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Circle Maker Testimony

Reading through The Circle Maker has been a humbling experience so far. As I prepared to teach this week’s lesson to the youth, I spent some time thinking about what my Jericho would be. What are the promises and desires that the Lord has placed on my heart that I need to be faithful to circle with prayer? As I was thinking back on the last year, the Holy Spirit brought me to tears as I thought about one particular promise that The Lord put on my heart.

In April of 2012, I was finishing up my 1st year interning at The Wesley Foundation. As a 1st year intern, we were required to participate in classes that were creatively named, “1st Year Time.” For our last 1st Year Time, our director, Daniel Simmons, was going to give each of us a word that the Lord had given him for us. We all sat and agreed as he spoke to each person in the circle individually. Then he got to me. I immediately knew that the word he was about to share with me was going to be important. Daniel shared Genesis 12:2 where The Lord is speaking to Abraham. He says, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” The word that Daniel gave was this: You are on the cusp of something big, a transition. You are walking into a very powerful season in your life, a time of great influence. Obviously, this word would be encouraging to anyone, but it was especially encouraging to me during that season of my life. In April of last year, I was preparing myself to enter into ministry full time at St. James. Brad Baker, our former Youth Minister, had already announced that he would be leaving, and it was not announced yet that I would be taking over his position on an interim basis. As Daniel spoke the Lord’s word over me, he was not aware of what the Lord had already put into motion. A word like that, with such realistic implications, can only come from the Lord. 

The neat thing about this promise is that since that time, the Lord has continued to remind me of it. Getting to serve in full time ministry at St. James was certainly an answer to prayer, but the Lord is still fulfilling his promise to me. He has guided me through transitioning from interim to full time, all the while reminding me that he is faithful and he will fulfill his promises to me. One important addition to this promise is how it lines up with the desires that the Lord has placed on my heart. The Lord put it on my heart to serve in ministry when I was 20, and since that time he has been guiding me into the different opportunities that I have had. As I prepare to get married in April, I don’t know where the Lord will lead me, whether that is to stay in Athens and continue serving at St. James, or if his plan is to lead me elsewhere. What I do know is that in the midst of transition, when I am on the cusp of big changes, he is faithful to lead and guide. The desires on my heart, to serve in ministry wherever the Lord would have me serve, are still there, and I will commit to circling them in prayer as the Lord guides me into this next season of my life. As I continue to see Daniel’s word fulfilled and played out in my life, I will also commit to praising the Lord and thanking him for the great things that he has done and has yet to do.

Josey Butler