I am currently involved in a Women's Bible Study One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer and this weeks study was AMAZING! So much stood out to me that it would take forever to share it all here so I will share one thing that really touched my heart. However if you want to see a review of each week check out FBC Women's Ministry Blog
*Sometimes God allows hardship to graciously show us we desperately need Him. Often when we are at our lowest place physically, financially, relationally, or in another crucial area of our lives, God ignites our hearts for him in a brand new way. *
I want to share with you one of these such times, that God allowed a hardship that brought me personally to my lowest relationally, and even made me desperately seek Him out! As I write this know that I believe that God works somethings in our lives for reasons we may never understand but sometimes, we get a glimpse of God's Power, His reasoning. (or for me it's the pretty side of the tapestry, you know the glimpse of the "BIG" picture) I have to give a little background first, I will try to be as concise as I can without leaving out the important (in my eyes) details. Here goes: In January 2008, I went up to Mars Hill Church (Rob Bell) and spent the weekend In GrandRapids, Michigan for a Youth Leaders retreat. I had worked with, served with these amazing men and women for the past 4 years (some the whole time some a little shorter), but they were like family to me. While away, I felt God moving. I have had a hard time being still! (Imagine that!) And at one point we were walking on the snow covered beach of Lake Michigan, and I was with everyone else but also alone with my thoughts and prayers and looked out over the lake and felt like God was saying... I've Got someting Bigger for You! I was excited and scared at the same time, later at the hotel I started thinking (Bad idea) and figured I had found out what God was talking about. I have always had a heart for Middle Schoolers Espcially Girls, that was a pivitol time in my life that really did affect who I have become. So I got this Idea to plan, and oragianze a Retreat Just for Girls, that focuses on Selfesteem, Body image, and finding value in God nto the World. With approval from the Youth Pastor I went to town! During this same time Earl had been doing ministry searches, we had come close many times but it just seemed as if God was keeping us where we were, and I was OK with that. In March 2008 after more than a year of seraching we stopped, no more resume's were sent out and we knew there were a few out there still but felt hopeless any of them would pan out. Earl and I began praying that if God wanted us to move He would put it right in our laps. (and He did!) It was about this time that God began stirring up the nest so to speak and beagn to open my eyes to somet hings that were happening at our church and espcially in youth ministry that made mequestion if I still wanted to be there. I hadn't really shared this with anyone because I thought it was me. I thought something was wrong with me, so I began praying that God would change my heart, in reguards to the things I was seeing. In June 2008 we got a call from Pastor Terry @ FBC Augusta. Long story short they inteviewed Earl the previous fall, chose another person and now had an opening and felt like Earl was the right person for the job.
In August 2008 we moved! Now I knew at the time that this had to be from God, we hadn't been seraching, we were happy where we were, sorta. Our move was very quick and unexpected for some. We hadn't shared with many about us going to visit the church for the interview until we returned home, and knew that God was moving us. My biggest fear with the the move was for our children, MC C was 16 ready to start her Junior year, MR C had just finished his first year of middle school, and KJ was so used to being in the same grade and class as two of her cousins, and going to Grandma's after School several days a week. How would they adjust to moving 14 hours away to an area we knew no one! But I gotta tell you again God Provided (In Big ways) all three have made some amazing friends, and are all doing fabulous here! (I know they miss Ohio sometimes, but thier needs have been met tenfold) God saw to it that all of our needs were prvided for. I was able to stay home, with this move and that is something I was hoping for. So let's get to the desperate part. The initial move was good, and I was busy gettign things situated we moved less than a week before school was to start so I didn't have alot of time to myself. Shortly after this I began to miss everythign we had in Ohio. Things at the church were going down hill, I was thankful not to be there but also wishing I was because at least I would have been comfortable, (in the pit). I felt so alone here in Kansas, I knew God brought us here but I just couldn't figure out why? (and I am a girl who likes to know details) I cried many a days, for what we had kinda like the Isrealites when things got hard in the wilderness. I knew where we were wasn't good but God was moving me and making me uncomfortable and I didn't like it! Nothing here was what I was used to. I missed going to a store and being recognized, or having a student give me a hug, on Wednesday or Sunday when I was at Church. I missed going to my parent's house anytime I wanted, or having my Girls Night's Out. I felt all alone even surrounded by people. I cried out to God to give me some hope, because I was begining to lose mine. I still believed that God brought us here but I couldn't see why? Earl was thriving, the kids were doing Amazing and I was desperate to hear from God. I beagn walking around the lake in town,and having daily morning quiet times with God, and that's when he beagn to reveil to me what He was doing. He had work for me here, and He wanted me to draw near to Him. It was during this time that they were planning a women's retreat. I struggled for days even up to two days before the retreat that I finally decided to go. It was a big thing for me to do that, I have always struggled with not fitting in with other women, and I thought this was going to be another one of those times. Thankfully it wasn't. Infact it was at the Unveild Retreat that I really began to open up and take off the masks I wear to protect myself. God used that to show me that
the Women in Kansas were just like me, (or at least some were!) I beagn to deveolp friendships and I will always treasure these special women that God has brough into my life, and I look forward to more. Because I belive that God's not done with me yet! I still ocassionaly miss Ohio, Especially
Wilson's Hamburger's and Dietche's Chocolates and my Family of Course! But I know that God didn't bring me here to wither and die in the wilderness. He is daily showing me new amazing things!
There is a song by Mary Mary that really touhes my heart when I hear it, and it's an encouraging reminder that He (God) didn't bring me this far to leave me. He brought me this far to draw me near to him! Mary Mary Can't Give up Now!
If you read all of this wow I am impressed, and I hope that it will be an Encouragement to You!