Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pray and Obey...What is God asking you to do?

by Kim Salter
Pray and obey - what we are called to do.  A little over four years ago that is exactly what I did and God has been truly blessing my husband and I since.
 We moved to Pearland 5 1/2 years ago from the Beaumont area when my husband accepted a promotion with his company.  I began working in the Medical Center as a medical sonographer with a Perinatology group, which specializes in high-risk obstetrics.  I loved what I did and enjoyed helping women who had high-risk pregnancies fulfill their dreams of motherhood.  After about six months of working there I began to realize there was just something else I was supposed to be doing.  And the nagging, gnawing at my gut began.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I just knew.  Something deep inside kept telling me to help women and young girls in crisis.  Unable to shake that feeling, I started praying and asking God for clarification because it just wasn't making any sense to me.
One day on my way home from work I was listening to Amanda, the afternoon show host on KSBJ, talking about volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center.  I thought to myself how cool that would be.  So I searched online for one close by and the first one to pop up was the Beltway 8 South Crisis Pregnancy Center.  I called and expressed my interest in volunteering one evening because I worked during the day.  The receptionist kindly took my name and number stating they would get back with me.  Several months went by and I never heard from them so I assumed they didn't need any more volunteers.
In the meantime I asked for prayer from my lifegroup for discernment because things were still not making any sense.  My leader and dear friend, Randy Hufstetler, told me the story in Matthew 14 about Peter getting out of the boat.  After finishing he looked me in the eyes and said "so Peter get out of the boat".  Well of course that petrified me, but it got me to do some soul searching.
 We went out of town to see my son in college several weeks later and went with him to church that Sunday.  I opened up the church program and what was the first thing I see but a flyer about a crisis pregnancy center in that area. OK God again you're showing me this- is this what you want from me?  After arriving home that evening I was doing my daily bible reading and what was my chapter to read for the day - Matthew 14 - Peter get out of the boat. Wow- coincidence?  I think not.  Within 30 minutes my phone rang and it was the volunteer coordinator from the pregnancy center apologizing that she hadn't contacted me sooner.  She had misplaced my telephone number and was just now finding it again.  She asked if I was still interested in volunteering after all this time.  Of course my answer was yes!  I think by this time God was trying to hit me over the head with a hammer saying are you getting it yet?  This is what I want from you.
 After lots of prayer, talking, tears and laughter my husband and I decided to be obedient and do what we felt God was calling me to do - leave a good paying, full-time job to volunteer my time with girls in need.  How it was going to work?  We had no idea. With children in college and me adding up the numbers based on my husband's salary alone it wasn't going to work.  But we had faith that God would provide.
It hasn't always been easy, but He has always taken care of us.  Now I still get to do ultrasounds on the clients, but even better, I get to minister to them, share the gospel with them and just love on them. Everyday I'm there something happens that confirms I'm where I'm supposed to be and I love it.  Pray and obey.
 My name is Kim Salter and I am a child of God and a real Crosspoint Woman.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 24: Jodi Rohr

Tyler, Jodi and Zolie Rohr
Growing up in the church and surrounded by friends and family who are believers has been a tremendous blessing.  I know that I was taught the gospel of Christ at a very young age. So young, in fact, that I don’t remember not knowing about the powers of Jesus and the love of God.  There was always someone to pray with me, give me guidance or show me the love of Christ.  I am so thankful that God allowed me to be born where I was, when I was and to the family I was.  He further blessed and protected me by allowing me to marry my husband, Tyler, and guiding us to Crosspoint.   At Crosspoint, we have met the most incredible friends and have been involved with ministries and life groups that have REAL people to walk through life with us.  Now, by the grace of God, I am a mother and pray every day that my daughter (and son on the way) will make the choice to surround themselves with believers as they grow. As long as I have a choice in who they are around, it WILL be around the body of Christ!  We need all the help we can get to bring up our children in an atmosphere of love and the truth of Christ.

Despite that stability of a Christian community, life is not all rainbows and sunshine.  Sometimes it is hard, heartbreaking and difficult.  There have been moments where I have felt abandoned by God and lost to His purpose.  My Dad was diagnosed with cancer the year I turned 21 and after a horrible year of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries, he lost his battle.  It was a complete shock because we are a praying family and we KNEW that God was going to heal my Dad.  We had 100 % faith that he would be healed and his story would be a testimony to others of how the power of prayer works. It broke me and shattered me that God didn’t heal my Daddy.  When my husband and I decided to start our family, I had 2 miscarriages (and a third after my daughter was born) that absolutely rocked my world.  Not in the “rock on,” life is good way, but rather the “rock the boat” until it fills with water and starts sinking way.  I had NO idea that having a baby would be difficult for us.  I believe that life starts at conception and that God is in love with our babies in the womb before we even know about it.  I am certain that my three precious angels are in heaven with my Dad waiting for me to come join the party on the streets of gold.  But the fact that they aren’t here, in my world, playing in my house and getting my hugs and having their earthly Daddy bathe them at night and rock them to sleep is more than sadness.  It is a physical pain that, if I allow it, will bring me to my knees and incapacitate my ability to live.

The crowd of believers I have been surrounded by has always been there. And for that I am eternally grateful.  I can only imagine the dark hole I would be in without them.  They have been praying, guiding, leading, crying with me and for me, listening and offering the best words of encouragement they could muster.  But, as many of you know, there are times when that all seems empty.  Times when I have begged God to take away my pain and hardships. Like the thorn in Paul’s side which God refused to remove.   In 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Paul says he “...pleaded with the Lord [three times] to take it away.”  But God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul says that because God refuses to take away the thorn that he will boast in his weaknesses, and find delight in hardships, in and through difficulties.

Now, I am not as strong or wise or far along in my sanctification as Paul, and finding “delight” in my hardships is not something I have been able to do yet. However, I have come to a place that allows me to use my weakness and my story to provide strength for others, or to, at least, try. Because of my experiences, I am aware that for others, there are times when my words seem empty. Times that the hurt is so deep and the pain is so profound that you can’t hear the comfort of scripture and you can’t feel the arms of God wrapping around you and giving you sustenance.  But as a Christian  and as a woman who has more than a few thorns, I know that once the pain begins to fade and the healing has a chance to begin, that the hugs, tears, and prayers of a friend will do so much more than comfort. I know that the word of the Lord will be salve on a wound, cleansing, healing and soothing the pain.  Once your heart has a chance to begin its mending and your brain begins to process the words and scriptures God provides for us through family, friends and mentorship, you are able to find power and strength in your weakness. Like Paul, we can begin to realize that not in spite of it, or because of it, but through it, God IS power. God IS sufficient. God IS perfect.  He will use our hurts. He will not let hardship go wasted. And he will never, no matter what we feel, let us go. He will teach us, for as long as we learn it, he will continue to teach us that when we are weak, we are strong.