Wednesday, July 14, 2010

God Time

Just as I was recently down and doubting my worth as a woman, God threw out the verses from Genesis 1:26 at me.

I went to a ladies Bible Study, and the verse that the speaker was sharing on was none other than this verse. There was also a parting CD for everyone, titled, "The Incredible Worth of a Woman." When I went forward for prayer, a woman with a gift of prophecy and prayer, spoke words over me cutting to the very core of my want and desire to feel before the Lord.

Monday morning in my email, a devotional on Genesis 1:26 conveniently arrived.

"The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." Psalms 34:17. The Lord hears our hearts and listens when we cry out with mere groans.

The Lord wants us women to know that we hold value and that He loves us. It is satan that hates us women according to Genesis 3. Satan only brings adversity to those who are threatening his plan. Almost every time I have stepped out to lead, he meets me toe to toe. Whether it be from my own self doubts or other godly men or women who become his vessels of destruction. We are told to "count it all joy" when we are persecuted. What is the old saying, "no pain, no gain."?

I also had been doubting my abilities to minister to others. Who am I? Not a bible scholar by any means. Don't you have to have all sorts of degrees to know the bible? Or is this why the Lord gave us the Holy Spirit so that we may discern His word? How could the disciples possibly teach others in the land before the Bible could be found in the Dollar Tree and every hotel? How could they comprehend or teach when they themselves did not have a copy of the book? They had no formal training on all the interlinking scripture; or all the scripture that was yet to be even written. They spoke of the greatest commandments of all. To love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Do our lives mimic the heart of Christ? I know I have a long way to go.

Reading this morning about the balance between raising kids with academic excellency and Godly wisdom, I came across this passage that says it better than I can.

"But the Lord does not limit His call to only the well educated. He uses both the faithful and the unfaithful, the learned and the unlearned, to fulfill His purposes. A man or woman of faithfulness, regardless of educational background, may be called upon to stand out among the people and serve God." - Susan Card from "The Homeschool Journey"

The words of the Lord to Moses in Ex 4:10-12 covering his doubts in love and encouragement are still available to us today. "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

This is my prayer that He will use me in what ever role He has for me, whenever He has it planned for me.

Friday, July 09, 2010

I am Woman, Hear Me...please.

I have a heart for women. I thought I had lost it, but had to come to terms with what I envision as my ministry quite honestly may never come to be. I have found myself this past year drained from the many responsibilities I hold as just a mom and wife. It has been a difficult year to sit by and willingly have to give up my hope to reach out and minister to women. A dream I have long had. A purpose I felt that I was on the road to fulfilling. I gained so much joy from being involved with activities where I was in the position to personally touch another ladies heart and life. I thought this was my calling, my destiny to follow. And maybe it will be someday.

And as much as I always want to put into other women, I so often find myself back at square one in my own heart. Asking that same question, am I really of worth to the Lord? Does He see me? Does He hear ME? Who am I?

The devotional book I decided to finally pick up and study, that was on the list 2 years ago thru our moms group, is about Homemaking. I honestly felt more exhausted and discouraged after the 1st chapter and study questions than when I started. It seemed to magnify my doubts. Yes, Genesis 1:26 tells us that we females were created in the image of God. But am I the only one who feels like an afterthought sometimes? God created man and then woman to complete the man? Maybe it's because I'm daughter to one and wife to another man who sees women this way. Maybe it is all my own insecurities. I want to be loved, desired and known by the Lord, but in my own failures and weaknesses and lack of who I want to be, what is left for Him to want me? My head knows the correct answers and my heart has experienced such a closeness to Him at times, it is difficult for me to be patient and wait during the seasons of His seemingly silence.

Where does the guilt and the doubts come from? It is the whisper of the enemy. Always. I know that the Lord knows how many hairs on on my head, but was it His desire for me to be or just that He knew my parents would choose children. How am I unique to show of Him image? What can I bring to this world that 7 billion other people do not? I guess that is what is the heart of a lot of women, the desire to be wanted, to be needed and to feel special.

I had to step back and understand that my ministries to women, starts in my own home. How can I give to others what I have not 1st given to the 2 most important ladies in my life? How can I share with them the importance of their lives and the deep love the Lord has for them, when I doubt my own? What if all I am ever called to be is a mom and wife? Will that be enough? Would I not be so pleased if that were the roles my girls fulfilled? There is a book that was recommended that is next on my list. "When all you ever wanted, isn't enough."

I am a reader, possibly the world's slowest reader, but a reader all the same. God is always perfect in His timing. Whispering to me the truth thru friends, songs, His word and the words of others. In the Homeschool book I'm reading (still) this very week I read the passage she wrote of the same reference in Genesis 1:26. She asks the question, If so many individuals are created in the image of God, from the beginning of time until now, it just goes to show how vast and complex our God is. "Because we are all created to bear God's image in a unique manner, there is so much that we can learn from one another.

And another confirmation in perfect timing. I picked up a book, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge at a yard sale, who knows how long ago, and lately have been recommended it several times. I started it this weekend. I'll give you one guess as to what the 1st chapter delves into? Of course, being the image of God, as a woman. If as women we are designed to have a heart filled with love, nurturing, grace, softness and all the qualities that women behold, then this is part of our God as well. Just as in the Old Testament God was bold and firm and strict and full of laws 1st, then came the covenant of Grace. So He created male and female, both in His own image.

A quote out of this book that jumped out at me, "I know I am not alone in this nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I've ever met feels it - something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women."

So I've come full circle from living the shame and wanting more, to having a heart for women who share the shame to know more, but not sharing because I wear the same badge.

Oh Lord, who am I as you see me? Open my heart and eyes and mouth at the perfect time. Help me to raise godly young women who know their worth in you. May I fulfill the role you have for me. Convict me to be more if that is your desire, comfort me to in rest and contentment in the role that I'm already living today.

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