For some reason, God’s plan for me includes leading other women in ministry. When I look back at my life, I can say confidently that that was never something I had exactly pictured for myself, and would truly never trade for anything.
I love it.
I love His daughters, young, old, and everywhere in between. I love how He loves and pursues through every season, mountain, valley, and storm.
This week I had the added privilege of getting teach the women of our church on faith and trust in God. The enemy had been particularly relentless in his efforts to keep me from delivering this message, so I knew God must’ve had something really good for someone. So, naturally, I awkwardly told everyone about these various “obstacles” and asked that they share with me how God spoke to them, if He did, in what I was about to share.
You guys. Now I get it.
Story after story. Tear after tear. On Tuesday, September 26th, God knew there was a gathering of women who desperately needed to remember the faith that is theirs because of who He is. If I could tell you of the stories these women are living out, you would be inspired and moved to join them in standing firm in the belief that God is faithful to what He promises. Big stuff, “little” stuff, and all kinds of medium stuff, and each of them are choosing to believe that God is interested and invested in it all.
These daughters are amazing.
I was finishing up gathering my things after our morning group had ended, and one our ladies came over to tell me how much God had spoken to her through the message. She is in the latter years of her life, and she is facing a lot of change—all of which has been out of her control and definitely not what she wanted. As she spoke her heart to me, and processed through the varying details and emotions, I sat and listened, asking the Spirit to be quick to tell me what He wanted her to know. I felt so settled in reminding her that all of the work she has done in her life was for Him and that maybe He has you where He does for a reason you have yet to discover. Trust Him.
She smiled and exhaled deeply, in the way that people do when they know that they already know what you’re telling them. She said to me that God was still teaching her how to trust Him, and I smiled and gave her some farewell encouragement, as we went our separate ways.
Later that day, as I was on my way back to church to teach this lesson for a second time, I was reminded of this story. As I prayed for the women that would be gathering in less than an hour, this conversation kept lingering in my mind. And then this beautiful revelation happened upon me; like a polaroid picture, worn with memories and life, of the future and me as I’m nearing the end of my days.
I’ll be teaching you how to trust Me until your very last day. I’ll never stop pursuing you and letting Myself be known by you.
And then the floodgates opened up, because how could my soul not weep with joy at the thought that my God is one of bookended love and pursuit? The kind of God who knew me when I was being formed in my mother’s womb, and will know me and pursue me and teach me and stretch me until I take my very last breath. There will never be a finish line or an end-date; just continued life in the presence of God.
Does anyone else think that’s the most romantic and exciting thing they’ve heard, maybe ever? Because I do.
This God isn’t one we go to just when we need something. He’s not a God who picks and chooses who to love and just how much. He’s not a God who honors good efforts and good intentions, allowing us to live our lives as we please without needing to pay any sort of price for our sinful and fleshly reality. He’s the God who loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to make atonement for just how far we fall from the glory of God (John 3:16). The One who longed to be in relationship with us from the beginning, so He made a way. This is Jesus, who in the face of His greatest anguish, chose the will of the Father over His own pain and fear. He chose to be away from the Father while He took upon Himself the weight of the sin of the world, so that we would get the chance to be near to God (Mark 14:35-36). This is the One who wants me to know Him all the days of my life (Psalm 139, Psalm 23:6).
This is my God. Boy do I love and trust Him.
Be encouraged today, friend. Despite what you may feel, you are never alone. He is there, inviting you to know Him intimately. Say yes, and live in the knowledge that you are loved beyond measure by a measureless God.
P.S. Thanks for the photo, Lauren :) Nice to have some documentation of how I can’t not cross my legs or talk with my hands.