Just Me

Thursday, February 6, 2014

216 Days Later...

It has now been 7 months. God has done some amazing things in my life during this time. I have had some very difficult days, but I have also been blessed in many ways.

God made it clear to me a couple of years ago, that I was to minister to women. I have had to wait...wait...wait...for the opportunity. Every time I thought it was time, Dave's health would hinder the steps forward. I had days of frustration because I really wanted to do something in this area, but couldn't because my circumstances said no. 

I have done what I have been able to do. God opened a door up for me to work with "The Lily Closet". A non-profit that ministers to single parents. We give clothing...and not just clothing, brand-new clothing!! I was able to jump on board with that ministry and I have loved serving the Lord and ministering that way. 

Then a little over 2 years ago, the Lord opened another door for me to lead the Friday morning Bible study at our church. Dave had just found out he had non-curable cancer and my heart ached to take the position. I felt like I couldn't because I didn't know what was ahead. We were gathered one evening for our Lily Closet meeting and the Lord clearly spoke to me, "Stephanie, my yoke is easy, my burden is light. I have given you a burden to minister to women...it will be a burden that you can bear!" So when we were done with our meeting, I spoke with my friend and told her I would do it! I was so excited to have that opportunity! This is my second year leading and I LOVE it and each of the women I see each week. I am so blessed!

But there needed to be more. God was working in my heart and I knew it. Dave's health continued to fail and I actually had to take a break for a while from our Bible study to take care of him. God was doing "NEW" things in our church. We had started a campaign called "IGNITE" with new vision to reach our community. It was hard to sit back and not participate...I wanted to do more, but my first priority was to my husband. 

After Dave passed away, I took a little while to settle in to our new normal. Then in September I went to the Love Life conference with my cousin and the Lord was working...overtime. I had lost the confidence to do something. The enemy was screaming his lies into my ears. It was so much bigger than me...what if I try and fail...and the entire conference, God was speaking to me, "It is not up to you to bring the success. You listen, you obey, you follow, I will do the rest...I just need a willing vessel." So, I did it. I contacted leadership in my church and wanted to see what we could get going for the women. 

It has been a slow process, but such an amazing one at the same time! God brought 2 ladies to my attention who "fit". They had a desire to do something in women's ministry. So we met. Shared thoughts. We came up with the idea to do a survey and put it in the bulletin. In the mean time, a few of my friends knew what we were doing and word was spreading...God was working! He wasn't just stirring my heart, He was stirring others' hearts as well! And He is giving us similar vision for the ministry and what direction we need to take. 

We have about 10 women right now, wanting to work in this area at our church. We had 6 speak up in our surveys and say they want to help!!! It is such an encouraging, exciting time for us! We have the first event in the works, the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast on April 5th! SO exciting to be part of this birthing at Fellowship!

My desire to reach out to women has been because of the pain in my life. God has given me a story to tell. And I want to tell it! He has gotten me through hard, hard days. And I LOVE sitting across from a woman and saying, "He did this for me, He will do it for you!" He does give us beauty for our ashes. Joy for our mourning. I see it in my life, and I am thankful!

"See, I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

Thankful for another NEW thing...more to come!!!

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