A New Chapter

A few days ago, a new challenge took up residence on the landscape otherwise known as my life. God altered my horizon by calling me to a new ministry. Yes, another new chapter for this middle-aged gal :)

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you may remember that a little over a year ago, God moved me out of a prayer ministry I had led for my church for over 11 years. At the time, I could only speculate about His reasons, but I wondered if, as I said then, “it could also be that I’m about to enter into a new season of increased demand in some other area — something I can’t see yet but that He can.”

Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. Months later, without remembering that particular post in the least, I actually wrote about increased demand as we entered such a season with Don’s mother. And now that that demand has eased as her health has somewhat stabilized, I find that God has placed another need, another task, before me.

With the death of my friend Amy, I, along with my church, am feeling her loss in many ways. One of those is the role she filled as our Angel Tree coordinator. You might not think Angel Tree would be on our minds right now, but Amy reached out to prisoners’ children through Angel Tree Camping as well as the Christmas outreach. She had already sent out the invitations for kids to participate in our church camps and had received several positive responses. And thus, the immediate need for someone to fill her role…

The interesting thing? I had talked with Amy a year or two ago about how the Lord had started drawing my heart toward ministry to those in prison. I didn’t know why because we don’t have a prison in our area, but I knew Amy had a similar interest so it was natural to talk with her about it. As I remember, we just decided to keep our common interest in mind if an opportunity presented itself.

Within a couple of days of Amy’s death, I thought of the Angel Tree need, and the question soon came to mind, “Lord, were you preparing my heart to step into Amy’s role as our Angel Tree coordinator?” I began praying about it and asked a few friends and family members to join me in asking God for clear direction. I definitely didn’t want to take on a big job like this if it wasn’t His will for me — or take on something He had in mind for someone else. I wanted His will alone.

God is so good, so faithful, to guide us when we ask for His leading. His Word promises that as we trust in Him, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Just a few days ago, He gave me the direction, the confirmation, I needed to know that He indeed is calling me to the Angel Tree ministry.

I admit it scares me a little — okay, maybe more than a little :) It will be a challenge to figure out where Amy was in the process by just looking through her materials. I also don’t know what the future holds with Don’s mother and when my schedule may swim out of control again. And to be honest, it would never be my natural choice to take on another big commitment during the holiday season.

But you know, God knows all these things. And still He called. I must trust Him and rest in the fact that He will “equip [me] with everything good for doing his will…” (Hebrews 13:21). He is the one who will accomplish His purposes. He will empower this ministry, just as He did when Amy led it.

And so a new chapter begins for me. I sure could use your prayers. Anyone game? I appreciate each and every one of you!

“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19


  1. I’m a new reader, but I’ll pray for you!!! ((((((((HUGS))))))))

  2. I am very proud of you for taking on this new challenge. I’m sure God will bless you for it.

  3. It’s it awesome how our great God has everything figured out?!? We don’t always understand why thing happen, but if we have faith in Him and pray that His will will be done on our lives…it will all work out in His perfect timing!!!

    I will be praying for you!!!

  4. I’m sure you will do a fantastic job. It is truly a blessing you are able and willing to take on this job. If things get to crazy, let me know. I’ll be happy to help however I can.

    I’ll be praying for you!!

  5. I’m excited for you Cheryl! I actually began to have a fresh interest and heart for prison ministry when a good friend of mine was sentenced to three years. She is currently about halfway through, and the Lord has used her mightily during her incarceration.

    I’ve also “met” (in true blog fashion) another woman who has a wonderful prison ministry…Tina Hutchison. You can find out more at the following address:


    Blessings in your new endeavor,

  6. Powered by the Holy Spirit, you will be effective in this new ministry. Angel Tree is such a blessing to the recipients and their families.

  7. Praying. ;-)

    You will be great.

  8. Thanks so much everyone for your support and prayers. Prayer support is such a gift — thank you!

    Lisa, thanks for the offer of help. I’m sure I will be calling on you :) And Melinda, thanks for passing along Tina’s link. I’ll have to check it out!

  9. I know you’re more than up for the task! God bless you for following His leading and taking up this project. As you know, I do prison ministry so I see the prisoners from the inside. I never see their families on the outside.

    I’ll pray for you as you set out to love those often forgotten in our society.

  10. Cheryl dear sister,

    Sadly I don’t get over here as often as I’d like but please know that right this moment I have prayed for you and for the new chapter God has for your life.

    You are such a beautiful spirit.

  11. Kelli & Lisa, thanks so much for your prayers and kind words. What an encouragement!

  12. Oh Cheryl. How I can relate. I will indeed keep you in my prayers and would appreciate yours as well. I pray for strength as you sift through Amy’s material, since it would be so sad in many ways. May the Lord guide you every inch of the way of your new journey.

  13. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for your sweet words over at my blog.

    Wow, God surely holds our times in His hands, doesn’t He? I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m also amazed at how God began preparing you all that time ago.

    And since God knows what He is doing, I’m sure you will do a fantastic job and receive great joy as you work.

  14. Isn’t it good to hear God’s voice & know exactly what He wants you to do? I know, the new chapter will have it’s tricky moments, but nothing beats the peace of knowing you are in the center of His will.


  15. God is leading you in new directions and you are following. Way to go, and the Angel Tree ministry sounds like it blesses people.

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