Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Posts tagged trust
You, Yes You, Are Invited To Come

1IF It’s a new year!  It’s the last year of this decade.  It’s the start of something new.  And wow, did we start off with a bang at SMC at our SMC Women’s event last Thursday night at our first 2019 Thursday night events!

If you weren’t there, I wish you were.  If you were there, I’m glad you were!  It was a powerful night as Julie Gurley shared her story and then was followed by many other women transparently sharing some of their stories with women around their tables.

And all of that twas a huge preview of what it will be like in ONE month as IF:Alamance joins with IF:Gathering 2019 in the SMC Student Center.

Like many of you, I’ve watched and participated in the IF:Alamance Gatherings that have been hosted here in town, and each time I’m amazed how God moved through that event around the world, and in our community.  Each time I was part of it, messages taught seemed to be just what I needed to hear, worship was authentic, and I was given a challenge I needed to do to glorify and thank God for what He’s done for me along with strengthening my faith and trust in the Lord.

And speaking of trusting God, that’s the theme February 8 -9, 2019.  Speakers will be sharing the importance of seeking wisdom through His word and being in His presence on a daily basis in our crazy busy lives.  If you’re like me, so often I try to fix myself, by myself without going to the Word and prayer to gain wisdom from God.

I’ve come to learn a little bit how experiences in life help increase your wisdom.  I’ve also been learning that even when I feel like I’m not wise on a specific task or experience,  I’ll back out of an assignment God gracefully gives me with hope and love.  One of the biggest things God wants us to do for Him is to tell others about Jesus and how He’s changed our lives.  He had 12 disciples and told 11 of them before He ascended into heaven to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19) for His sake.  To make someone a disciple, we must be an example of how to be one.  Or at least try our best to.  That takes time, which means developing a relationship with someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to have one with Jesus.  For three years, Jesus discipled the men who were curious and chose to learn more about Him.

Unfortunately, I’m guilty of coming up with excuses of why I’m not qualified, or the person God wants to use to be a disciple for Himself.  Have you ever felt that way?  We use the excuse that we aren’t wise enough to disciple someone.  We haven’t been a believer long enough, I don’t understand everything in the Bible, my “gift” isn’t teaching, I’m not good enough, I’m too much a sinner, even though I try to follow Christ.  I don’t have time to do a Bible study.  I have toddlers, I work full time, I’m too old, I’m too young, I get too nervous, no one will want to meet with me, I’m not wise enough.  I don’t think any of my friends or co-workers would be interested.  I don’t know where to start.  I don’t want to commit to anything because something might happen down the road and I’d have to stop and I don’t want to let anyone down.  What if we meet and I let her down? (again I’m not good enough).  I battle depression and anxiety.  I have a bad history.  I’m fighting cancer or a disease. And there’s even more excuses, I’m sure.

But y’all!  It’s not about YOU.  It’s what GOD WANS to do and CAN do through YOU when you choose to be obedient to His Word, when you choose to follow Christ, when you choose to take risks THROUGH HIM.  It’s when you choose to believe that He’ll never forsake you or abandon you and will be present with you when you encourage others.  It’s when you choose to have faith, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed, that God will provide you with the opportunity and ability to reach out to someone who needs someone to listen to her.  It’s when you CHOOSE TO TRUST GOD.  He kinda commands us to do that…in Proverbs 3:5-6, which is one of the main verses in Proverbs that IF:Gathering will be teaching from.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight.”

Maybe I have been trusting him even if I wasn’t feeling like I was.

When you come to this event, you’re going to experience being in the presence of God with women around the world.  Come as you are.  Heartbroken, scarred, scared, rebellious, angry or sad.  Come if you have a deep desire to change, to experience joy, be with others who are going through something in life like you, even though you don’t know it…YET.  Come if you need wisdom, discernment and direction.  Come of you want to experience Jesus.  Come just because you’re curious and you want to check out what this gathering thing is all about. Come if you have a sweet relationship with God – this will be a blessing to you.   Come if you’re starting to realize that your excuses really aren’t good enough.  Come in you PJ pants and slippers!

There will be food, coffee, giveaway prizes and a gift bag for you.  There will be amazing worship with the IF worship leaders, teaching, laughter, prayer, tears and joy.  There will be meaningful conversations and fun fellowship. Memories will be made, and you’ll be charged, or re-ignited to make a difference in someone’s - yes, even if it’s just ONE person’s life - after it’s over.  Trust me – no – TRUST GOD – that this will be worth it because YOU are WORTH it!  JESUS is WORTH it!

Register to attend here!  (And you're welcome to forward this post to your friends!)

