Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Guest Post {Cassandra Hicks}

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Today's guest post is coming from Cassandra Hicks. Cassandra serves on staff in Women’s Ministry at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, with her husband David who also serves on staff as the Director of Graphics & Publications. They have 2 boys, Samuel is 11 & Andrew is 8 years old. I got to know Cass during my two years in Birmingham. She and I got to know one another over breakfast and lunch dates as well as time at the pool with our kids. I know her to be a a woman of God who desires fervently for other women to walk deeper with our Lord. Thanks Cass for being willing to share what God's been doing over the past several years.
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As a little girl I can remember teachers and other adults asking what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response was the only two things that came to mind…a wife & a mom. The problem is there isn’t an actual major in college that allows you to get a degree in “Being a Wife & Mom” (too bad because I would have ROCKED that course)! But since Lake Sumter Community College didn’t offer that, I never finished college because I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Instead I went to work full time in retail & waited for my dream job to start.

Six years later I had everything I ever dreamed of! I married my best friend & we were serving in full time ministry together. We had 2 boys, who at the time were about 4 & 1. I remember many days thinking they are amazing, precious, wonderful, temper-throwing, refusing to potty train, won’t sleep through the night, gifts from the Lord! I am blessed beyond measure with a husband that is extremely hands on & completely involved as a dad, but I can remember feeling completely alone! I was in desperate need of friends who were in the trenches with me, trying to balance it all…sometimes getting it right & sometimes failing miserably.
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The Lord is so gracious & brought to me another friend, a Mom, a fellow trench digger. Together we formed a Mom’s group that met for playgroups & Bible studies. Looking back now those years & those friendships are some of the sweetest memories I have. We walked through military deployments, brain surgeries, sick kids, infertility, new babies, miscarriages, job changes, & so much more in just a few short years. Without me knowing it the Lord & these ladies were preparing me for what was coming next.
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Jump ahead four more years & our family is in a new town, new house, new job, new church, new schools, & a new phase of life. I remember the first day both boys were in school & I came home after dropping them off. I walked in the door, sat on the couch, looked at the walls around me, heard the eerily quiet house & said “Now what?” I had accomplished everything I had always dreamed about…being a wife & a mom (however I know my job is FAR from over). Now for the first time EVER, I wanted something else. I wanted to be someone other than David’s wife or Sam & Drew’s Mom…don’t get me wrong I adore those titles but I wanted to be Cassandra again too! The problem was I still didn’t know who Cassandra was or what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had been volunteering in the Women’s Ministry of our new church but I was still unsure about where I would fit in this new city. After a few months, our Director of Women’s Ministry invited me to attend a Leadership Forum in Nashville. I remember exactly where I sat during those sessions as the Lord began speaking to my heart and reminding me of the things He had been preparing for me and teaching me over the last few years. It felt like time stood still & I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was calling me into full time Women’s Ministry. I wasn’t sure how that would evolve or look, but I knew that He was calling me to it! I jokingly say at 30 years old I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
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I am now so blessed to be able to work part-time in our Women’s Ministry, dreaming & planning what the Lord has in store for us! I truly love serving with women! I love being able to bring women together across all generations & see the connection that happens when they realize they aren’t alone in their trenches. To see a young Mom’s face when they can truly worship without worrying about the baby or the 4 year old who might be coloring all over the Hymnal next to them. When they can relax & leave it all behind, to just worship…it’s a beautiful thing. To see an older ladies face when some of our young Mom’s approach them to ask them advice. Maybe it’s to ask for a recipe, maybe it’s to ask how they survived the terrible 2’s or 3’s, maybe it’s to ask what keeps a marriage together for 50 years, but to see the older ladies feel appreciated, valued, respected…it’s priceless. To see women surround another woman in prayer over a job that will move them out of the country, or an adoption that has hit another road block, or a lump that the doctors just aren’t sure about…these are the trenches I am called to. And more than that, these are the trenches I am so privileged to be in!

I am so thankful for a God who never intended for us to go through this alone! We never know what might be coming just around the corner but I know I am thankful for a God who sustains us! I truly believe we aren’t meant to wade through the trenches alone, so look to your right or left & link arms, ladies!!! I am unbelievably thankful for those ladies that where in the early trenches with me, those friendships still mean the world to me! And whether they know it or not, they helped me answer the question that had gone unanswered for so many years. Now the new question is, “What’s next Lord?”
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