2008
    at 11:27 am

    I had very deep hurts from my father. At 16 years old I discovered my father was having an affair on my mother. They separated and divorced. My father stopped paying child support for 1 ½ years. This put a great deal of financial stress on my mother, sister and me. Not that we needed a lot but we did need and deserved the financial support of a father. I did not blame myself for my parents problems but when my father stopped paying child support it became clear that he did not care for me and my sister enough to make sure we had enough food and heat in the house. My mom took him to court and the court made him pay, but it was years before I was healed from the hurt. I became a Christian at 21 years old and from that moment on God began His work in me to heal me from the pain. It did not happen at a prayer meeting or my personal prayer time, although I had prayed many times that I would not hold bitterness toward my father for what he had done. The moment of healing came as you spoke in your letter, out of the blue. It happen in my father’s house as I was cleaning it for him. I had been cleaning my father’s house for him for years every two weeks. I went into his room to dust his dresser and there laid an old wallet of his. I knew it was his because he liked the 3 fold kind and he painted his initials on the top/front himself so when he pulled it out of his pocket he would easily locate the top. I can’t explain what happened looking at that wallet, except that I began to weep and cry, but it was a good cry. Something broke at that moment and I knew I needed that wallet to keep for myself as a reminder of what God had done. Well my father was at work, so I could not ask him for it at that moment. I had planned to call and ask him about it later that evening, but the business of life took over and I forgot about it. Two weeks went by and it was still there the next time I came to clean and I told myself I have got to remember to call him tonight! I forgot again, and did not think of it again until I was at my father’s house for a family gathering. I went into the room where the wallet was to check on the girls that gathered there to play. I stepped into the room and my eye’s and mind went straight for the wallet. It was gone! I went to find my father and I ask him where the wallet was that had been on his dresser. He said, that old thing, I threw it away. He did not ask, as my face must have told the story, but suddenly finding the wallet for me was just as big of a deal for him as it was for me. He said, I threw in the trash can in the bathroom and if it has not been dumped it is probably still in there. He went for the bathroom but it was occupied. He started pacing outside the door and I got distracted by kids and forgot about it. My father came and found me carrying the old wallet in his hand. I can’t explain it, but God did a miracle in my heart with that wallet and then God made it even more special by making it possible for my Father to dig into a trashcan to retrieve it for me and he never ask me why I wanted it. We serve a God that is unique and so personal. I don’t have to pray for the bitterness to be gone, because I only have to think or look at the wallet I keep by my bed to remind of the answered prayer.

    Also I have learned from reading these Blogs, how much sponsoring a child also effects their whole family. I have been sponsoring a child in Haiti for 11 years now and did not know I could have been blessing his family with a gift also. I will begin to do that now that I am aware of it. I would also like to add that there have been times money was tight and as we looked over our budget our child sponsered was not considered as something we would stop. We made a commitment and the benifits seen through-out the years will keep us commited to our commasion child until commpassion says the child is no longer in need or quilified for help. We have NO regrets about our commitment started 11 years ago, we only regret that we can’t afford to support more children. My prayer is that will change and we will be able too.

  11. Mike Stephens
    Mar 14, 2009
    at 6:53 pm

    Meredith you are right!!! II Corinthians 12:8-10 is my favorite verse in the Bible!!!

    “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me because He said to me my GRACE is sufficient for YOU, for my POWER is made PERFECT in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that CHRIST’S POWER may rest on me!!! That is why for CHRIST’S sake I delight in weaknesses in insults in HARDSHIPS in PERSECUTIONS IN DIFFICULTIES for when I am weak then I am STRONG!!!” Life is a MIST so even if we do get bogged down, fired, win, lose, or draw hahahaha!!! it is nothing compared to eternity in Heaven at the wedding feast!!! I think we will be able to eat unlimited bacon without having a heart attack!!! I really have no idea obviously, but it is kind of like visiting your Sponsor child: I’ll find out when I get there!!! Thanks for the post Meredith. Listening ot music helps me to things for long periods of time.

    Mike

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