Beth

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When A Bold Step Is Needed

Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”  There it is, staring at me in beautiful red letters, square in the middle of the page.  It’s practically all I can see. I had no idea what the sermon was going to be about when my husband and I hauled in three kids and all my baggage Sunday.  We always have a bit of an idea, but I didn’t know we would be dealing with my girl: the woman with the issue of blood.  I came in as a bit of a mess on Sunday.  I’m dealing with some personal things, and I have been discouraged of late. Nothing seems to be working.

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I don’t know why I’ve always liked her so much.  Maybe I identify with that need.  If I can just get a little closer, I’ll be better.  I feel like I’ve tried everything.  God decided to tell me, sitting at the back of the sanctuary like a good recovering Baptist, that I have not, in fact, tried EVERYTHING.  Now the things I’m faced with do involve medicine, and I am no way saying that I think God wants me to ignore all medical knowledge and rely solely on faith.  I have faith that God gives doctors knowledge.  But I haven’t turned loose of any of this and given it to Him.  I’m the opposite of this poor, bleeding woman.  She has her life more together than I do!

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we can all identify with her.  Aren’t we all hemorrhaging in some way?  There is something in most of our lives that makes us feel unclean, unworthy.  I don’t know about you, but my brain knows this isn’t true.  It’s just that I FEEL like it is sometimes.  She was told by society that she was unclean, yet she took a step in faith because being healed was worth it.  My anxiety spikes just thinking of how scary that must have been for her.  Why am I not that bold?  I know it’s worth it.

There is freedom available.  Freedom from whatever the hemorrhaging in your life is.  And a bold step is needed, but it’s right there.  Today I pray for boldness, both for myself and all of you, my sweet sisters.

Julie

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"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Hannah Nelson. First, she’s awesome (read more below to get a glimpse of the awesomeness). Second, she’s one of my heroes. A woman of great faith, and fearless resolve, Hannah speaks to my tender heart, and I hope she’ll speak to yours, too. She says below that she hopes her experience is relevant to each of us and where we are in life. I’m betting it will be. I know it’s true for me.

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Hannah

Realizing how much I have grown in the last couple of years accompanies the knowing that I still have so far to go. Two years ago, I was a very different person. You may not be able to see it, but I can certainly feel it. My faith, which I would have considered strong at the time, felt like it was barely enough to keep my head above the rising flood that is infertility. I try to talk openly about this struggle because I think it is so underdiscussed and because I know how immense the impact this toll can have.

For me, infertility is the great storm that I experienced that required me to ask a lot of questions of God. Maybe you think that you can’t relate to my experience, but I think that my experience is very relevant to yours. For you, it might be finding a spouse, experiencing divorce, struggling with addiction, losing a loved one, battling health issues... A variety of experiences pose the opportunity for us to question God. This might bring us closer, or it might pull us away. How could God let this happen? Where is God now? Why me?

Even though I thought I had put my faith in God, I really didn’t believe that God had my best interest in mind if He didn’t provide me with the blessing of children when He saw how much pain I was in without them. It was through this experience that God illustrated the growth that can come through suffering. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Even though life’s struggles may threaten to weaken us, our weakness makes us strong in Christ! I have been made completely dependent on God in my journey, because I sought Him for peace, strength, and hope. And I found it! Although I don’t believe that God sends suffering our way, I do believe that he can use these things for His glory and that His miracles often bring us through to the other side. Whether that answer to prayer looks as we hoped, or whether it looks a bit different, that is up to my Father in Heaven who is much wiser than I and He who has good, good plans for me.

I have spent a lot of time in the bible looking for answers to these questions, and some of the questions are still left unanswered, but I found many things I wasn’t looking for. I found hope, peace, confidence, and much more! I no longer wait in discouragement or in defeat, but with hope and expectation!

While I continue to wait for the blessing of children, I have received so many blessings that I didn’t ask for, such as a strengthened marriage, a positive attitude, and amazing friendships. Many of these amazing friendships came from an amazing group of women that are a part of the Moms in the Making small group in Whitsett, NC. Each week we laugh together, support one another, and participate in a bible study that allows us to lessen the burden of infertility and focus on our God that provides the ultimate comfort, hope, and guidance from His many promises that He has left in His word for us to uncover.

If you or someone you know is walking through infertility, please share this group with them so they might also be blessed by this amazing group of women. Reach out by email to hannahdnelson94@gmail.com for more information, or go to exploresmc.org to register (look for it under Groups, then Women, then Current Women’s Groups).  Regardless, I hope that whatever you are waiting on God for, that you can wait with expectation of God’s good plan for you and in fellowship with your community that loves you so much!

MOMS

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We lift you up, dear Reader, in whatever waiting you are in (or will be in). Amen.

~Jessica