Thoughts - Passing the Baton
“But this is a people plundered and despoiled … they have become a prey…” Isaiah 22
Many years ago while standing in the D.C. airport after attending a conference for CWA, I was asked by the former state director of CWA to take over as state director. Her family obligations had made it impossible for her to continue. My immediate response was a firm “No.” Very good reasons instantly popped into my head for not taking on that task---I was too busy; I didn’t feel adequate, and this I hate to admit---I didn’t want to. When we boarded the plane, I was surprised to find myself seated alone; usually all of us sat together. As I settled in for the flight home, I took out my book and began to read; however, I found myself reading the same sentence over and over again without any comprehension. I kept feeling in my spirit an urging that said, “You can do it; I will help you; don’t be afraid or feel inadequate, those are the people I want.” God and I argued all the way to Kansas City with me throwing up excuses that would remind us of Abraham who questioned whether he would truly see the promised seed; Moses who felt he couldn’t speak well and Gideon who while hiding from the Midianites was approached by an angel calling him a “valiant warrior,” but who still asked God for a sign.
Excitement from God
Shortly before we landed, I began to feel an upsurge of excitement---maybe with God’s help I could do the job He appeared to be calling me to do. All of a sudden I felt more powerful and more adequate for the task. In spite of that infusion of God’s confidence and power, I still had questions. State directors who had gone before me had done such prodigious jobs; how could I begin to measure up to their proficiency? God assured me that He had given me talents that He was going to enhance that, while they would not be the same as others’ talents, they would be sufficient for His plan for CWA of Kansas. While waiting for our luggage, I told our former state director that I had changed my mind; rather that God had changed my mind, and her jaw dropped all the way to the floor. She told me that she had been praying all the way home that He would speak to me and convince me that I could do it with His help.
The start of a steering committee
I had been praying with two other women for a couple of years prior to this incident---one was very talented in organization and computer skills and the other was a prayer warrior. These two women became the nucleus of my steering committee. As we talked and thought about how we would do this enormous job of being “watchmen on the wall” we were reminded that often people don’t get involved because they don’t have enough information; information is power. We chose Hosea 6:4 as our “mission verse.” We decided to provide information in every way we could find.
A spiritual battle
Thus CWA of Kansas had a new team; not better or worse than others who had gone before us but still under the banner of Jehovah-nissi. I began to write “Thoughts from the Director” as part of our information source because I agreed with CWA’s mission that information is not enough; this is a spiritual battle. I have led Precept Bible Studies for over 25 years so much of what I study and learn is included in my “Thoughts.” I wanted to encourage people to be involved any way they felt led; whether it be as a prayer warrior, one who calls and writes legislators, one who comes alongside legislators with encouragement, or one who supports us with their treasure.
God is the Author
Every time I sat down to write, God gave me what to say. Sometimes I found my fingers flying across the keys and when I read what I wrote I was surprised. He has kept His promise to me that day with faithfulness and mercy. His mercy showed up especially during those first few years of lobbying when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. He protected me and CWA during that time and blessed us with favor.
This past legislative session accomplished some things that we and other groups had been working on for years. What an exhilarating feeling to have had a small part in achieving some protection for the unborn, protection for women and children from those who exploit them and several years before helping to pass the marriage amendment to the Kansas Constitution. After what happened with the Supreme Court this summer, I am so glad we fought so hard for the amendment rather than a bill which would have been vulnerable to challenge by the courts. Through the years, I have sat in countless committee hearings, testified numerous times (scared to death, I might add) and God has been my shield through it all.
Going on alone
When my associate state director Shar Hoffman went to be with the Lord two years ago, I thought about resigning, but knew in my spirit that God had not released me even though He had taken my faithful friend and supporter. He came alongside and enabled me to continue in spite of my loss of a special encourager and competent computer expert. I struggled through figuring out Constant Contact and other computer miseries with His help.
God calling in another direction
Recently I have felt His urging in another direction. At first I was confused because after all these years I know the issues pretty well and thought that God needed me to stay. And I must be honest; being State Director had become part of my “resume`” It had become part of me---who I was---and God was reminding me that it was Him who had put me there and now He was calling me to something else. I fussed and fumed for a couple of months, and He was silent. When I sat down to write, nothing came---the dreaded “writer’s block.”
Pride and rebellion are not pleasing to God
As I prayed, I realized that pride and rebellion had been the cause of the emptiness I was feeling, and I began to comprehend that obedience is essential for peace with God. I started my walk in obedience by going through the boxes of CWA material I had accumulated in the basement, throwing away non-essential things and organizing the rest. I told my steering committee what God was calling me to do---awesome ladies and one gentleman without whom I could not have maintained the responsibilities----and suddenly I felt at peace again. As I write this, once again my fingers are flying across the keys, and I feel God’s pleasure.
God has called me to write a book, and I am also continuing my writing using the information that I have about cultural issues in a blog: www.wallrepairwarriors.wordpress.com I plan to maintain keeping up with the issues and providing information and encouragement through this blog. I also have another blog that is a bit more whimsical with a definite spiritual focus: www.lazydazymusing.wordpress.com I would love it if you would follow my blogs and utilize them for God’s glory. You can just click on the URL above and click “follow.”
CWA deserves your help
CWA remains the greatest issues advocacy organization in our nation because it not only prepares us to engage in the cultural battles, it recognizes that prayer is our secret weapon in the spiritual warfare that is driving the cultural battles. I encourage you to continue to support CWA any way you can.
Who will take the baton?
I have been praying that God would be speaking to someone as He did with me to prepare that person’s heart to take over as state director. Please, if you have been hearing His still small voice, give Him a chance to tell you the plans He has for you. Be open to His leading; it will lead you into marvelous and wonderful things. I have counted it as a great privilege to be a part of God’s call and to serve the great people of Kansas. In Him Judy Smith
1015 Fifteenth St. N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 488-7000
Fax: (202) 488-0806