Consistency Please – Part 2

By Debbi Shotlow
Worship Leader
December 20, 2018

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All things “for God’s sake” will fall in place…

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose” – Roman 8:28 (NLT)

It’s been almost a year since I wrote Consistency Please. I must admit that my journey for consistency in Him has taken me on yet another journey down a different road. Since last speaking with you, about Consistency Please, I have turned a year older, the new car that I owned was totaled in a flood; I resigned my position as Worship Pastor at my church; and moved from Northern. California to Southern Nevada, Las Vegas to be exact!

Now that would explain the ministry transition I felt coming on. It would also explain the temporary living arrangement that the Holy Spirit told me would not last very long. Eight months ago I was asked to come to Las Vegas to check on a condo that my parents owned. My parents, who live in Los Angeles, have owned the condo for 10 years but only lived in it for a weekend once a month. For the last 4 ½ years it has sat empty except for an occasional visit from a family member or friend that would spend the night or weekend and play in the adult backyard “The Strip”.

I planned a visit to check on the condo in Vegas because Pop, my step father, is deathly ill. My Mom is the primary care giver for him therefore, she needed help managing things. Her health is also failing. Her blood pressure is dangerously high, which is a source of great concern to me. I am the eldest daughter – I’m sure you know how that can be. When I walked into the condo, I immediately began to clean out the place as much as I could. Do I have to tell you about the build-up of dust and dirt there was in the place? Not to mention the fact that my parents both smoke which caused my allergies to really kick-up fast! Everything felt dirty. I was making a mad dash to make it right. After all this was my parents get away. I had to bring some dignity to their home away from home!

I stayed for 2 nights and headed back to Northern CA. It was a 10-12 hour drive so it gave me plenty of time to think. Although I had a lot to think about, it was not about moving to Nevada. Prior to my leaving, my sister called to say that my paternal grandmother had been standing outside of her house, refusing to go inside because she thought that someone was trying to kill her. The truth was that she had turned all four burners on the gas stove to the “on” position and left them on for at least 24 hours. She had been sleeping in her room with the door closed. I realized that my grandmother could no longer live by herself, which put more pressure on me to be closer to my Mom and Pop, my grandmother and other family members for support.

It had been 12 years since I had lived in Los Angeles. The thought of moving back to Los Angeles brought many mixed emotions. When I left I was so co-dependent on my mom it was sickening. I did not want to fall back into being the daughter who could do everything but live her own life. Long story short, I made a decision to move into the condo in Las Vegas. As soon as I made the decision, I felt that I should have been there yesterday.

In my “mind” things started to fall in place. I felt that finally I would have consistency. I even had two families drive to Vegas to help me move in and also to paint the condo. I was going to find a job and start my life over her in Las Vegas, NV. After all there is life away from the Strip right? I was financially prepared to sustain myself for two months while looking for a job. But I ended up sitting for three and a half months. Do you know what that means? It means NO money coming in! My diet was soup and cereal. I had to cut back on everything (I wish I could insert those emotions that I used in my emails) that was not normal for me. I had to do my own nails, my own hair, give myself a pedicure and live without getting massages! What’s a girl to do? The clothing that I wore in Northern CA was not suitable for the desert. Although I had gotten rid of a lot of things, e.g., clothing, TV, chair’s, my dog, etc., the thing that I now needed were not available because I had no money to buy them. Not to mention the heat of summer that was creeping up on me quickly. I mean temperatures of 100 plus! OH God where are you? Now did I mention that when I asked for God’s OK to move to Las Vegas all he said was “YES,” and then He added, “Look for a church home.” Nothing else was said He was very silent.

I finally got the place in order. I stored a bunch of stuff, including my parent’s furniture, because it was not my style and they were filled with the lingering odor of cigarette smoke (YUK!) I ran through my savings as if I was going to have a great paying job tomorrow. I was comfortable but I was B R O K E at the end of three months. To top things off, I did not have a church home yet. So I was in a strange place with no family in sight, spiritually or naturally. I was going to die. I left my church family and friends in California where I was in full fellowship and in full time ministry, busy, busy, busy!

