Change can happen in a moment

Change can happen in a moment

Never did I ever see myself as a speaker. I always thought I would sing for God. My entire life pointed in this direction. I started singing when I was 3  years old. They were songs I had wrote about Snoopy and the Red Baron and other songs about the moon and stars, my parents and the places where I lived.  I loved to sing. It was how I expressed my emotions. Singing was a release for me. Most people cry when they are happy and sad. I sing.

My Granddad Booth was a Pentecostal Pastor and introduced me to the platform when I was 8. This is where I heard my first hymn and began to learn harmony. In middle school I auditioned for a solo in our Christmas Cantata and got it. My first song was Away In A Manger.  I continued to sing in high school and sung with three different southern gospel groups. At 16 I was asked to sing for the pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention and was asked back to sing again for them later that week. As an adult I traveled and sang in different churches leading worship as God opened the doors. I received a full vocal scholarship for my Associates Degree in collage. All I had to do was sing when they told me to. I loved to sing.

“Change can happen in a moment.”

It was a Monday night. I was at women’s meeting in Jacksonville FL with a close friend.  The Holy Spirit prompted me to go to the alter to talk.  As I listened for His voice He asked me if I was willing to do what ever He wanted me to do. Assuming He was talking about singing, I said yes. Then the hard question came, “are you willing to step out in what I have designed you to do?”  I saw a vision of me standing on a platform with mic in hand. At first I was confused. Then He said, “I have a different form of worship in mind for you. I’m not asking you to put down the mic. I’m asking you to change your pitch!”

I didn’t start speaking then or even a year from then. I had a lot of learning to do before I could. First, God lead me into a season of quiet for three years. Outside of singing in my personal worship time or with the congregation at church, I was no longer singing on a platform with a praise team or singing specials. God had even closed the door for me to sing with our church choir. In all honesty, this one broke my heart. I had always wanted to sing with a big choir and I was finally living that dream!

“Change doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, nor does it mean
it will be smooth.”

This change was hard and I had to deal with it. I resisted God in the beginning, mostly because I didn’t understand what He was trying to do in me. This caused the transition to be bumpy. Ok.. If I’m honest, very bumpy. As my quiet season was coming to an end, God transferred us to South Carolina for Bill’s last duty station with the Navy. The first few months were hard. I couldn’t figure out what my purpose was. If I couldn’t sing then what am I supposed to do? Within a year God opened the door for me to be considered as the new director for a District Women’s Department. I didn’t seek this position out. It came to me.

“One important lesson I learned is the longer I resisted the change the longer the season would last.”

I was scared. I had adopted an apartment complex close to our church in Jacksonville FL for four years and held a Bible study with the ladies there once a month, but had never lead this many women before. A state full of women! My first thought, “no way. I can’t do this! I don’t have what it takes.”  But God persisted and ministered to me, reminding me of the change He was walking me through. I was appointed and voted in as the new women’s director for the South Carolina District Council of the Assemblies of God. This opened the door for me to speak on a regular bases. I soon found out that singing my sermons and leadership training wasn’t going to cut it. So many fears rose up and I had to learn to have victory over them -including my fear of leading women. I didn’t a have great track record with them. I’d been hurt in the past by some very close Christian friends.  My weaknesses were trying to overcome me and I entertained the thought that I couldn’t lead these precious women effectively. But God stopped me and met me once again. I secretly thought He has got to be tired from chasing me all the time! Within the first two years, He began to reveal where my passions are. My season was finally coming into the change.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:”
–  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Women’s ministry is a huge part of my life now and fear no longer has the hold it once had to divide us. I love to speak only because of my desire to see women delivered and restored. I still have to overcome thoughts of failure and I do this by reminding myself that I am not the one who is speaking. It’s God speaking through me.

Are you ready for a change in your life? Maybe God is changing your direction and you are struggling like I did with stepping out. I want to share a song with you that has ministered to me over and over again. It was written by my sweet friend and Christian Recording Artist Naomi Holder. She wrote this song, not just for her, but for those of us that are seeking God for change in our lives!

~ Cherie Zack