By Tammy Rude
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV)
“If only I could go back, I would have done things differently.”
I can’t tell you how many times those words have escaped my lips but as I sit here to write my last post for Women Walking with Jesus, I’ve discovered I wouldn’t change a thing.
During this last year, as the words have fallen on to the pages, I could see Jesus was walking with me every step of my life’s journey. He was there as I hid in the dark valleys. He grabbed my hand and pulled me over the mountain tops. He calmed the raging storms inside my soul.
So, before I finish this portion of my journey, I’d like to take you down one more path in my walk with Jesus.
There was a place known as Ultra-Motions Dance Academy. There I held the position of owner and the title of: Miss Tammy.
Dancing and acting had always been a part of me. I loved the stage. During my adolescent years, I would perform my dance routines by twirling and leaping around in a beautiful costume. Waiting to hear the thunder of applause fill the air and when the curtain call came, I would run out taking my final bow. I loved soaking in the sounds of praise for my great performances. Feeling the warmth of the spotlight bouncing off my face, it would cause my heart to pound as it was being filled with a desire to carry out MY plans for the future.
The day finally came. My future had arrived. There I stood behind that same curtain waiting to make my grand entrance, not as a dance student, but as Miss Tammy, the dance teacher. The desire to hear the crowd’s approval was still there. How I longed to be exalted. This was just one part of the arrangement to the colorful mosaic being laid out for the path I had chosen.
Years have gone by since my “Miss Tammy” days and my plans have changed. Today, they are plans directed by God.
I remember facing that same stage where once I commanded all of the praise; I now was with over 500 women from around the State of New York, who had traveled to our yearly Assemblies of God Conference.
This time the stage was simple. There was no elaborate backdrop. The music playing was filled with words of praise. The hands of the audience lifted high in full surrender to the All Mighty God.
I, too, had my palms facing toward Heaven with thanksgiving for the new life that He had given me. A life with no more shame…standing there praising Him. I knew I was right where I belonged. I belonged in the audience and not on the stage.
It was on that day that God spoke these words to me: You are now exalting Me and no longer exalting yourself. And I believe… He said that with a smile.
Let this truth bear down firmly in your heart… we are shaped by our trials and choices. Our faith is strengthen by our weakness. Our God uses EVERYTHING for good in due time.
‘Til we met again…
Tammy Rude is a wife, mother, and women’s leader who is living a restored, Christ-centered life. Tammy speaks and writes with transparency using lessons learned through her struggles with marriage, motherhood, depression, and ultimately through her victory by God’s redeeming power. She enthusiastically presents practical Bible-centered solutions to the problems every woman and family face. Her tender yet firm style challenges listeners and readers to lay down excuses and confront personal obstacles in the power available to them through Jesus Christ. Connect with Tammy at her blog Not Mine but God’s Story or on facebook.com/tammyrude