Go To the Land I Will Show You

When we say ‘yes’ to God, we never know where the road will lead us. My journey to Spokane started in 1987 when I realized that God had a bigger plan for my life. “What are you doing here?” asked by a concerned brother in Christ, opened the door to a future I never could have imagined.
I asked God, “Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do?” And He sent me to Spokane, Washington. I had often heard it referred to as a “God-forsaken” land, a desert place. They were wrong.
In 1988, I became a law student at Gonzaga University School of Law at the age of 28. It seemed totally crazy on one level, yet I knew I was in the right place. I believe Abraham had that same peace as he left his country, his family and his father’s house to the land that God showed him. (Genesis 12:1)
The next three years were filled with learning to think like a lawyer, getting married, working part time, and dealing with my husband’s cancer. God was my rock, my fortress, my breath of life. It wasn’t always pretty, but God was faithful. In 1991, I graduated and took the state’s bar exam for attorneys and passed on the first time. I was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association. Look what the Lord has done! But my husband was very sick, in fact losing his battle with cancer, so my legal career took a back seat. This battle took first place, the rest of life God would have to sort out.
In February 1993, my husband lost his battle on earth, but entered heaven with a new body, a new life with Christ. I was exhausted but I needed to work to pay the bills. What would I do? Where would I go? God knew the plans He had for me, plans for good and not for evil, plans to give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) The end of that year I met my second husband and God was about to take us on another wilderness journey.
After an abscessed tooth nearly took his life, my husband, Bill and I took over running a homeless shelter with no previous experience in this area. God wanted us to learn about people. He wanted us to understand the things that broke His heart. Prior to living in Spokane, I lived a sheltered life in a small town. My eyes were quickly opened to the devastation that occurs in the lives of men, women and children as the result of drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and homelessness.
It did break my heart – every day. But God’s love and courage was so much bigger than mine. God made us brave. He called us to stand just as David stood before Goliath. Prayer and grace sustained us. Sixteen months later, the building was closed and God directed us to a “new land” in downtown Spokane in a low-income apartment building for almost 10 years.
I learned what it meant to be a warrior for the Lord. Standing with those who were mentally ill and feeling their pain; learning how to stand with law enforcement against the crime that ravaged our neighborhood and offering hope to those who were suicidal. Speaking words of life to those who felt they were unworthy. So many lessons, so much life lived 24/7. God’s angels surrounded us as we fought back the darkness.
In 2007, we left our home and our job to go to a place we did not know, a place God would show us. We ended up in Spokane Valley at Spokane Dream Center, an inter-denominational church that has an outreach to the same population we once served. It was like “coming home” but here we had a church family who supported each other in this call to serve our community.
In 2009, I took on the volunteer position of Communications Director, helping with special events and women’s prayer ministry and leading the marketing efforts for Behold Jesus, Dream Center’s drama production of the life of Christ which is presented free of charge to the Spokane community every year around Easter.
Preparations have started for the 2016 production on March 19, 2016 at the INB Performing Arts Center at 1 pm and 6:30 pm. The cast of about 150 members has only one mission and that is to share the love of Jesus with the Spokane community and across the world as it is streamed live on the internet.
Just like Abraham, God continues to show me the place He has for me. As an author, editor and speaker, I share what God has done in my life and help others share their stories as well.
“Go to the land I will show you.” God’s message to Abraham is my call too. I believe it is yours as well. Are you willing to go where God tells you to go, no matter how crazy it may sound? God’s ways are not our ways, but His ways are always better. I’m looking forward to the journey that lies ahead. I pray you will join me in following where God leads you.