When Your Passion Project Ends

I was asked to write my story. There are so many stories I don’t even know where to begin. But I guess the best place to start is with the story that had been shaping my life, the true story that will be guiding my life from now on. This story has to do with trusting Jesus in all things.

In February 2000 my then-husband came into the room with a gun, saying he was going to shoot us all and end the pain. I didn’t do anything but curl up in a ball and wait. Nothing happened that night. But the next day I started AL-Anon and began to realize how totally out of control my life was. As I sat in the meetings I heard more about God. Understand, I had been going to church all my life, but I never thought of God outside of the church building. But in AL-Anon I listened—and started to explore. Since then, my relationship with God has blossomed. I know His voice; I follow His lead.

Nineteen years later—again in February—I was faced with a new challenge. One that had me asking what do I truly believe, and am I willing to openly share that message? I turned my life over again to God (I’ve done it many times over years and I keep grabbing it back). I listened, I acted and I kept walking forward. I can look back now, one short year later, and see how God was growing and preparing me for this next part of my story.

You see, I started and have been running a successful faith-based nonprofit, my passion project, for 12 years. By the world’s standards we should be growing. We have all the pieces in place: the finances, the Board, the staff, the volunteers, the programming and the following. Yet I kept hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

When I looked up these words in the Bible, I found Matthew 25:23 (NIV): “His Master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come share your master’s happiness!’”

I wasn’t fully sure what that meant, but I did understand that it was time to close and let go. He can’t work in me to build His Kingdom, if I am holding tight to my passion project.

Letting go of this ministry has been hard, yet I know what’s next is more important to the Kingdom. I can’t see all the details yet, but I do know that it has to do with creatively helping others to see Jesus in their lives and the plan He has for them. How am I to do that? I have no clue. But I do know He will prepare the way for me. He tells me so in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What’s more exciting is that I get to spend the next few months closing down the ministry that has healed me and brought me closer to Jesus, celebrating all the good work He has done. And sharing the message of trusting in God in all things. I find Romans 15:13 (NIV) resonates these days: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I have trusted God since Day one of this ministry, and He has never let me down. Now I trust Him in the next step, whatever that might be.

Answered Prayers Project was founded in 2008 by Elizabeth Bunbury as a clay-based therapeutic arts program and community building resource after overcoming a season of life-altering challenges and loss. Elizabeth believes that lives are strengthened and hearts are mended through sharing our personal stories. APP has produced more than 50,000 one-of-a kind clay crosses, hearts and butterflies that have been shared in 50 states and 33 different countries. Each piece is hand-made, finished with a mustard seed and numbered, and APP has registered more than 4,000 stories of hope and healing on its website connected to individual clay pieces.

We want to hear your story. Your story is my story. Help us empower other women by sharing your story.

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