A Vision Revisited
by Germaine Copeland
Outside in the pre-dawn I lift my face to the eastern skies listening to the melodious song the birds are singing. Rain has cleansed the air and made puddles along the walkway to the prayer cottage. Just before entering I lift my head to the skies where I see patches of pink mixed with the rain clouds above the majestic oaks. The sun will come out. All is well!
People and situations that I would like to fix are committed to the Father’s safe keeping. He renews the strength of the weary; they mount up on wings as eagles. He heals the broken-hearted. He opens the eyes of His people and helps them resolve issues and feelings that have been buried since childhood. He delivers the addict and opens the eyes of the enabler. He heals broken relationships. God is God; there is no other!
In the prayer cottage I meditate on God’s goodness searching for the living water of creativity that flows from deep within. Later, my soul delights in the beauty of the weeping willow tree beside the glistening waters of Lake Oconee and the patterns on the lawn created by light streaming through the hardwoods announce peace. As I glory in the presence of God’s handiwork, I hear the words: “Finding more power than I’d ever dreamed; I’m learning to lean on Jesus.”
Back at the house I prepare breakfast and do the early morning chores before entering my office where I turn on the computer. Sitting down at my desk and waiting for the programs to download I sense the grief of yesteryear and realize that it is time to write the next installment of the transition that led me on a journey of deep soul-searching.
In those first years after selling Word Ministries’ home I no longer trusted myself to hear from God; I followed pathways others planned for me. Doubting my ability to even hear from God, I gave in and gave up. I silently asked if I had fulfilled my purpose in life. Is my time on planet Earth over? What will happen to my writing, which is viewed as classic in Christian circles? Do I need to dissolve Word Ministries? These and many other questions bombarded my thinking.
I’ll never forget the first day I walked into the new office that had been furnished for me. I stopped just inside the doorway looking at the massive, beautiful furniture staring back at me, and I was shocked that no one had bothered to ask what I needed! There were red flags everywhere I turned. Why was I even in this place where for the first time ever my integrity was questioned by those who had insisted on providing the office? Even before I entered the ministry I always endeavored to live truly, speak truly and deal truly.
Those close to me assured me that this was the right decision…that God was rewarding me for the years I had invested in ministry. Why wasn’t I excited; where was my grateful heart? Nights of anguish robbed me of sleep and rest. Every plan I purposed was shot down; it was suggested strongly that it was time for me to retire!
The ministry as I knew it no longer existed. One by one in my mind I folded up plans for allocating profits from the sale of the house in Roswell, Georgia and put them to rest. The vision was dead: the fund for prayer journeys, the house where we would have a book and gift shop, offices, a shipping department and a prayer/class room, the prayer garden where people could come for a time of meditation, refreshing and restoration. For the first time in more than forty years my dreams were dead, my spirit was broken and real despair moved in. “A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?” (Proverbs 18:14 The Message)
But God was at work! My faith was in a waiting pattern as I was learning to lean on the One who is all knowing. He was hardening me to difficulties, building character and releasing glimmers of hope. Just as my Father-God did not forget the vow I made as a teenager, He did not forget the vision.
I’m learning to lean on the grace of God that proved to be more than sufficient…Word Ministries continues and I continue to write.
Look for the upcoming Part 3: A Vision Resurrected
Copyright © Germaine Copeland 2011