For La’Treall, First isn’t just a season at The Summit Church: It’s a journey she’s been on her entire life
After living in the Raleigh area off-and-on for 27 years, she began to realize that, while her life was full, she still struggled with giving. “In the Book of Malachi, where the Lord challenges his believers to test him and prove whether or not he’s faithful, he’s not just saying he’s faithful,” she said, “he’s asking you to try him out and see, see if he’s faithful.”
La’Treall wondered if she was truly doing this. “While early on, I had intellectual assent to his faithfulness, and I had experienced his faithfulness, I’m going to tell you, I struggled. You know, I would give, and then something would happen.”
As the host of her small group, and the leader of their women’s discipleship discussions, she knew that something had to change. God had something bigger in mind. He was calling her closer to him.
“I was borrowing from the Lord for a while,” she remembers. “It was on my budget, but somehow or another, the math didn’t add up, and I was trying to pay the Lord back.” She found herself in a pattern. “I was coming back to him again to say, ‘OK, Lord. Well, will you wipe the slate clean again? Can we just start over?’”
Suddenly, her whole understanding of giving began to shift. “It finally got to the place where I said, ‘You know what? I’m either going to trust you, or I’m not. Trust isn’t a feeling. It’s an act of the will. It’s something you choose to do, and I chose to trust him. He has been exponentially faithful.’”
La’Treall knows that her journey isn’t over—it’s just beginning. “The scripture says that there is no good thing that I can do apart from the Lord, and that includes making him first,” she said. “I can’t make him first in my own strength, but he desires to be first. And if I am willing to open myself, my heart, my life, my hands, my purse, my home, I’m willing to open myself up and say, ‘Lord, do whatever it is you want to do.’”
She looks forward to walking alongside others, particularly women, in their pursuit of Christ. “What does First look like to you?” she wonders. “He is absolutely, unquestionably willing to do it.”
Written by John Choquette, volunteer writer.
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