Monthly Archives: May 2013

She Blessed Me

I just wrapped up my fourth year as a student in Bible Study Fellowship – a weekly Bible study that I attend on Wednesday morning during the school year.

This year, we studied the book of Genesis. It was an awesome study. The life applications that can be learned from this historical accounting of God’s chosen patriarchs is amazing. I have a totally new perspective on how God uses people – flawed people – to accomplish His will.

Each BSF class is made up of small groups of 10-12 people. In the past, I have been in groups were I didn’t quite connect with the ladies. We always seemed to be at different life stages. When I received my call from group leader over the summer, I was sure this year was going to be more of the same.

My group leader was a soft spoken southern belle named Dixie. I just knew I was going to be in the saintly seniors group (again) – where everyone was a grandmother and I was the only one with kids at home. My husband encouraged me and told me I was going to be surrounded by wisdom. I thanked him for his hopefulness, but I was still a bit down.

I wanted to be in a group with ladies who were in the same boat as myself – wives who want to please God and be a helper to their husband, a mom who’s striving to lead her kids to Christ, a daughter trying to find her own way and yet still honor her parents. I had high hopes for this group.

Well, I guess you can’t judge a group by the voice of it’s leader because God gave me EVERYTHING I hoped for in my small group. The BEST group of ladies, better than I could have hoped or dreamed.

And in a way that only God can do, He gave me what we call in Louisiana – a little bit of lagniappe – something extra. God gave me Dixie! The sweetest, kindest, most loving, genuine and authentic group leader EVER.

Dixie showed me what it looks like to lead by example. She showed me how to make prayer a priority in relationships with friends. She showed me that being a little of a rebel is ok. She showed me love. She mentored me. And at the end of our year together, she blessed me.

Yes, she blessed my heart with her actions and deeds and loving ways. But she actually blessed me. She wrote out a card with a prayer of blessing for me. Words that only a connected leader who took an interest in me and my life and situations would pray for me. She prayed a blessing over my future endeavors for Jesus. She blessed me.

And not just me. She took the time to bless each lady in our group. I know we will cherish our cards for years to come.

I was transformed by Genesis and Dixie. Thank you God for “seeing me” and giving me what you knew I needed when I didn’t even know what I needed myself.

 

I Saw Freedom

A couple weeks ago I attended a women’s conference at a local church. My very presence at this conference was an act of obedience to the Holy Spirit. See, my friend and I were able to attend this conference for free. The tickets were $75-$100 each, a price that neither of us was prepared to pay.

OK – here’s the whole story.

I was out running errands and I decided to stop by my church to chat with my pastor. As I got close to the church I kept thinking I shouldn’t stop by – I should make an appointment or what if he’s busy and I’m interrupting. I had about 5 different reasons pop into my head about why I should not go to the church.

When I pulled into the church I had to will my body out of the car. And then even when I rang the bell to be buzzed in, I still felt so much anxiety about being there. So when the lady inside answered the bell, with a quiver in my voice, I announced myself and the reason I was there. She told our pastor wasn’t in at the moment. I said thank you and left.

I instantly started saying to myself this is why you shouldn’t have come here. He’s not even her. You’ve just embarrassed yourself. What must they think of you now – stopping by uninvited – where are your manners!

Minutes later, I received a message saying the church had tickets to this conference if I would like to go.

At that point, I realized THAT was why the Lord sent me by the church. Not so I could spend a few minutes chatting with my pastor. But so that I would be put on the mind of the lady inside as someone who was available during the day to attend this conference.

The Lord wanted me at this conference because He needed to speak to me. See, I have always struggled with people pleasing and what others thought about me. I can mentally rationalize and understand that the opinions of others isn’t important, but little did I know at the moment that the Lord had a plan to SHOW me this concept.

The conference was held at a contemporary church – like praise team with a rock band vibe – know what I mean? The praise was awesome. The atmosphere was enthralling. The music was loud and vibrant.

At one point during the worship time, I glanced over to my right and I saw a lady in the aisle worshiping the Lord. I have never in my life seen anyone worship in this manner before.

8679927_sHer arms weren’t just raised in the way I’m so accustomed to see them.
Her head wasn’t just bowed in humbleness.
But instead she gracefully waved her arms like a skilled ballerina.
Her eyes were closed and she smiled as if she was surrounded by angels crying holy, holy, holy!
Her feet moved ever so slightly as she rhythmically swayed to the beat.
Can you see her?

She worshiped the Lord with complete abandon.
She didn’t care who watched her.
She didn’t care if the music stopped.
She didn’t care about watching the screen for the lyrics.
She just danced before Jesus!

And in watching her, I realized that I was watching freedom. And as I watched her FREEDOM just came to my mind over and over again. Freedom, freedom, freedom. This is what it looks like.

“It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Oh, to be free from the opinions of others!

I saw freedom. My prayer is the Lord will help me to walk in the liberty, too.

To worship Him with my whole heart. To praise Him with my whole being. To not care what others think, but only to concentrate on pleasing him.

FREEDOM! I saw it and it was beautiful!