Sep 28, 2009

Listening to His Voice

I want to let you guys in on a little secret about me. Many years ago I had said some things and acted in ways that were not okay according to the standards set before me at church. Even though I felt 100% wrongly accused of the situation, I had to stand up to a verbal reprimand. It wasn't physical of course, but it did some detrimental damage to my self worth. At the time the one thing I wanted more than anything was to mentor women, and in particular, lead up a group of ladies that would do the same. Part of my punishment, was being told that I would not be able to do this, and was not at a place in my walk to be trusted with such a thing.

It is funny to look back now and see how much of my self worth was wrapped up in the approval of others and believing that if someone else said I wasn't good enough to do something, it was so. I don't care if it is a friend, a family member or a pastor. I have learned that the very thing others try to take away from us, or tell us we can't do, is often the thing that we were created to do.

Shortly after my pity party years ago, I decided to start my own little bible study in my home with 12 ladies. It was my first bible study to lead at the time, but I knew if God placed this desire so strongly in my heart, that he would also equip me to do it. After that I continued with these same group of ladies for a few more studies until I moved away for a year of service in another church out of town. Going into a new church and only knowing a few ladies, I signed up to lead a few more studies. It blessed me so much, and the women I got to know always shared that it was also a blessing to them.

I have now been at our current church for almost a year and a half, and can you guess what I am doing? I have just started leading my 3rd Women's bible study here with an awesome group of women. Just last month I found out that one of the girls in my first study from several years ago is now leading a group of her own, and another lady from the church I just came from, started leading when I moved on. This my friends, is God working out good and bringing about His will and not man's. I don't regret having been reprimanded years ago, because now I am focused and know my purpose more clearly than I would have if it had come easily.

Is there something that you want to pursue? Is there a desire that has failed in the past, but you still long that it will come about in time? It doesn't have to be something big, maybe it is as small as leading a bible study. Maybe it is something big like changing careers. Give it to God, fully to God! Let Him have His way in you, and watch what only He can do.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies." Romans 8:31-33


Julie Gillies said...

I remember having a conversation with you about this, Susie. At least I think it was this situation.

You're right--God uses these situations to cause us to truly focus on Him, and to KNOW what we're supposed to do.

You are an incredible blessing, sweet, kind, and always concerned about others. YOU, my friend, are the real deal. I LOVE that God put this dream in your heart, and you are walking it out!

Susan said...

I believe God gives us "opportunities" like that to see if we can, or will, be offended. I'm so glad you were able and willing to move forward in your gifting and calling. It is so important for each of us to be exactly where He intends us to be.

Robin said...

Right now I'm just trying to find my place. Now that I'm at home again (and both kids are in school part of the day) I wan to DO EVERYTHING I am asked. Not sure where God is leading me right now. But I know, it's not to jump into everything feet first. Somewhere along the way I have to learn balance before I can move forward.

Great thoughts. I needed them for a few months down the road I think. =)

Bethany said...

Thanks, Susie! A very good reminder for me today! "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11 ;)

Sue said...

Thank you for your honesty and transparency. It is refreshing and inspiring, especially to see how God has brought you through that time and blessed you and so many others by the gift of teaching/sheperding and loving.

The ladies in your groups are VERY blessed to have you. I wish I were one of them ;-)

elisa said...

Susie, I have always looked up to you. When I first met you, I was about 23 and Brandon and I had just started dating and were "baby" Christians. To me, you are a devoted strong Christian woman, and I admire how you can admit your faults, but you also share how you grow through them. A little secret, I always wanted to be in one of your bible studies. I heard of them and wanted so much to be involved, but never got the courage to invite myself. I'm sure you are touching many women's lives and I am so glad that you followed YOUR passion!