My friends and family stay on me to make sure that I don’t take on too much. Because I LOVE to use my spiritual gifts to glorify the Lord. And I like to do it in all kinds of ways. I figure, if He’s called me to do something, He’ll give me the desire, opportunity, resources and energy to do it. And to be honest, I like using what He’s given me for His glory….it makes me feel productive….which is a HUGE need of mine. [maybe too much sometimes….]
A lotta years ago, I did the SHAPE assessment to put some labels to the gifts that God has given me. God has supernaturally blessed me with the gifts of leadership and hospitality. And administration. I’m a planner, y’all. I’m sure that comes as NO surprise to anyone who I do life with.
If you know me, or have read a bit about me in this blog, you know…. God has given me opportunities to live and work all over the world. I have loved each of those opportunities, but I often found myself wondering…. God, what’s next? [Umm….hello, I’m a planner.] Most of those times, I haven’t had to wait long before He opened the next door that He wanted me to step through. [I got really good at experiencing change in my 20s and early 30s…..I’m a Change Master!]
But since I’ve been living in Charlotte, those doors haven’t opened as frequently as when I was living/working abroad. I’ve now been in Charlotte for more than 5 years, living in the SAME condo. With the same furniture, the same plates, the same dead plants, the same everything. This is VERY different from how I spent the years prior.
In the years between high school and moving back to Charlotte, I moved EVERY 1 to 2 years. It was a given for me. I didn’t own much and I could pick up and move my entire life in a few boxes…..sometimes a small Uhaul when I owned furniture. [Not the case now….I JUST donated as many boxes of books as it used to take to move me to a different country.]
If you’ve read my blog, you know I have a heart for west Charlotte. I went to high school in west Charlotte and now spend a majority of my time in neighborhoods in west Charlotte, investing in and doing life with people that are poor and oppressed.
Last year, God started whispering into my heart that He wanted me to have a different role in west Charlotte….a home ownership role. Which was super confusing because I did NOT feel the call to leave uptown Charlotte. So I started praying….and God said…I’ll lead you to a house….just buy it. So, I did.
I bought a house in west Charlotte and have since turned it into an AirBnB. I’m using those gifts of hospitality and administration to run what has become a small business. But this isn’t just a business for me. It’s a community and this house has connected me into west Charlotte in a way that I could never have imagined. I’ve gotten to know the neighbors on my street, the challenges of the neighborhood school and challenges of gentrification that are impacting my neighbors. [Yes, I realize I am part of that gentrification, but I am trying to do so responsibly and use my position as an opportunity to advocate for those who are marginalized.]
And, I know that God is going to use that house and my presence in that neighborhood somehow else. He’s started to plant more seeds in my heart. Whispering His desires.
“Trust the whisper. No matter how crazy it feels to listen, it is crazier not to try.” This quote comes from the book The Hundred Story Home: A Journey of Homelessness, Hope and Healing. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Kathy writes about the whispers God put on her heart to do something about our homeless situation in Charlotte. She then tells the story of how God aligned her desires, opportunity, resources and energy. It started as a whisper. [Shout out to Leadership Charlotte, another organization that has significantly impacted my life and opened my eyes, for the quote photo.]
His whispers have been louder recently. About doing more in west Charlotte. In addressing the affordable housing need. And in reaching those who are living in Gospel Poverty. He hasn’t opened those doors yet that will show me what to do with His whispers. I’m in a period of waiting. Waiting for His glory to manifest. [And y’all, I am NOT patient…..so this period of waiting is NOT easy.]
He’s planting seeds. Sowing seeds in me that will flower into His glory. That’s all that I could ever want. To be an instrument of His work. To co-Labor alongside Him. What a massive honor.
For now, I’ll wait. For His timing. And keep doing the things He has called me to do right now. I’ll keep using those gifts that He’s given me to glorify Him.
What are you good at? And what is He whispering in your heart? Pray. Ask God to reveal it to you through His Word, the Holy Spirit and the people He has put around you. Be an instrument in His plan. Turn those whispers into action. Join me in using those desires, opportunities, resources and energy to co-labor with Him.