My first experience in a church was at seven days old. I learned about the Lord and many Bible stories. I participated and followed all that was asked of me. Yet, deep down inside I knew I was not right with God. That deep soul connection came later, as a young adult, when God tugged at my heart. God showed me knowing Him in my head and loving Him with my heart must come together in the wonderful and redemptive relationship of His Son, Jesus. At twenty-one, when those two aspects finally came together in the sweet redemption Christ had for me, so began my faith journey.
Each season of my journey brought me a different perspective and way to grow while serving God. My serving journey began slowly and cautiously, mostly behind the scenes. I enjoy organizing, cooking, decorating, and gardening, and I find myself drawn to these activities in all settings. As a result, those things of enjoyment became my natural extensions of service in the church. It was not until I attended my first women’s group that I glimpsed where God may be calling me to serve Him. As I grew in my walk and love for His Word, I longed for other women to see His Word in the same light and passion as I did. It was at this point I began contributing to women’s ministry. However, even in this season there was much learning and growing. During this time, I embraced godly womanhood, battled years of infertility, and realized my most cherished role of motherhood. Even when I attain what I believed I always wanted, the Lord taught me my identity and worth is rooted in Him. As my introduction into motherhood was marred with postpartum depression and a second pregnancy riddled in physical illness, I was withdrawing further from the person I wanted to be. Again, the Lord gently nudged me to seek Him and trust He would be enough.
Next in our journey was a life-changing move to California. In Ecclesiastes, it says “there is a season for everything.” Our season in California was a deep season of growing, of putting down roots, and of preparing us for what was to come. The deep valleys we endured, including stretching my faith and allowing God to lead, were used to break me out of my comfort zone. He showed me if I was a willing vessel, He would do the rest of the work. Wonderful teachers and mentors poured themselves into me. Unwavering friendships were forged amid chaotic times, such as financial trials (the loss of both home and job) and the addition of our third child through adoption. Who knew you had to travel across the country to complete your family in such unique manners and stress. But traveling seems to be part of our journey.
Once again, we moved back to the East Coast. God asked if I would be willing to walk blindly in faith and accept the calling of not just helping but leading a women’s ministry. Humbly and stretched to the limits, I organized a ministry that both encouraged and served the women of the church and local community. My heart was overflowing with joy to serve. Again, Solomon’s words come to fruition when that season of my journey promptly ended. I had to step out in faith that the Lord saw me and was in control.
The Lord radically called us to make a change in our lives and to be intentional. As a result, we sold everything through a year-long dedicated effort. We worked with our children so they could keep sentimental items from their childhood along with mementos. We made plans and moved into, at that time, our trailer and hit the road. Since then, we switched to a motorhome (the ones you drive, and tow a car behind it). This meant the five of us lived in a total of 420 square feet! Again, we wanted to be intentional, we wanted to serve and connect with the communities as we traveled. We felt a connection with an organization that I came into contact with while attending a weekend woman’s retreat. After getting to know them and they got to know us, we partnered with them. As we travel, we connect with local churches and share about this ministry and help others get connected to this non-profit Christian organization. Serving while we travel was always a vital part of our journey. I oversee all of the homeschooling, and of course, organize our travel planning and tiny home living.
Our travel affords us a freedom to be intentional with our time and resources. We can now faithfully serve and give freely. That was something that was becoming more difficult living the traditional American lifestyle. We love how we are able to be present in our kids’ lives. They are getting to a point where transitioning to college is just around the corner. We get to make the most of our time with them while making priceless memories. Even now, during a pandemic, we continue to live intentionally. We still love that we are together, even if some of our travels look different. I love the journey the Lord has given us and look forward to what changes He will bring in the future.
My life verse is Psalm 84:10. This verse encompasses my love for the Lord; there is nothing else I would rather be doing than serving Him, in whatever capacity He would have for me. Whether it is in my home, my travels, my next blog, or the next person He places in my path. It’s one of my greatest joys of how He has brought Love God Greatly into my life. I once again connect with other women while I travel on the road. Love God Greatly provides me daily accountability and personal encouragement to be in the Word.
Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better than spending a thousand elsewhere. I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God than live in the tents of the wicked.
Merari, United States
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