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When I met Bruce Hogarth, I had already been through extensive Christian counseling in another state during a particularly long and arduous divorce process. I had learned much and was ready to finally go live fully and give back to others and to God.

I felt compelled by God to move to Atlanta to attend seminary. Doors flew open to facilitate my obedience. Then almost immediately after arriving, by earth’s standards, EVERTHING went “wrong.” Everything I thought I could count on in this world was stripped away in October 2008 – and the financial collapse was only a small portion of the painful carving of my idolatrous flesh.

That’s when Bruce asked the perfect question: “What if God never chooses to use you?”

I had never thought of that.

I had never thought of that. Of course He had that right, but surely God wouldn’t waste my experiences? Surely I had something to give? Through Bruce and a wonderful Life Group, God taught me much about entitlement and surrender, as a lifelong process of crucifixion and redemption by grace. I realized how much I still depended on worldly things for the love, acceptance, worth, and security I craved.   My desire to “give” wasn’t as selfless as I once believed.

I continue to lay my need to be useful and help others at His feet, while asking Him to reveal His will for me: my unique call each day and season.

There have been situations since where God has used me. Ah — the sweet privilege!  It was clearly His work and not mine. I felt honored to be His broken vessel.  The difference is I’m no longer (usually) offering what I possess to God for His use, but continuously offering all I am to His examination to remove more of my flesh and make room for the fullness of His Spirit to live in and through me.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)