This time of year always makes me reflect back on my school days. The school supplies, backpacks, new clothes and tax free weekend are all signs that a new school year is rapidly approaching. This year will mark 20 years since I graduated from high school. It is hard to believe that 20 years has already passed. While the time has been short, so much life has occurred during this time.
After graduating high school I had grand plans to pursue a degree in public relations and political science. However, shortly after graduation I sensed a calling to do something very different from "my" plans. I believed, wholeheartedly, that God was leading me to serve in the local church. This terrified me. I had no idea what that meant or what I would do. After months of counsel and a lot of prayer I enrolled at The Baptist College of Florida.
In January of 1998 I entered college as an elementary education major. I know what you are thinking, that's not serving in the local church and you are correct. My thought process was, if I graduate and still don't know what area God wants me to serve in at least I can be gainfully employed while I figure it out. In my first year of college I exhausted all of my elective credits in the school of music. I loved the classes. However, I thought there was no way God could possibly be calling me into music. I had NO musical knowledge. NONE!! I didn't know what a whole note or eighth note was or how to play a C major scale on the piano. No way could I be a music major. Well it took a year, a lot of Godly counsel from professors and an incredible amount of prayer but in January of 1998 I auditioned before the music faculty. I was terrified. Terrified of making a fool of myself. Terrified of failure. Since that moment I've graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Church Music and Master of Music in Church Music degrees.
Looking back on my educational career leaves me in complete amazement. If you had told me 20 years ago that this was the path I would take I would have lol, before it was cool to do so! God has been so faithful and I'm so grateful. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself standing before a choir and orchestra each week, leading a congregation in worship or being a part of a worship band. It's just unfathomable.
Of all the lessons I've learned during this journey the greatest nugget of knowledge I've gained is this truth...God isn't interested in your ability, He is interested in your availability. Boy am I grateful for that. I have to imagine that must have been how Joshua and Caleb felt when they were sent, with 10 other spies, to spy out the promised land. They came back and Joshua and Caleb were ready to claim what God had promised to them. The other 10, well they were chicken. They were afraid of the giants they found. After years of God demonstrating His faithfulness, they doubted. The result was Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who ultimately inherited the promised land. The other 10 died while wandering in the wilderness.
We really aren't that different from the 12 spies. The bible tells us that God has a plan for us to give us a hope and a future and yet we still doubt. When will we, with complete abandon, surrender our all to Christ like Joshua and Caleb did? What giants are you currently facing and have you waved the white flag of surrender or do you believe they can be conquered? My prayer and hope has always been that God would find me to be a modern day Joshua and Caleb. I believe the world could use a few more people with the courage, strength, determination and faith in the plans and future God has in store!
6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes
7 and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land.
8 If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.
9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." - Numbers 14:6-9
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.