In God’s Hands

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In the fall of 2012 a close pastor friend sent me a photograph of a cloud formation in the sky. The clouds looked like two hands that were open to grab hold of something. This picture was a reminder for me that our awesome God is still guiding and directing my path.

At the time, I was wondering where God was leading me within my ministry and in this denomination. This picture was an answer to my prayers to keep trusting in him. His plans were not to harm me but to help me be successful in following his path.

As I served on the CRCNA’s Board of Trustees, there were many raveled edges of directions, including diversity in leadership and planning, structure and culture, and the next executive director. I had just finished being on the diversity planning committee, was feeling hopeless, and then was appointed to the executive director search team.

Process takes time and demands much prayer and searching for God’s direction. After getting all the preliminary materials together, the nominations, the short list, and then the interviews, we wrestled as a team to seek the best candidate. Finally we came to a decision, asking God for confirmation. The process was thorough and intense.

But God had other plans for this season of the Christian Reformed Church. Our initial candidate withdrew. Having another year to search for a candidate to be the next executive director solidified the team even more and gave us a deeper desire to hear God’s direction. At the same time, God gave me the opportunity—and honor—to be the chair of the Board of Trustees. God was allowing me to use my gifts of leadership; his direction was to follow his lead and to keep leaning on his everlasting arms.

Our awesome God allowed us to struggle—only to see his hand lead us to the designation of a new executive director, progression in diversity leadership, and a new direction for our denomination to thrive for the future as we reorganize the structure and culture of the CRCNA.

We still have a long way to go, and finding our way forward will not be easy. I am reminded that God’s outstretched hands are reaching out for all of us. He wants to transform our lives to truly be the “unified family of God.” We will then be able to show and tell the world our God is real and alive today.

About the Author

Rev. Sheila Holmes is pastor of Northside Community Christian Reformed Church, Paterson, N.J.