To have people in my life that support, encourage, and cheer me on is a blessing beyond measure! My friend, Sarah Travis, a blogger, Proverbs 31 Bible teacher, and Jesus sister has been such an encouraging influence in my short writing life. She cheers me on and just when I feel like my words are bouncing around an empty room, she tweets in with just the right words. She has featured me on her blog and I share that post with you today. Make sure you check out her amazing blog and her Bible teachings at www.sarahtravis.org .
I’ve been a Christian for a while now…a long while, really. I can still remember how intimidating it was to be around all the ladies from church. I was sure they all knew more than I did. They all had like a million kids and seemed to know how to do this whole mothering thing, where I could barely get dressed and out the door in time for church.
To hear them pray was like listening to the angels talking. I mumbled words and was quite pleased when I would remember to say “in Jesus’ name.” But these ladies could quote scripture, knew stories, and spoke boldly. Whenever we had discussions, they all knew right where to turn in their Bibles and they didn’t even use those little book marker tabs! I was always the last one to turn to the correct page.
I felt like if church had been gym class, I would have been picked last!
I hoped to be like these ladies…someday. I loved the Lord and wanted to please him, but I felt so small and inadequate.
Now don’t get me wrong. My church ladies came alongside to encourage, teach, and disciple. But my feelings of inadequacy kept me from my potential. Because, see, my potential comes from the Lord.
…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 16
The fear of what others would think of me, of failure, not being enough…clouded the vision I had of God. To me, these fears were bigger than God.
God doesn’t like that…at all.
Soon, I was approached by my pastor’s wife Tracy to ask me to help her in a children’s ministry; our church was starting an Awana club. I said no. Of course I did, because my fears were great and I wasn’t ready…blah blah blah…insert any excuse that works.
So Tracy asked again…a little more firmly this time. Something happened…what was this??? I felt a desire to serve! What! Well, just to be sure Tracy knew what was up, I said, “Ok, I will help you, but don’t think I can ever lead a group!” (…just wanted to be sure she was on the same page!)
Funny thing…I make plans and think I know what is going on, but God has a keen way of superseding and completing His agenda with little thought to mine!
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11
The Lord knows all human plans;he knows that they are futile. Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law…Psalm 94:11-12
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
So I did obey that feeling to serve, that prompting of the Holy Spirit. With little confidence in my abilities, but a strong desire to follow not only the Lord, but also these amazing women that the Lord had placed in my life, I started helping…and teaching…and growing. I allowed myself to be vulnerable which allowed me to be teachable. With wisdom came great occasion for humility and serving others.
…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive…Colossians 3: 12-13
I began to thrive as a helper. I loved my students and enjoyed every minute with those girls. They taught me and I imparted much of myself to them. I began to see myself, not by what I wasn’t or by how much I was like someone else, but by how the Lord saw me…how He defined me. I began to appreciate others’ style as their own and my style as my own. God has purpose for each one of us and has equipped us in such a unique way that only I can fulfill my purpose…only you can fulfill yours. I’m not so and so, I’m me. I am not perfect, but with the redeeming power of God’s word and Spirit, I am all I need to be.
Ohhh, sweet friends, this thought is so freeing! We can celebrate each other and our successes! We don’t have to compete, because God has made us each with our own purpose, design, and function. We have the freedom to learn from and serve with one another.
So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Romans 14:19
You know, God is funny and really does have a sense of humor. Over ten years later, my husband and I are the Awana Commanders at our church and I now lead our Women’s Ministry. I LOVE writing, speaking, and sharing my stories with others. Who would have thought that the scared, inadequate young mom of years ago would LOVE public speaking!!!
My prayer is that this story will encourage you to take that next step…the one small thing the Lord is asking you to do.
I would love to hear how the Lord is working in your life and how He is revealing your purpose in His kingdom.