I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That you receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
by Anissa Mitchell
Indiana Section 6 Director
Bio: Hello lovely sisters! My name is Anissa Mitchell. Growing up in Louisiana, it felt like we lived at the church. As a newlywed and even a few years later, my husband and I actually lived in the church evangelist’s quarters for a period of time. I’ve officially been in some type of ministry role for over 25 years, which is hard to believe because I was just 25 years old yesterday, haha! Presently, I’m very thankful to be the wife to my incredible husband, Marvin, and mother to my precious son and daughter, Sloan and Valen. Since September 2019, when my husband resigned from his pastorate, we have been busy evangelizing and consulting churches by partnering with Pastors and teams around the country to fulfill God’s vision for their communities. We feel so blessed to see churches grow by assisting them in leadership training, capital campaign development, facility expansion, and discipleship methods. I am also honored to serve the wonderful ladies of the Indiana district as a sectional director. We are thankful to be staying busy fulfilling our purpose until the Lord moves us to our next pastorate. Ministry and loving people is in my blood and I’m immensely thankful for this life He’s called us to!
How should we as Christians walk through seasons of transition?
I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. Philippians 4:12-13
Life is change. We walk through one transition and about the time we find our stride another transition floods our steps. From infancy until our elder years, there’s continual change. We experience transition in relationships, jobs, relocation, roles, health, etc. And if we are prayerfully seeking and gracefully receiving, we will find growth in each of these seasons through our knowledge of God, our faith in Him, and our knowledge of how God created our earthly bodies to operate.
Your God-wiring has prepared you to be able to consistently fulfill your God-given purpose all the days of your life. Yes, all. The Bible never talks about retiring, just repositioning. We must throw away the script we’ve written for ourselves and wholeheartedly submit our will, our thoughts, and our ways, to His perfect plan for our lives. He actually does know best and wants what’s best for us. If we don’t fully submit our plans, we will begin to allow doubt and disappointment to fester and grow. Your transition isn’t the end. With God, His Word assures us it only continues to get better and sweeter.
Going from glory to glory (or sometimes it may feel like hades to hades ;-), leaves us feeling vulnerable. It’s the in between, the uncertain, the void between destinations. Transitions are seldom pleasant and can be very difficult. But they are necessary and life-giving. As leaders, what we learn, the wisdom we gain, how we grow, and the wells we dig, will help to advance The Kingdom of God.
Have you ever been thrown for a loop? Ever experienced something you never imagined you would have to experience? I think most of us can answer, yes. It is in the unexpected that the greatest growth potential is found.
So how do we reach our path’s potential? How do we walk gracefully through those painful experiences and transitions?
1. Stay in His presence. Remain in a constant state of prayer, a continual conversation with the Lord. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18. If you’re around people, then talk to Him silently. If you’re able to have earbuds, then have worship music or sermons and lessons playing, or listen to the Word of God. If you’re unable to do some of these things while at work, then take as many minutes as you can every hour to focus on Him and His voice.
2. Healthy self-talk. What you say to yourself will give you life or death. David anointed himself andencouraged himself. You need to remind yourself of every promise spoken over you! Every Word of God preached and given to you! Remind yourself you are a living testimony! Replace those false thoughts, with God’s thoughts! One of the most expensive mistakes you can make is to give attention to the wrong things and the wrong voices, including the moments your thoughts are unhealthy or not aligned with the Word of God. II Corinthians 10:4-6 ...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ… Don’t let the enemy lie to you and don’t lie to yourself. I didn’t realize my self-talk was so unhealthy until I was years into depression and darkness rooted in an unexpected and painful transition. I am fourth generation Apostolic Pentecostal and I’m so very grateful for my heritage! I’ve been blessed with the kindest and wisest leaders, mentors, pastors, teachers in my life, and the absolute best parents! But after years of unhealthy self-talk, and tough transitions, I convinced myself I was unworthy of much they had taught me. I wrongly believed that depression and darkness was my thorn in my side, and it would be with me the rest of my days. That was a lie from the pit of hell! I was looking for a unique and unusual remedy, but oh, how wrong I was! Once the Lord gave me a revelation, several years ago, of “taking my thoughts into captivity”, then I could begin to peer through the dark fog and see light at the end of that tortuous tunnel. We must take captive every single one of our thoughts and submit them to the knowledge and authority of God. I also began praying prayers like, “help me process and think like you Lord. Make my mind, blood vessels, and all the connectors in my brain function like the mind of Christ. Correct the chemicals in my brain and through your Spirit let me see what you see.” You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3
3. Trusted Ears. Something that has been of extraordinary value to me, is having a few Spirit-filled people in my life that are safe and trustworthy. When I’ve been at my most vulnerable and weakest, they were gentle but honest with me. Like most of you, I’ve been wounded many times in my life. I wish I could say I‘ve always handled myself gracefully through every moment of heartbreak, but in the hurt I’ve had some bad days. A few times those experiences almost destroyed me. But God is faithful and He is just! God keeps good books! If we study the Word and see what Jesus, His first team of disciples, and the early church leaders went through, it will encourage you to keep pressing forward. Are we not called to be His modern day disciples? If we are living in the last days, then why are we surprised when the hands of hell, all its distractions, and the spirit of confusion come against us? These are the moments when we are reminded that even Jesus had John and later Timothy had Paul. It’s the trying times that refine us, better us, mold and make us. These times teach us great faith. But you don’t need to learn, heal, grow, and minister alone. In fact, Proverbs 11:14 says, Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Find trusted ears and allow your ears to be opened to honest and Godly counsel.
4. Trusted Voices. Sometimes, the answer to our prayers is a professional therapist. It’s a massive asset during difficult transitions and trying times, to have someone completely unconnected to your circle and situation, yet trained to truly help you. It was invaluable to me and it’s a tool God used to help me grow, heal, and become better. It’s a tool I will continue to utilize for the rest of my life, when needed. I also saw my doctorand realized I was deficient in several vitamins (even though I’ve always taken daily vitamins) and I had a few other health issues.
We should strive to be healthy spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. It’s especially important when we’re going through hard transitions. But we must prepare before hard times hit because sometimes it’s all we can do just to hang on during difficult situations. If we’ve prepared before hand, then you will be better positioned to navigate that season.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Precious sisters, the God of peace wants to sanctify you wholly! We however do have our spiritual and practical parts to play. Let me encourage you, one more time to do everything in your power to be healthy in every way; spirit, soul, and body.
Transitioning from one season or title to the next, doesn’t mean your calling and purpose stops. Some things will never change; you’re still a disciple maker, you‘re still a worshipper, you're still an encourager, you’re still an anointed woman of God, you’re still a prayer warrior, you’re still a child of the King, you’re still a teacher of His ways and His Word, you’re still loved and needed, you’re still you! Beautiful, anointed, lovely, intelligent, beloved by your Savior, YOU!