Vulnerable yet Empowered!

Autumn Nims, Founder and President of International Women's Ministries

Have you ever felt restless, like something was about to change? Are you dissatisfied with where you are in life? Perhaps you have been on a search for purpose or significance. Maybe you feel like you have not yet pioneered the uncharted territory of your life. I have been at all of these points in my life. I have been restless, dissatisfied and most importantly, felt I had not explored all of the places the Lord wanted to take me.

Not so long ago, I began to experience a familiar stirring; a stirring that I can only describe as unsettling. A growing dissatisfaction of where I was in life began to infiltrate my heart like a nagging splinter. The dissatisfaction came from a desire to grow; to see if there was territory I had not explored. I thought that the current position I was serving in was where God would keep me. I was comfortable there in what I was doing. I was doing a good work. I had grown a ministry from infancy to maturation.  I was at the top of my game, or so I thought. God had different plans! Fortunately for me, God saw bigger things for me and thankfully I was willing to listen as the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to seek greater heights for myself. Remaining where I was could no longer be an option for me.

The restlessness continued for a year. I prayed. I did not know what else to do. I sought the Lord for why I was so dissatisfied. I continued to carry out my ministry. I continued to fulfill all of my commitments, but there was a longing for more; more from God; more for my life.

My heart was pulled. 30 years in ministry had made me extremely rooted in what I knew. The familiar setting of my current work and the administrator in me demanded that I comply with my current surroundings but the rebel in me said to fight for the next level of faith. 

Pioneering new territory meant that I had to take a risk; I had to step into the unknown. I had to do something drastic to discover where the Lord was taking me. My prayers had been countered with silence from God.  A year of sitting at the Lord’s feet was the work that needed to be done. The calling to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen for His voice is a necessary work for those who are called according to His purpose.

The course I decided to take was to lay aside food and fast for 30 days. During that thirty-day period the Lord opened my eyes to what was in store. I sat with paper and pen and waited on the words to come from Him. He spoke things that seemed impossible but reminded me that all things were possible with Him. I began to write out the plan that was being revealed through scripture and the nudging of the Holy Spirit. The most remarkable thing was that when I submitted, sacrificed and put the flesh aside, the power of the Lord was revealed. His plan began to make sense. He did not give it all to me-that would be too easy. I only received the first steps. The rest came when I acted in obedience to Him. Through trial and error, through tears and feelings of insecurity God opened doors. I never felt so vulnerable and yet empowered. How paradoxical! That is when the Lord can do his best work through us.  

When God moves it may not make sense to many or even to you but know that God understands far better what we need. As His children He desires for us to have the very best that life has to offer. The goodness that is stored up in God’s heart for us is far magnified beyond what we imagine for ourselves. In our uncertainty, he strengthens us and uses us for his glory, but we hinder His work when we do not yield to the nudge from His Spirit to our heart. He is gentle with his direction; never forcing His will upon us but giving us the choice to obey and give our lives to him in complete surrender.

Through a simple act of surrendering God is able to move mountains that seemed immense and insurmountable. I lived by Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I did not see the entire picture and I still don’t. That is the beauty of the whole picture. God depicts his desire within the colors and creation of His artistry. He is the artist. If we give him the canvas (ourselves), He chooses the colors, the scenery and then the portrait becomes His masterpiece. The fascinating part is He never finishes the creation as it will always be a work in progress until we reach heaven. My portrait is not even halfway complete! He is still working on mine. His brush strokes are perfect. Every stroke of the Lord’s brush gives me purpose and builds my character. The finished portrait will be hung in heaven when God says: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Autumn Nims

May 5, 2021

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