Proverbs 11:25 (TPT): Those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor.
I'm always a work in progress, and GOD has been working on me for some time now, and He put on my heart earlier this year to go back to school and get some more education. At the time, I thought He wanted me to take some online classes and get a Master's degree in Creative Writing, but that wasn't the route He wanted me to take, nor was that the door He was opening for me in this season of my life.
For some time, GOD has revealed to me that I don't have to be just one thing in particular or just one thing in life, and I don't have to be what most people expect me to be or what most people label me; I can be many things, and I can do ALL things in CHRIST, exceeding other people's expectations.
During this time, GOD has wanted me to draw closer to Him, learn more about Him, get more serious, even intentional, in my prayer life, and get more grounded in the WORD of GOD, so I would have the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do all that He would be calling me to do in this new, overcoming season of my life, which is basically, using my gifts, talents, and time creatively to share the gospel of the Kingdom.
He wants me to be more than a churchgoer, more than a bench or pew warmer, more than a passive or lukewarm believer in JESUS CHRIST: He wants me to be a real, active, SOULED-OUT and engaged disciple/student/learner of JESUS--not just a hearer of the WORD but a do-er of the WORD--an ambassador of CHRIST, sharing with others the gospel of the kingdom--the same message JESUS taught, preached, and demonstrated.
So, instead of following my plans, which included that Master's degree in Creative Writing, I surrendered my will and my plans for His will and His plans, for He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future, and I got out of my comfort zone, left my "old" traditional thinking behind, and I wrote an admissions essay and applied for admission into an online ministry program under the administration of a great man of GOD I have been following, learning from, and supporting for a number of years.
And basically, because I would have never naturally thought about or even chosen this path for myself, I got a bit bold and this is what I told GOD, who's been dealing with me about this for a while: If You really want me to take this path, I'll DO IT, regardless of what anybody else thinks; just OPEN the DOOR, GIVE ME FAVOR, GIVE ME THE FINANCES, and MAKE THIS POSSIBLE. And since GOD has a great sense of humor, especially with respect to me, HE DID JUST THAT.
This morning, I got this news in my email from yesterday: 'Dear, Terra, Congratulations! You have been admitted for the Leveling for the Master's Degree Program...Every course in this program contains several lessons, assignments, and exams that will ensure that you will receive in-depth knowledge on each topic."
The Leveling program is to prepare students; they will gain knowledge and understanding of all biblical courses."
One of the things that drew me most to this particular ministry and online program was its purpose--which is in line with what GOD has been dealing with me in regard to for years and the mission is included here: Teaching, Training, Equipping, Sending.
Within the mission/purpose statement, it says, "Students will discover their calling...; they will be activated, taught, trained, and sent out to fulfill their purpose. Our courses are not based only on knowledge but also on a personal experience with the living God." And this for me means, students won't just be hearers of the WORD but do-ers of the WORD.
So, I'm back in school, this time online, not merely as a college teacher in the real world in regular profession but as a newly-inspired student/learner/disciple of JESUS CHRIST, part of the BODY of CHRIST, serving in His kingdom and finding my purpose and place in His ministry, while being grounded in the WORD of GOD, under the authority of JESUS CHRIST, and being equipped, empowered, and led by the HOLY SPIRIT.
One person says it best of us, especially as believers; we are like ONIONS, because we have MANY LAYERS. And I would say this of myself as well; my life HAS been like an ONION, and not necessarily all in a negative way, because every year, GOD pulls back another layer, getting to the HEART of WHO I AM (IN CHRIST) and slowly revealing, especially to me, the person He called and created me to be.
And these are really my mottos/my BATTLE-HEART verses for life, not just random Bible verses to memorize: "All things work together for good to those who love GOD, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28), and "I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
And this is the great mystery of LIVING LIFE LOUD for GOD, which is more about decreasing Self and increasing JESUS, bearing the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control) and being a real believer, having GOD WITH US and GOD IN US and GOD FOR US: The more we learn about WHO HE IS, the more we learn about WHO WE ARE (IN HIM)—Sons and Daughters in CHRIST--Original Creations—One of a Kind—Royal Masterpieces.