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Walking on Water

Oh how our God loves us.  For nearly the past two years I have felt the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and have felt God calling me to something greater than I could even dream of for myself.  Although at this moment I don’t know exactly what that may be, these past many months I continue to have vivid dreams and visions of being in small fishing boat that is being tossed among a giant storm in the ocean.

With all my might I cling to that boat doing all that I can to feel safe and secure but then off in the far distance I see Him, a figure emerging walking on the water emanating pure light and total love and I can hear his voice calling out to me, inviting me to come out to Him.

Everything in my mind and body says, “You're crazy, whatever you do, do not let go of this boat! For it is only in this boat that you will be safe. If you step out Lorissa, you...will... fail. You will drown! ”  But then my heart and my soul cries out even louder, “Go, Lorissa, run out to Him, you can do this, He will save you!”

It’s amazing how God works.  Sometimes the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit are well….gentle.  And then there are other times that the Holy Spirit makes himself loud and clear.   Lately His calling to follow Him with total trust and complete surrender is louder than ever.  I am certain that I have no option other than to be obedient to that call.

Therefore, on this somewhat cold and dismal rainy March day, I have taken the first step needed to begin to follow Him in a new way.  Today, I "let go" of the boat in order to step out into the deep.  It is both scary and exciting and in the eyes of the world, completely illogical.  And yet, when God calls us to do something, it rarely makes sense in the eyes of the world.  However, it is also in that place of surrender that we can be assured that miracles will abound.  I am certain that I would both rather walk on water or even begin to sink and have our Lord save me, than remain at a distance clinging to a boat that feels “safe” but will never be able to fulfill the greatest desires of my heart.

So my friends, what I am trying to say is that after twenty years of serving as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for St. John’s Cathedral, I have given my notice to step away from this position at the end of May.   It is with the greatest joy that I look back at the past 20 years and see how God has blessed my life in so many incredible ways with extraordinary friendships, wonderful memories and countless miracles.  It is here at St. John’s that God led me to my vocation and my husband, the greatest gift of my life.  It is here that each of my precious children have been welcomed and loved by so many and it is here in this very special community that my heart overflows with gratitude and so much abiding love.  I have truly loved being the youth minister here and I am so thankful for the many young people who God has entrusted to me that have shown me His love and truth in so many ways.  

To all the youth that Johnny and I have worked with over the years:  Please know that we love you dearly.   We pray that you would always love God and that you would follow Him in your daily life.  One thing I know without doubt,  He will never let you down.

To Alex and the core team and to all those I’ve had the great honor of working with on our youth ministry team: Thank you for your love and commitment to our young people.  Thank you using your gifts and talents to glorify God.  Thank you for being our friends and our support over the years. You inspire us and we’ve felt so very honored to serve in this great work of youth ministry beside you.

To my family, especially my parents and sister: Throughout all these years and especially the past several months you have been a refuge of wisdom, guidance, prayer and support. Oh, how blessed am I to be your daughter and sister.

Finally, to Johnny: You are my rock, my strength and my greatest gift!  Thank you for joining me on this extraordinary adventure the past 13 years.  I love you and I look forward to all that lies ahead. 

I am very confident that God will bring forth someone amazing to continue to lead and build on the work that both Johnny and I have done over the years and I am excited to watch the youth program at St. John’s continue to grow and thrive in new ways as the hearts and souls of our young people continue to be drawn closer to our Lord.

There is a season for everything.  My season as the Coordinator of St. Johns Youth Ministry Program is coming to an end, but my desire to continue to use my gifts and talents to serve Christ and His Church remain as strong as ever. 

I honestly do not know what God has in store for Johnny and I as we step into this next “season” but undoubtedly we will together step out of the boat keeping our eyes focused on Him.  We trust that He will allow us to walk on water.

To my family and family, I ask two things from you at this time.
1) Please keep us in your prayers.
2) Please speak up for me.  Sometimes, when a person steps away from a position, it causes others to think that they left because they were not happy with their job or that they were dissatisfied in some way.  I’m afraid that rumors might start and that people may think this. If you hear anything like this, please speak up and let people know that is not the case.  I want to make it clear that the reason I’m stepping away is because I truly feel that God is calling me to do this and both Johnny and I are striving to honor Him.  My greatest fear is that the past 20 years of dedication to the service of our young people and the Church might somehow be overshadowed by rumors of discontent.  Please honor me by not allowing those rumors to spread.

The past several months, I’ve prayed so many times the following words from the song “Oceans” by Hillsong.   I want to close out this post with a portion of this song, along with a sincere prayer for all of us. 

"Dear Lord, please give us all the courage to not only sing the words of this beautiful song but to truly pray them from the depths of our souls.  May we trust in You completely, knowing that YOU have great plans for each of us.  Call us out to you and let us walk on water, so that our lives might be a powerful witness to You and Your glory, always and forever.  Amen."

Oh, I love you all so very, very much!   ~ Lorissa

You call me out unto the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep
 My faith will stand

And I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am yours and you are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me……           

8 comments on "Walking on Water"
  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alecia! Love and blessings!

  2. God bless you as you embark on this new season! My prayers are yours. ❤️

  3. Lorissa and Johnny, we are so excited for you. You know we will be blessed more than you ever dreamed. Your lives, love, passion, faith and family are a witness to how much God loves all of us. We know St Therese is walking beside you. We love you!

  4. Lorissa and Johnny, we are so very grateful that the Lord led us to you and to St. John's. It is remarkable to think of all He has done for our family in these past 6 months, and we are honored to be being confirmed (even me, Suzanne!) in your last confirmation group. Thank you for all you have done. We will most definitely be praying for you as you move into the next leg of your journey together with Him out upon the waters!

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  6. Lorissa and Johnny, I am so thankful that the Lord led me to you. I faith and walk with God would not be where it is now without you! I am praying for you and can't wait to see what amazing things God does with your lives!

  7. Lorissa, I look forward to seeing glimpses into your journey between then and now when you are speaking at the NW Women's Conference in central Oregon this summer. I heard you speak at ICYC probably right before you would have posted this a couple of years ago.