Archive for April, 2012

I was cleaning out and up some electronic files tonight when I stumbled upon the letter below.

I penned it to about 40 of my faithful sister friends in April 2008 who knew me well and walked with me through the previous 9 months immediately following David’s death.

It was the inception of my teaching ministry (though not named Her Passion at the time and obviously having no idea Passion Partners global missions was anywhere in sight)!

Here it is…

April 2008

My Dear Soul Sisters,

. . . I am coming to you . . . as I set out in formal ministry . . . which I believe God confirmed His call last November (2007). As I have lived out the fruit of many of your prayers over the last 9 months, I would not dare undertake such a weighty assignment for the Lord without supplication and intercession.

I have been involved in women’s ministry for years . . . so the idea of ministry is not a new one. Ministry to women is where my heart has been for a long time. In 2003, God began speaking to me increasingly more about what this might entail.

First, it meant I had to try my hand in my own sales consulting business (as I had professionally been a sales rep and corporate trainer) which actually did not manifest into a full fledge “business.” I just dabbled. And though it led me in part to my eternal desires, it really just kept me away from God’s authentic heart call. It was a fleshing out—literally, of my own desires and my own plans. God allowed it. And then began to say, “Why don’t you use your God-given talents specifically for the Kingdom instead of for the secular world?”

It took 2 years for God to transform my thinking and lead me into a deeper understanding of His call on my life. It wasn’t until February 2007, just 4 months before David’s death, that I literally trashed my “library” of training materials. I had ignored God’s leading to do that previously. “What if I need that for something in the future?” “I can’t get rid of that . . . that’s what I did for all those years in my ‘professional life’ which I enjoyed so much and received so many accolades.” Though I knew my identity did not lie in my arsenal of training creations, I held onto it pretty tightly. Until . . . that day in February, when I was cleaning out our basement as I looked forward to moving and came to my “training materials.” And God said, “Are you serious about this ministry thing or not? Because if you are, and I think you are, you are going to have to GET RID of that stuff.” And I knew that in order to get rid of it in my mind, I had to trash it, literally.

It hadn’t been an outright rebelliousness that kept me away from God’s call. I believe it was God’s very gentle wooing that has drawn me thus far. I think He knew that had He beat me over the head, I would have gone kicking and screaming. I appreciate the way He has drawn me into His Great Commission.

So, the answer I gave the Lord on that February day (and I could probably find the date in a journal somewhere), was “yes, I am serious. This is history.”

Ironically, I remember when David came home that day, I took him down to the basement to feast his eyes on my heaping pile of paper (and binders and CD’s and DVD’s and whatever else I had cleaned out) that was in the floor. Then I asked him, “This is all of my training stuff. Do you think I’m going to need it, because I am throwing it away? God has told me that if I am going to take writing seriously, I have to get rid of this stuff . . . .” I waited, with raised eyebrows, not knowing how to interpret his thoughts as he just looked at the (large) pile.

Knowing my love for training, I think he just wanted to console me in the burial of that part of my life and said, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

It was far too late to reconsider, because even if I had, I would never be able to put all of those notebooks back together like they had been. I remember saying something like, “Don’t even suggest it!” And it wasn’t until then that I told even David, that I felt like God had given me a lot to write about—and that was before June 4, 2007. But in order for that to become manifest, I had to purge some of these other things once and for all.

For the several months preceding David’s death, it was really sweet. When I would share some things with David that the Lord had been teaching me, he would say, “That’s good . . . you need to put that in your book . . . that’s really good.” Or out of the blue in order to encourage me, he would say, “You know what we talked about the other day, you’re going to put that in your book, aren’t you?”

My prayer has for years been, “Lord, use me where ever You will.” I meant it. But I have realized that I must not have expected God to do very much with that desire because I stand in shear awe that God would use a broken vessel like me to share His love and redemption story.

This past November, at the annual LifeWay National Women’s Leadership Forum (which I had been attending for years), they routinely wrap up the conference by asking us, the participants, to identify at least one thing that God had spoken to us about individually. I have my 5×7 card pinned to my cork board in my room. It was then that God very simply, yet clearly, said, “Name it and proclaim it.” And I knew that He meant to name my own formal ministry and put plans in place to tell the story He had given me. I had no details of exactly how that would play out. But as my Christian heroine Elisabeth Elliot, who lost the (first) love of her life, Jim, to the Auca Indian tribe to whom he was evangelizing, says, “Just do the next thing.” I knew I just had to be obedient “and leave the consequences to God,” as Charles Stanley says.

I had felt impressed almost immediately after the tragedy of David’s death that ministry would be in my future. I still do not know exactly what that entails, but do know that I need to move forward in faith to be obedient to that command He has given me. I have been waiting until some of the “business” was complete and in place, but believe that God would have me go ahead . . . After all, I do believe that the “business of ministry” is not “business” at all . . . but the heart of His people.

Years ago, God placed “something” in my heart and my head. It was My Husband, My Ministry—I’m not even sure whether to underline it or put it in quotes or what . . . perhaps it was just a vision of what was to come. Little did I know the truth that indeed would come . . .

So, why do I tell you all of this? To let you know that the event of June 4, 2007, was a confirmation, as unpleasant as it was and as it is still, that the Lord intended for me to follow Him down this road and proclaim the Good News in spite of bad news.

AND . . . in order to do so, I have got to have His sovereign leading, guiding, confirming Presence in the midst of this. Intercessory prayer by His people, you, has been an ever present help of my ability to move forward. I would be sadly misled to think that God could reveal His grandest plan without beating on Heaven’s door for His blessing and His glory—not mine, but His.

So, it is with greatest eternal reward in sight that I ask you to formally serve as an intercessory prayer partner for Sustaining Word Ministries. [now Her Passion ministries and Passion Partners global]

My prayer is that the Lord would use your prayers, not for my selfish gain, but to bless your own heart and encourage you into a deeper knowledge of Him, His goodness, and His willingness to always lead and guide and direct us when we seek Him.

Now I want you to know, [sisters], that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

As a result, it has become clear . . . that I am in chains for Christ.

Because of my chains, most of the [sisters] in the Lord have been encouraged . . .

Phil 1:12-14

Thank you, dear ones, for walking this road with me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Eternally grateful and anticipating God’s glory,

Candice

That was 4 years ago…this is where we are now… http://www.herpassionministries.com and http://www.passionpartners.org

I can testify that God WILL bring life from death…Resurrection is around the corner! God is faithful. God is good. God is waiting to manifest in your life ” more than you can ever ask or dream or imagine!” (Eph 3:20)

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