It is with great pleasure to introduce Pat Evans to you. Pat has joined our team of writers, and I know you will be blessed as she shares from her life experiences and how God has guided her on the journey He has chosen for her.
Pat is the wife of Morris Evans and mother of 2 girls, Keely and Carly. She’s been a lover of God as far back as she can remember and has attended Central Assembly of God for 33 years. Pat loves serving the Lord through the ministries of exhortation, teaching, prayer, and the prophetic. She’s been blessed with the opportunity of using these giftings as a Cell Pastor and by being a part of the leadership team for the Women’s Encounters. Writing is a new challenge for her and she welcomes a new opportunity to serve God in this capacity.
Assuming the ‘godly thing’
By Pat Evans
Sometimes I make decisions based on thinking it's the "godly" thing to do. I mean, it seems like the "Right" thing not to quit when you're being stretched.
Shouldn't we endure hardships knowing God uses them to draw us closer to Him, strengthen our character, and teach us valuable lessons?
This is the way I thought about my job. I was close to retirement and had only a year and three months to go before I could get maximum benefits. My situation had gotten increasingly stressful and unpleasant at work. Still, in my mind, I convinced myself that I could do this for another year and three months because God would give me the grace.
One day an incident happened that really added to my stress level and anxiety. Normally, I don't see myself as a fearful, anxious person, but this incident pushed me over that line.
Still thinking I was doing the "right" thing by toughing it out, I purposed in my heart to endure and rely on God for grace and strength to see me through
After all, isn't it usually God's way not to quit when the going gets tough? Suffering and trials draw us closer and make us more like Him. And wouldn't He want me to receive maximum retirement benefits? That's just good stewardship, right?
A few days later I woke up out of a sound sleep in a panic attack. It took me a minute to even realize what was going on because I had never experienced one before. As I lay there praying trying to regain my peace, I spoke these words: "Lord, I can't do this anymore". It seemed like it was only minutes before I fell back to sleep.
In my quest to be in the center will of God, He was trying to show me my error. He spoke to me through my physical body because in my mind I was convinced I was doing the "right" thing. I had put God in a box, thinking I "knew" what He wanted me to do when, in fact, He was trying to change my mind to His Mind.
Who would think that quitting when things got hard was God's way? I didn't. Though I do believe that sometimes it is God's will to endure for a season, the time had come for me to be rescued and enter His rest.
When I woke up the next morning, I realized that God visited me in that night season. I felt totally free and at peace knowing He had spoken to me.
The next workday, I put in my notice. I am so grateful that my lovingly, patient Heavenly Father broke through my incorrect thinking and taught me not to "assume" anything about His thoughts, ways, and will.
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways My ways', declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8,9