I should be working right now. I have two keynotes, a personality training, three Bible classes to teach, a radio interview and serious preparations for a trip oversees in the next week, but, instead, I feel inspired to write.
This message is for you if you are a discouraged, unsure or insecure follower of Jesus Christ. Yes, I realize we wouldn’t normally list those adjectives to describe our Christianity, but can we just be real for five seconds? Listen, I have been there. Hear me, I have done that. But, what I hope to communicate to you so that you KNOW it with every fiber of your being, is that God IS faithful to what God IS doing.
Even if you don’t see it.
Seven years ago, I knew the Lord was leading me to teach a Bible class at my church for young women. I was raised in church and had led many Bible studies. I had been speaking at that point for five years before live audiences and had done years of television hosting and radio spots, so the “talking to people” part didn’t phase me. Even the Bible part didn’t scare me then. (Although, let me say, the more I study the Bible, the more I understand how little I knew and how scared I should have been and how little I still know even today!)
Nevertheless, a year later the class was launched for women 18 – 30 years old. Just refer to a flyer posted around church! Come one, come all!
Well, they did come, all two of them at first.
Over time, more women joined. Some quit coming, some moved away, and one became a missionary, but several of them just kept coming back, again and again and again. For the last six years, I have poured my heart and soul in to these girls. It hasn’t been easy. Consider all that comes with giving birth to two babies myself — totaling three dependents — traveling and speaking, writing a book, being self-employed with my man and building a house. Life has been FULL. I really cannot overstate this. But, God made sure teaching these women was a priority. In THIS season. Now. It made no sense to me. There were many weeks I WANTED A BREAK. A long break. An I-will-do-it-when-my-kids-are-older break!
No such break was granted.
So, the journey continued and what a journey it has been. Together, we experienced the joy of marriages, the ugliness in marriages, the progression of pregnancies, the blessing of babies, the exhaustion of child-care, the difficulty of parenting, the sorrow of great losses, the heart-ache of addictions, the diagnosis of life-altering illness, the sting of rejection, the mark of divorced parents, the hurt of past relationships, the sting of current relationships, the weight of conflict, the fear of cancer, the reality of cancer, the battle within decision making, the sacrifice of commitment and the weight of conflict. I have laughed hysterically with these women, no doubt offended them, failed them, embarrassed them, wept with them, prayed fiercely for them, been scared to death of them, been frustrated by them and twice, nearly quit on them. (That will be a surprise if they are reading this.) But, THROUGH IT ALL, God was miraculously changing our lives, changing us at our core, transforming us into the image of His son. We will never be the same. We have seen our God speak, work, move, heal, reconcile, restore, make new, set free, bring friendship, provide finances, comfort, teach, answer prayer, call people to His kingdom, promote people in His service and fill us with the power and victory of His Spirit! I am telling you, He has done what only He can do! We have lived it!
And I am so grateful. Really. Truly. Grateful.
Yesterday — and probably the reason I had to get this into print and off my mind and heart today — it all came full circle. At least for me. I asked these girls, my sisters, to explain what this journey has been like for them. To hear them share what God has done in them and for them and through them was rewarding, but more importantly humbling and glorious. God is so so ridiculously good at what we does — REDEMPTION. And then, by God’s timing, we celebrated together over lunch. (A rare thing as all of us have multiple children!) But, we got away for the afternoon, high-jacked the church van and all! Confession: I may have been the only one who actually knew a celebration was taking place, but in the private places of my heart, I was absolutely overwhelmed and overcome with joy and gratitude to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all He has accomplished as I looked around that table and thought of the others who could not attend. I sit here still in amazement. It took so long; but it happened so fast.
And while one journey seems to have come to a conclusion, I am so very excited for what He has in store.
You see, two weeks ago, I did quit. Well, not really. With God leading, I moved on. He transferred my attention to a whole new group of women. Younger women. A new class. A new group of strangers with fresh faces and fragile hearts. I should have been thrilled, but I’ll admit, two weeks ago I was a discouraged, unsure and insecure follower of Jesus Christ.
But not now.
Teaching God’s Word, living on mission, investing in people, knowing and experiencing the one true and living God and making Him known, all of it works! This is God’s plan. This is discipleship. This is the great movement of multiplication. This is Christianity. And this is what I live for.
As I stared into the faces of my new class, a group hand selected and chosen by God Himself, my heart smiled. They have no idea what’s coming! I’m excited for them because I KNOW God IS faithful to what God IS doing.
And, let me just convince you now, you want to be a part of it; because when it comes full circle, whether in six days or six months or six years, it is so very worth it!