I want to share with you some of the things God has been doing that has given me confirmation that I'm right where he wants me. I mean you may be saying, "Come on, Tamara, with your 20 experience working with college students, your education, your love to see college students know God deeper, your personality, & your giftings... it's a no brainer! YOU are supposed to do THIS!" I get that, but personally, I needed convincing.
I'm a person who despises CHANGE! So during May I was not excited about an obvious job change headed my way. I told my hubby that I could just get a "real" job... but in the back of my head I heard that annoying whisper from the Holy Spirit saying, "Um, No. I have plans for you."
FEELING DRAGGED ALONG...
You might have heard me say that "I've felt dragged (or pushed) throughout this process," & wonder what I mean by that. One of the things I was able to accomplish in my previous job was to plant the seed of BSM on our local campus. That's never something that I would have done on my own. But when my job ended I couldn't understand why God would allow that to happen ('cause it was hard work) & then ask me to leave it un-nurtured. Through conversations with Bruce McGowan (State TXBSM Director) about options moving forward, he asked me to consider becoming a Texas Baptist Missionary & raising my personal salary to continue the work. My immediate response was, "OK!" But the more I thought about it the less I wanted to do it.
A SERIES OF DOORS
God has asked me to walk through a series of doors this summer. To which my response to each has been "Ok, but if I don't like what's on the other side of the door, I'm OUT!" So He gets me through each door & provides a reason for me to stick around until He points to the next door, & the next, & the next... He keeps me there by answering my prayers. My prayer in June went like this, "Ok, God. I'm here. But you know I've been thinking about Welcome Week & I've got NO BUDGET. So you're gonna need to provide that." In July he provided 441 Survival Kits through a local VBS (read more). He's also provided a local church partner who wanted to merge an existing college ministry with the BSM. Part of that conversation was, "Oh, we usually rent a mechanical bull during the first week of class, can we just make that a BSM event?"
I'M ALL IN...
Throughout the summer God has continued to open doors, provide partners, and show that he is on the move on Montgomery County college campuses until one day, I had friends take me to lunch & partner with me in a way that I clearly felt God saying (as he's pushing ALL HIS CHIPS across the table), "I'm all in, Tamara. How 'bout you?" It was at that moment that I finally said, OK. I'm in. Let's do this.
LESS IS MORE...
I could tell you story after story of ways that God has proven to me that he's up to something on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. Believe me that I'm not asking for clarification any more. In fact, I've never in my 20 years in collegiate work experience anything like this summer. I've never had less money, less salary, less preparation, less of whatever you name... but felt more prepared for school. But that's not to mean that we don't need you to give. Would you consider supporting Tamara's monthly salary? I believe God has me here for "Such a time as THIS" but I cannot do what I do without you.
I have to admit that I have some mixed feelings about the first day of classes and Welcome Week next week! While I wake up each morning excited about what I see God doing among the 14,000 students in Montgomery County Texas, I have to also admit that I know what Moses felt like when he told Yahweh he couldn't lead God's people. It's an inadequate feeling that somehow I'm gonna mess this up or no ones gonna listen to me. So on one hand, I'm admitting I'm human and scared to death about the first of school. On the other hand, I'm completely encourage by the ministry partners standing with me - YOU. Your endorsement and commitment to support me adds an element to ministry that I haven't experience prior in my 20 years of ministry. Yes, I've work for two state conventions and the national convention, which in itself gave me the endorsement of all the Baptist churches in that state (or nation). But having personal partners like YOU, committed to ME adds a level of confidence and your face, which I haven't had in the past. It also helps me get out of bed each morning and get to campus, it encourages me get to do what God has gifted me to do - invest in the spiritual lives of college students.
I APPRECIATE YOUR PARTNERSHIP & LITERALLY COULDN'T DO BSM WITHOUT YOU!
is a Texas Baptist Missionary, raising her financial support to serve on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. This blog is an effort to keep you posted with what's happening on campus monthly. Please consider becoming one of Tamara's financial partners (of course it's tax deductible).