By Miriam Rossow

In 1998 Justin and I were living happily in Mt. Clemens, Mich., both working at Trinity. I was the music teacher with a wonderful and very supportive staff. I had friends and mentors and was learning lots as a new teacher. Justin had a great job in his field as minister for worship and music. He was directing choirs, writing worship services, and looking into a master’s of music. We were also involved in the UMS choir as singers and Justin was the assistant director. We were doing great!

When I met Justin in college I always had in the back of my head that it was likely he would some day go to seminary. He had a family history of the men becoming pastors. We had only been at Trinity two years when the call to go to seminary became fairly strong.

We were doing great!

There were a couple of things that played into this urging or call at that time. One major factor is that somehow Justin had hurt his rotator cuff and was in pain often when conducting. In fact sometimes he could not conduct. The senior pastor who Justin worked very closely with and with whom he had a great relationship announced his retirement in the next couple of years. So with those two things moving us toward the seminary we decided to begin praying about that decision.

It was a Wednesday evening during Advent and for some reason we were back in Ann Arbor. We visited our good friend, Scott Siedler, at Divine Shepherd, his parish at the time. And there we were hit over the head by God as we heard Pastor Siedler preach on 1 Corinthians 9:16.

When you read this verse you will see it is not a normal Advent verse! As we drove home we both just looked at each other and said, “I think we know what we are supposed to do now!”

One of my favorite lines from Sunday’s sermon is: “God’s will for you is not so narrow that you have to be afraid of falling out of it!” What a relief that as we strive to live within the will of God we don’t have to be so concerned with our specific decisions. God can and will use signs, but He does not always use them. He is always faithful to his people and to the promises He has made to them!

God can and will use signs, but He does not always use them.

Gideon was not a mighty man of valor and yet God called him that and sent him forth. As Gideon was trying to confirm and be sure of God’s will for his life he always went back to God. He did not look other places. He looked where God was and for God to answer.

I am sure God was calling Justin and me to the seminary. If we had not heard that call and followed at that time I am pretty positive God would have gotten us where He wanted us anyway! As we live our lives we want to follow God and His will. And as we strive to follow God’s will we do not have to be afraid of falling out of God’s grace! When we live within the grace of God we are living within the will of God.

As I go about my life and day living in God’s grace I can know for certain that He is with me. As I search for answers to the questions of life I can look for God’s signs of affirmation and be certain He is guiding, leading, forgiving, and loving me as I strive to follow Him and His will for my life.

Watch the sermon and share a time in your life when God was loving you as you followed His will. Maybe it was a sign to help move a decision along and maybe it was a sign of affirmation in a decision made. Remember, God does not always use signs and God is always faithful.

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