I began to get depressed. I would take to my bed for a week at a time. Then I would drive four hours to Southern CA to spend time with my family and hang out there for a week I started to see this as my wilderness. I felt that I was I was enrolled in “TRUST ME 101.” God was working something out of me.

I am not sure of the timeframe (I think it was after 2 months living in LV), but it was during a week that I was hanging out at my parents that I got a phone call from a dear friend, who told me of a friend who was an associate pastor at a church in Las Vegas. He wanted me to get in touch with him. I had been visiting churches but had not found a church home. I figured that I would go to the church and then call him -- after I checked the church out! When I got off the phone, my mom asked me when I was going home. I had just told her “I don’t know.” Do you think she knew that I was depressed? I think she did. I love her so much – she is a momma to the end with this 45 year old daughter.

The next morning I woke up and the Holy Spirit told me that it was time to go home. I packed my stuff and headed toward Vegas. One hour after walking in the door I got a call from this pastor friend of my dear friend. He invited me to come to mid-week service. Then he began to tell me about the ministries at the church. I was there on Wednesday night!

At first, I did not like the church! It did not feel like home. The music was not like I was used to. Not to mention folks did not raise their hands or openly worship God. This was not at all like what I had left in California. I decided to give the Sunday service a try. In my opinion, it was a little worst. But the Senior Pastor was awesome! To make things worst I was used to attending a culturally and ethnically diverse church. This church was pre-dominantly the opposite. That meant that I walked into the church wondering if they would accept me as a part of the worshiping community. Why? Why? Why? Would you send me here God?
I am leaving a lot out here but I had a dream early in the morning before visiting the church. I knew that I would need to have my spiritual ears opened all day because God was going to speak loudly to me. What was revealed to me in the dream was that “treasures have to be uncovered”.
I just wanted to sit and soak in all the church had to offer so that I could make a decision to attend or move on to find another church that would fit ME. The first couple I met was the music pastor and his wife. God uncovered me and they asked me out to lunch. I was in a position to tell them what I did and why I was here in Vegas! Why can’t God keep secrets?

Then as I listened to the Sr. Pastor as he spoke, I noticed that his last name seemed familiar to me. Well he just happened to be the nephew of my first pastor when I moved from Southern CA to Northern CA. Who but God could send two confirmations in the same day? I went to Sunday School that day. Although I hadn’t been to Sunday School in years, it was a nice surprise. The Singles Pastors wife was speaking out of 1 Corinthians 12, you know the “many members” scriptures which tells how God places the members where he wants them to be…Whew! Confirmation number 3! OK. I am where I am supposed to be in Las Vegas and at this church God -- this is my church! Now, what about the job?

Well, I am working now but not as a “Worship Pastor.” I am honored to say that I am counted among the other Christians that work on the strip as a front desk clerk in a hotel. My boss is a Christian who is also one of my fellow choir members -- see how important a church family is. I am a part of the music department. I also have my own Sunday School class where I get to do what I was created to do, teach on the subject of Worship. I am so excited about this new chapter in my life I could just “spit” yes I said “spit” at the devil who would have wanted me to stay in Northern CA.

The moral of the story is, if God wants you to move, if you feel a transition coming on, follow your true north as my mentor has so wisely instructed me. God will bring all things together for your good and His because He is doing a new thing in your life and in your ministry. There are things yet to be discovered in you girl that you can not even see. But we can’t fight Him on this. We must yield to His leading and guiding. I have seen idols in my heart destroyed. I have wrestled with God on a number of issues. My name has been changed again and I walk with a limp of the desert. But I have learned to trust Him like never before.

Oh I forgot to tell you that I thought I was going to lose my car. My car note is $350. My first check was $367. I cried. I was ready to give up my car and ride the bus in the desert heat until I called the finance company and got a Christian woman on the line. She had prayed that morning that God would send her someone to help. That someone was me. God always has a ram in the bush. He always has fresh manna and quail morning and night. My clothes and shoes are not wearing out -- a girl gotta have shoes! I still sense that this is a temporary place and a temporary job but I don’t care anymore. I will move when He tells me too!

Be encouraged consistency can only be obtained when we yield to God’s plan for our life. For all things work together for those who are called according to His purpose!










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