The Regeneration Process
He makes me lie down in green pastures...
It was August 2009 and I felt the Lord preparing us for a brand new season...a season of FAITH like no other we had ever walked in. After eight and a half years, God told Steve to resign from his position at Division Two Constructors in Nashville, Tennessee. It was at the height of the recession and NOT a logical time to be giving up a GOOD job. We had a daughter in college, a son in high school, a mortgage, and all the other daily expenses associated with life.
Nevertheless, we obeyed immediately.
“The Shaking has begun! If you can go through the regeneration process with ME, it will end in a place of power on the other side” - these were the words I heard the Lord speak to me. At that moment, I did not fully comprehend. I simply knew what I heard.
Within months, our dream home sold, complete with the contents and we were transported to Mansfield, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. I have moved twenty-three times in my life, so the relocation to Dallas was easy for me. It was the sequence of events following that I was not prepared for.
For twenty-two years, our family had always been firmly connected to a church body. Steve and I, together, have held every position in the church over the years except pastor and clerk. We had given our lives to the local church. Upon moving to Texas and trying to settle into a new church, we were humbled to find that no one really needed or wanted our gifts and talents. We faithfully attended service, but it was as if we were invisible. No one asked us to become involved. We attended newcomers meetings and other events in order to offer ourselves to the body, but not one time did anyone ask us to become involved in three years. Once, I asked our pastor’s wife, at the time, if she would have lunch with me and she replied, “You can have lunch with my secretary.” My heart broke!
I felt alone. I knew I wasn’t because I had Steve, but when one is used to performing many acts of service and good deeds, it is easy to begin to evaluate your worth according to your busyness. It was not long before feelings of uselessness began to set in. I had taught the Bible for twenty years and this lull was killing me inside. There were many moments when I asked the Lord, “Are you finished with me?” No one called Repairing the Breach Ministries requesting me to speak. I had very few friends. My children lived away at college. We lost two parents in the same year. All I knew to do was keep my eyes focused on Jesus and seek His face on a daily basis. Which I did!
During my quiet days alone with God, He began revealing many areas in which He was requiring me to make a change. My beliefs were challenged. Old, religious mindsets were chiseled away and deeper wisdom began to penetrate my soul. God became more than enough for me during this season! Before long, the Spirit revealed that He had brought me to this place of isolation. The Great Shepherd was forcing me to lie down in green pastures.
I was reminded of the “regeneration process” God spoke to me about in 2009.
*Regeneration - forming again, especially with improvements and the removal of defects
You see, the regeneration process is not the granting of something brand new that you have never had before; but the re-making of the old YOU! Even science teaches us that regeneration is a primary attribute of all living organisms and that without it, there could be no LIFE! In order to receive and give LIFE on this journey, we must not abhor nor resist the regeneration process. This season, which is sure to come to all of us, serves great purpose to rebuild upon an even stronger foundation.
Strength = Power
Recently, the Lord required me to do something very odd. He asked me to contact twenty of the people closest to me: peers, friends, and family and ask them to sum up Jeneen Kohler using one word. Their responses were humbling and beautiful and much different from the ways I believe they might have summed me up three years ago. God said, “I wanted to show you how others view your life now after following ME through the regeneration process.” Just as God promised, this process has brought me into a place of greater power than I have ever experienced. How, you might ask? I have become less and HE has become greater in my life.
If you go through life always holding the reins and being in charge, you will NEVER walk in your divine destiny. Destiny can only be reached when you allow God, your Creator, to take the reins and guide you safely along. Reaching your destiny and life’s purpose requires your obedience and cooperation and you can be certain that somewhere along the way the Great Shepherd WILL make you lie down in green pastures...in the place of stillness and isolation. Just remember, it’s for your own good!
I love you,