As I do each year around this time, I'm at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, MD for a 2-day Mini-Sabbatical with other ministry leaders, plus I've added one additional day as a "personal retreat". Besides rest and connecting with God, I try to do some sermon planning for the next year while I'm here. One of the blessings of this time away is that I get to meet other clergy and ministry leaders and hear about their walk with God.
This morning at breakfast, I had a delightful conversation with someone who told me they also were here last year around this time, and at that time, they were struggling to understand God's direction for their life, and before they left they very distinctly heard God say, "shield-bearer". And so when they got home, they did some extensive research on what this might mean but it still made very little sense.
However, in not too long of a period of time, he said he found himself dealing with a very troubling and conflictive situation. That's when he realized what a shield-bearer was. He said that although the trouble is still not over, God has called him to pray, to support, and to be a mentor to someone who is in trouble. It has taken most of his time and energy over the past year, but he feels good knowing that God is using him, and so he's back here again hoping to hear God's voice once more.
It's always good to hear stories of faith from others who are on the journey. Whether you are the one who is telling the story, or you are the one who is listening to the story, you both gain. I hope you have people to share faith stories with. If you don't, you can find them at church - just join a small group or a Bible study. It will grow your faith and change your life.