A dear friend Lavahn Stillwell joined the First Place 4 Health program when it was still very young.Lavahn reached her goal weight and began leading a group. She soon became one of our original group of networking leaders and has directed the First Place 4 Health ministry at Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA, for over 20 years. Lavahn recently called me and we had a wonderful visit over the phone, even though I was sad that the Lord has told her to step down from her leadership role in the ministry.
Lavahn shared that she has battled with this decision for over two years and has been perfectly miserable, because she kept saying “no” to the Holy Spirit’s urging. Our conversation reminded me of all the times that the Holy Spirit has softly and quietly shared the Father’s will for me and I have stood my ground and said, “I don’t think I heard that right.” I could so identify with Lavahn’s words of how God’s peace flooded her soul after she finally agreed with God and went to talk with her pastor, resignation letter in hand. Read Lavahn’s words:
Oh, the peace that has flooded my soul is unbelievable, and now the balance has come back into my life. God has re-ignited my heart to the great things ahead. As God has flooded my soul with memories, He has reminded me how abundantly He has blessed in this 20 plus years—how He helped people through crises and heartaches, and how He changed their lives to give them balance and hope. As I walk down memory lane, I am reminded of what a privilege it has been to be a part of this life-changing program, which included:
- Ministering to people in all walks of life going through various situations.
- Learning how to draw close to God with balance in their lives—resulting in salvations.
- A burned-out pastor who returned to the pulpit.
- Unchurched folks who became churched.
- Husbands and wives renewing their wedding vows.
- A woman recovered from her brother’s murder.
- Improvement of bad health conditions (cancer, blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues, etc.).
- Friendships and other relationships restored, learning to study the Bible, how to pray, memorize scripture, have a quiet time, how to serve God.
- Eating right and exercising routinely, commitment to what the Lord put on their hearts, and many, many more things too numerous to mention.
In First Place 4 Health, we usually think of food issues when we think of being obedient. We know that if we obey in the area of our eating, we will reach our weight goal. We also know that being obedient to a lifestyle that includes regular exercise will insure better health and a stronger body. It is much harder to think that God would ask us to stop doing something that brings us joy and pleasure and is changing lives for the better. We question how He could ask us to step down?
After many years of walking with the Lord, I can say with assurance that if God asks you or me to do something, it is for our ultimate good. Obedience on our part is for the express purpose of making us ready to receive all God has for us. God is not through with Lavahn. On the contrary, He has great plans for her future. She will always love First Place 4 Health, but God will give her the desires of her heart because she is willing to obey Him.
All of us at First Place 4 Health want to thank Lavahn for 20 years of faithful service to the ministry. We know you will always be a part of our FP4H family whether or not you are in leadership.
What is it in your own life that God is asking you to do? I promise that you will not find out the wonderful future He has planned for you until you obey Him wholeheartedly. Henry Blackaby says in his book Experiencing God that these times are our “crisis of belief”. Only as we walk through the crisis and obey God will He open up His future plans for our life.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. (I Corinthians 2:9)