Make a joyful noise and give thanks
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalms 100:1-5 NIV
Some may recall April 29, 2016, the day The Courier and Daily Comet along with the Donaldsonville Chief and Gonzales Weekly Citizen published a new column, By His Grace, by an unknown writer whose approach in sharing words of encouragement inspired by God was slightly different than others before her. I could only imagine what was thought when reading the column for the first time.
Who is this person? And will she continue to write on a weekly basis or fade away with time?
What you did not know was how it all came about. Allow me to share.
In October 2015, I was at a crossroads personally and professionally. At the time, I had been caring for my terminally ill fiancé while seeking reliable employment. I had successfully completed the fourth of my interviews (a two-month process) with the Apple Store in Baton Rouge. During the time of unemployment, I had asked the lord for a position that would allow me freedom to care for Jeffrey and financially support my family while continuing in whatever ministry he chose. In my transition, I had been blessed and entrusted to intercede in prayer and laying on of hands, prophesy and encouraging others to give and teach. I never doubted, not once, I would have my prayers answered.
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:13-14 NIV
The fifth and final interview had been scheduled with Apple for Oct. 23. However, the plans of God were in motion. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
On Oct. 16, I received a call from my dear friend, Kim Cancienne with Lofton Inc. who presented me with a job opportunity at The Courier. The catch was I needed to act quickly. The position needed to be filled immediately. I requested a few days to pray on what to do next. I was granted the time.
I learned long ago never to make important decisions without first going to the Lord (James 1:5).
I can recall the conversation as if it was yesterday, "Lord, I do not know what to do. I have been presented two offers which are like apples and oranges. Which one should I take?" I heard within these very words. "Take The Courier." I had to confirm I heard correctly. I recall my response, "Lord, I normally do not ask to throw down a fleece before you (Judges 6:36-40). I must be sure I am hearing from you. Take The Courier?" Naturally I was comparing the benefits packages and pay of both opportunities instead of weighing the blessing that can come through obedience, and one plus one was not equal to two.
Once again I heard, "Take The Courier." I contacted the management team of Apple and explained I was rescinding my application. I explained the true purpose why and was surprised she said how impressed she was with me. Not only did the management team accept my withdrawal, I was invited to pick up where I left off if things did not work out at The Courier. Blessings flow. Amen.
I began my career at The Courier shortly afterward. And to this day, I still love every moment. Little was known of my abilities. I decided to remain low-key and allow my work to speak for itself. You see, God had a reason for my being here. I knew deep down I was on assignment and was excited to witness it unfold. Then it began.
My prayers were answered. Jeffrey's illness required me to work remotely at times. My new position and amazing staff supported me tremendously with no fear of losing my position. Though my financial needs were uncertain, the Lord always provided. Bills were met with favor every time. And most importantly, the ministry entrusted to me is my greatest accomplishment through Christ Jesus. I get to love on each of you daily through phone calls, emails, in person and in print through By His Grace, which is now celebrating its second year in publication. Without you, the column would not be possible.
And the greatest gift that has blessed me immensely is spending a wonderful second year sharing God’s love with you.
Thank you for all your prayers, words of encouragement, love and support. I take nothing for granted and am mindful to give God all the honor and praise.
Allow me to speak a blessing over you in the name of Jesus.
May the lord bless you and keep you. May the lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way.
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at email@example.com.