I’m almost 50. Just typing that out seems so bizarre. Not that 50 is old but I don’t think of myself as being half a century old. But alas, ‘tis true. The wrinkles don’t lie. I don’t mind getting old. I like that my hands look like my mom’s. I like that I have stories.
Category Archives: purpose
GUEST POST: If You Still Have Breath, by Christi Gee
I’m so excited to share this space with a long time friend, Christi Gee from The Cheerio Trail. Our husbands were college roommates about 200 years ago. Of course, Christi and I were only like 2 at the time. 🙂 We got married within months of each other and then parted ways due to work. A few years later, providence would have us living near each other. We shared dinners and fun times together and watched our families grow. Our lives took different geographical turns, but thanks to social media, we were brought back together a couple of years ago. I couldn’t be happier about that! We share similar passions for our God, for His Church, for our families and for writing. I asked her recently if she would be interested in guest posting over here and she graciously accepted. I say graciously because her writing skills are nothing short of gifted and her blog site is a well-developed slice of southern hospitality. When I visit her blog, I feel like she welcomes me into her beautiful home, directs me to sit on her big comfy couch and offers me a good cup of coffee in her best cup. And then she secretly hopes I can stay for a good long while. Read on as Christi shares a piece of her heart. I’m confident that yours will be filled.
If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.
On a warm May night, 1300 miles from home, I heard a speaker recount his call to establish a church building ministry in India.
The scope was huge and he recalled praying, “God, this is too big. I can’t do this.”
He said he heard a still small voice reply, “Good, I can.”
I fumbled for something to write on.
I still have my little pieces of paper with my scribbled notes:
- “If you tell people your vision and they don’t laugh, your vision isn’t big enough.”
- “All of life is about scaling cliffs, but moving with God means you’ll never climb alone.”
- “Accomplish at least one thing each day that will outlive you and last into eternity.”
From his mouth to my heart via the Holy Spirit.
I sat there thinking, “My vision isn’t big enough.”
And then I told God, “Whatever you want from me, I will do it. I just want to know where you want me. PLEASE speak!”
This was May 13, 2011.
- Big Vision
Fast-forward a couple of months and we had moved 1300 miles to live in the city where I heard those words.
Many back home thought we had lost our ever-lovin’ minds.
But we knew we were supposed to go.
We had a “Go and I’ll show the rest when you get there” kind of call. (I quoted Genesis 12:1 often.)
It was an exhilarating time — one of those rare moments in life when you see evidence of God directing your steps.
Every detail lined up and everywhere we turned we saw His answer to prayer.
- Scaling Cliffs
It turned out that although following the call was exciting, fulfilling the call was exhausting.
Leaving the flatlands of Texas for the foothills in Virginia, we began to understand the climbing analogy on a whole new level.
Life seemed to always be uphill.
The next few years were a test of endurance and we sometimes wondered if we had indeed heard God correctly.
Just when I thought I had finished climbing hills and scaling cliffs, I fell back to the bottom of the mountain.
Or more specifically, I fell to the bottom of my stairs at home.
This was May 13, 2014.
Exactly three years from the night of my prayer, “Use me,” I lay in a whole new state of seemingly “unusable.”
Broken bones. Emergency surgery. Setbacks and a long recovery.
As I watched opportunities slip out of my hands, my heart followed my flesh to the bottom of the mountain.
And there I stayed for a while, begging to understand, questioning God’s timing, and feeling forgotten, broken, and useless.
I learned much in that valley at the bottom of the cliff.
But this post isn’t about those lessons. (I’ve written extensively about that on my own blog and invite you there to read more.)
No, I share here for a much different reason.
- Greater Purpose
I share here to say: In God’s economy nothing is wasted.
I share here to say: If you are wondering if He can and will still use you, the answer is YES.
I share here to say: It may just be your pain and your struggle that gives birth to your most effective ministry yet.
That is what happened for me.
As I began to limp out of the darkness and write about the struggle, I noticed some fellow travelers were limping behind and beside me.
As I rubbed my scars and recounted the Healer’s touch, others came near to listen, viewing those wounds as credentials and opening the door for me to speak truth.
And as I took the noose from around my neck that had threatened to strangle the joy out of my life, I realized that I held in my hand a lifeline I could extend to others who were drowning from the breakers washing over them.
My eyes were opened and I saw that I had never walked alone.
The best part of all: God gave me an opportunity to join Him in doing something that will outlive me and last into eternity.
I have a new vision and it even makes ME laugh.
The same is true for you!
Have you just left one season of life and are struggling to find your purpose in another?
Do you have past failures or recent falls that have seemingly had the final say?
Are you waiting in winter with no sign of spring?
Take heart, dear friend.
God can and will redeem it all.
Beauty from ashes. New mercies. Renewed vision.
That setback is just a set-up for Him to reveal Himself in a deeper way than you ever knew before.
It is not over. He is not done.
If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.
The waiting is not easy, but it will be worth it.
And if along this journey you find yourself crying, “God, this is too much. I can’t do it myself,” listen for that still small voice to whisper back: “Good. I can.”
Embracing the journey,
Christi Gee married her high school sweetheart 26 years ago. They have three children of their own and one by marriage – their son’s wife. After spending all their married life on the Texas Gulf Coast, they now live in Virginia.
Her professional background is in development and marketing. She served for many years as Director of Development and Marketing at a private K-12 school and as a director in the Marketing department for Liberty University.
However, she says that her favorite parts of life have had very little connection with what someone paid her to do. The four years spent homeschooling when her children were older were the most exhausting — yet rewarding — time of life. Two decades full of children’s ministry, teaching junior high Bible, and loving on other women of her churches rank a close second.
She can be found “embracing the journey” over at TheCheerioTrail.com where she celebrates the “in between” stages and seasons that help us all get from here to there … together.