I was blessed with the opportunity to start the women’s ministry at The Oasis Church, where I currently serve, when it opened its doors in 2010. This blessing was an extension of the desire and passion God placed in my heart several years ago to minister to His daughters.
In His call on my life, He has given me opportunities to lead women’s ministries, write several Bible studies, devotionals and blogs, lead and facilitate dozens of Bible studies, speak at women’s retreats for various churches and come alongside women through Christ-centered coaching.
My passion is to journey alongside women as they discover who they are in Christ, what God created them for and how they are equipped to live the abundant life God calls them to.
I often joke that my life story is not one for the best sellers list. I don’t have major highs or serious lows. I don’t have a testimony of coming to Christ at a young age knowing I would serve Him passionately. I never felt as though I was stuck in a ‘miry pit’ that I needed to be rescued from. Nonetheless, I have a story and my story is HIS-tory.
I was raised in a religious home. I was taught about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I attended church every Sunday. My family prayed before meals and I prayed at bedtime. I was involved in our youth group and learned all the ‘rights and wrongs’. These religious traditions did not transform into a personal relationship until adulthood. I remember vividly the day that everything I had been taught and I believed came together clearly, wrapped in God’s good grace. I surrendered my life to Christ that day and have never been the same.
God has a sense of humor. His call on my life would not have been the path I would have chosen. I never saw myself in full-time ministry. If ever I thought I would be more than a Sunday or mid-week volunteer I thought it would be in the children’s ministry, after all, early childhood education was my chosen degree. After a psychology professor soured my desire for counseling I decided teaching would be the next best thing. I loved children and wanted to do what I could to help and encourage them.
God had other plans.
I enjoyed working with the kids Wednesday nights as their mothers attended Bible study. There was a great joy seeing their eyes light up as we sang our theme song “Mission Friends”. The longer I volunteered with the kids the more I noticed I was finding joy in talking with the moms. We would discuss motherhood, tantrums, tiredness, desires to be the best moms we could be, and how we could lean more into God so that we could better do this thing we called life. I found more joy standing in the playground sharing deep conversation with the moms then I did doing another craft with a group of three-year-olds.
As I grew in my walk with God I desired to know more of Him and His Word. My husband encouraged me to join the women’s bible study. I had no interest. To say I had trust issues would be an understatement at that point in my life, especially towards women. Involvement in our women’s ministry was not a priority. Attending an event where a conversation was expected was a source of anxiety for this introverted girl. Though I longed for the connection and friendships, my trust issues created a barrier I falsely protected myself with. I had experienced deep hurt from women in my life. I had no interest in being vulnerable and risk feeling that kind of hurt again.
I find no coincidence in the fact that while God was stirring my heart for His daughters He was also calling me to go deeper with Him. I reluctantly gave in to my husband’s tender prodding’s and joined the morning Bible study. I set strict boundaries for myself. I would attend, listen and leave. Yes, I was hard-hearted at that time.
After some time of getting to know the women in our group, I began to lower my wall. I listened and gleaned all I could from these women who were farther along in their walk. I began to ask questions and voice my opinions. I was growing in my relationship with God and developing some much-desired friendships. Becky and Tammy came alongside me, encouraged me and discipled me. What they, along with so many others, poured into me all those years ago influenced the here and now but also eternity. I am where I am today because they chose to journey with me as I discovered God and His purpose for my life. As I grew I found a confidence I didn’t know existed. I never thought of myself as a leader. I was good to serve in the background and do as I was told.
Becky saw something in me that I did not see in myself. She asked if I would consider leading the next bible study. I was quick to tell her “NO”. She asked if I would pray about it over the weekend. I told her I would but had no intention of doing so. I already knew my answer would be “NO”. Who am I to lead these women? I did not feel capable of doing what she was asking of me. God and I had a talk on the way home and I made sure He knew all the reasons why I should tell her no. Wednesday rolled around and I found myself surprisingly telling Becky I would be happy to step up and facilitate the bible study.
My intentions really were to tell her I could not do this. I would have been right. In my own power and in my own strength I am not capable of leading anyone. God assured me that day that He would be the One to lead them. I just needed to trust and obey.
I like to see the whole picture. I want to see the pitfalls so that I can avoid them. I want to see the mountain tops so that I have something to look forward to. I have found that while that is my preference, God does not work that way. When I can see too far ahead I have no reason to trust Him.
This journey of surrender and trust has been the hardest yet most rewarding journey I have been on. Trusting God has not only transformed my relationship with Him but has transformed my perspective on life. I now have trusting relationships because I put my trust in Him, not them. When He calls me to do something I am fearful of I can step out in faith because He has proven Himself to be faithful this far.
When I trust Him, step out in faith and obey, I am blessed ‘immeasurably more than what I can ask or imagine’.