Seeking His Presence Now: Cathy
Cathy walks in great wisdom and quiet strength. She walks with the Lord in her daily life, seeking to know and love Him more each day. I got to know Cathy this summer through a Bible study small group, and I am grateful for her compassion and her wisdom and the way that she has welcomed me (and so many others) into her life. She has a great sense of humor and is generous with her time and her resources and her prayers. She knows the Lord so deeply, and she reflects Him so clearly to all who come in contact with her.Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your heart and your words here.
Her words are below...
First I would like to give you a little background information. I had an amazing encounter with Christ when I was 30 and since that time I feel I have spent my life trying to lay hold of Him who so graciously laid hold of me. It was at a time when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all churches--all denominations in the early '70's. One of the outcomes of my experience was to have the Word of God come alive for me. Verses and phrases began to leap off the page and hit my heart. There was always something so life giving for each season in life or each struggle. There were words that convicted me of sin and deeper conviction of my sin nature. There were words that brought such love after I had poured out my heart and pain. Time in the Word and prayer became the most important part of my day. It wasn't all just personal interpretation. I had bible studies and teachers who inspired, devotionals that helped and friends and mentors that I could run things by to make sure I was hearing what God was saying.
The leading of the Lord I would like to share is about my recent move from my church of 27 years to BCF. I began attending my former church after a physical move from Houston to the suburbs because of a change in our finances (a difficult time). There was a word the Lord made alive that "my exile" would be long. It was a word I just pondered.
We moved back to Houston from the suburbs (Tomball) a few years ago after 20 years (long "exile" to me). I continued to drive 35 miles to church. Things had slowly begun to change in our church. I had a commitment but not much relationship. I began to pay attention and pray and seek God in His Word. It was almost unthinkable to me to consider leaving, so much history and so many unfilled desires for growth. I read a scripture that I felt was from the Lord. It was Isaiah 37:30. It spoke of 2 years of continuing on, but in the 3rd year planting. I realized I had made commitments that were for the next 2 years and I was impressed that I needed to leave at the end of that time and be "planted" (not sure where).
I met with a friend and mentor to check my hearing. I spent my 2 years stepping down from all my responsibilities. It was a total change for me, being 100% committed to the church and doing for God and with God was how I had functioned for as long as I could remember. It became a dry time, a lonely time and somewhat fearful. During that time my family's needs were great and that helped me fill my time. There were, also, encouragements from the Lord (rumors of a new church plant in my neighborhood of Spring Branch!). I was not, however, at an age when people start over with relationships or anything else, so I continued to feel isolated.
I began attending BCF in January of 2014. My friend and my daughter were there so at least I knew someone. I joined a community group. There was a night of corporate prayer meeting scheduled. I was excited about that. I left a church where corporate prayer was a main focus. I went to the meeting and received a prayer request to pray over, a simple request that the Lord would draw the women of BCF closer to Himself and to one another during the summer. That He would find great joy in drawing us, meeting us in His Word and changing us.
I took the request seriously, and began to pray that the Lord would draw "them", continuing to feel isolated. I then was invited to join that Bible study for the summer. It opened the door to some amazing relationships, and suddenly there was an end to my dry, unfruitful season and what was joy for Him became joy for me. Doors opened for service and I feel I am in the process of reaping the fruit of His promises and enjoying a new season of His leading.
[This is Cody again. Cathy told me I could share this part of the story too... We ended up in the same Bible study small group last summer. On the first day, she shared her story of receiving the prayer request at the prayer night. When she reached into her purse and pulled out the notecard, I recognized it immediately because I had torn the paper in half to share with a friend, and then I had written that prayer request on my half. It was such an encouragement to me as well! To see the care that the Lord had taken with my prayer. To see the way another had carried that request to the Lord. To get to see the way He very personally and specifically answered that prayer. I am so grateful we serve a God who draws people together and to Himself over something as simple as a prayer scribbled on half of an index card!]