O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
This is how I feel often, like I cannot get enough of reading God’s Word and learning more about Him. I look around me and see the broken world that I live in and it is difficult. But then, I look within, I know that this is not my home! I know that I am on a journey and this is just a small part of my journey to eternity! I raise my eyes, lift my hands, and praise God for His grace and salvation!
I want others to feel this. I want others to know Jesus. I want others to feel this thirst that is described by David in Psalm 63. I want others to know that the past is the past and Jesus holds no record of sins. That His blood alone is atonement for the world’s sins forever! That simply, through faith in the cross of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and redeemed!
I have had a lot of changes and transitions in my life over the past several months. One of which was resigning my teaching job and being at home to support my family and be more available to them. While this is a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful and blessed that we are financially able to support this family decision, I was nervous. What am I going to do with myself while everyone is at work/school? You see, I do not like to be alone. My mind goes crazy sometimes and I think all sorts of things that are not good or healthy. However, here I was waving goodbye to my family and finding myself in complete silence…
Some may say that sounds like blessed bliss! I struggled for a while with finding my way in this new role. I took to cooking every night, which I love (and so does my husband!) I shuttle the girls here and there before and after school to various activities. I now have a routine for laundry, cleaning, shopping, etc and all of this is done while everyone else is at school/work. I even volunteer in schools a few days a week. But I was still feeling empty. I decided I needed direction, not from my husband or children, not from friends, but direction from God. I needed to know where He wanted me and what He wanted to use me for.
I began to pray.
I participated in a Bible Study at my church. It was a Beth Moore study called Stepping Up – a journey through the Psalms of Ascent. This was a fantastic study and journey. It helped me understand the journey of the Pilgrims as they traveled to Jerusalem each festival season. It gave me a picture in my mind of life in those days and how these people felt many of the same feelings that we feel today; anguish, desperation, praise, disrespect, ridicule, protection, restoration, blessedness, persecution, promises, harmony, and blessings. It also showed me how these people relied on God to help them through both the difficult times and the joyous times.
Through this study, I continued to pray. I prayed for direction. I prayed for a way to serve others. I prayed God would lead me. It was after the Extraordinary Women’s Conference a few weeks ago that I realized that I felt pulled to serve in my community somehow. Now, for those of you who know me, I am not a people person! I am not the person who will knock on doors or start conversations! Going new places gives me a bit of anxiety! So, this was an interesting pull that I was feeling!
I continued my prayers and asked God to show me what it was He would like me to do. I do not know how to describe it, except to say that one day during my prayer time, it just came to me! The WARM Shelter in my community just popped into my head. WARM (Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry) is a temporary shelter for women and children who desire the opportunity to gain self-sufficiency and long term stability. The home can host up to 7 families and assists these families in getting back on there feet, permanently. In my prayer, I heard God telling me to offer a Bible Study for these women.
I immediately contacted them and shared my prayer. I filled out a volunteer application and attended an interview. They shared with me that they were also in prayer for someone to lead a Bible Study for these women who so desperately need it! WOW! Isn’t God amazing how He brought us together for His purpose?
I am humbled by this opportunity that I will be starting in early November. I have been researching studies and thinking about a game plan. Since the families live in the home for only a short time, up to 6 months, I wanted to make sure I chose studies that they could really fill their Spiritual Toolbox with. Scripture based studies that would stay with them forever. I also wanted to choose something I could reuse as a new group of women came in. I have chosen Beth Moore’s Breaking Free and Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God. Both of these studies are deep. They will help these ladies to realize that they don’t have to be in bondage of their past and that God will protect and guide them wherever they go in the future. It is my prayer that these women will be blessed by this time together and that they begin to grow a relationship with Jesus that they will take with them wherever they go in life.
I have ordered the materials and books for Breaking Free already and I am so excited! While there is not a budget in place for Bible Study at WARM, I know that God has called me to do this. I have faith that others will see the importance of sharing Jesus’ Word to help these families in transition and want to help. I know God will bless this study and future studies as well. I can only praise God for answering my prayers and giving me this opportunity to minister to women in my community!
Thank you Jesus for guiding me to this task for you. Let my words speak of your goodness and grace and be present with me Lord as I minister to these women and their children. Give me the courage to speak your messages in bold confidence. Let these women see you in me. Thank you Jesus!
If you would like to make a donation to Bible Study books and materials to be used at WARM, please click the link below. Thank you in advance! God bless!