About a month ago, I had never heard of The Resolution for Women or even the author, Priscilla Shirer. BUT I've heard of both now...and I want to share how God has orchestrated this whole thing in my life....
Recently, my family and I started attending a different church. We loved our old church of 15 years and the people there, but felt God's tugging us to start fresh. After years of being in service, it was time to just be discipled. And as one of my pastor friends said, "It's not like you're divorcing one church family for another...you're just broadening the scope."
At our new church, we are soaking up a lot of Bible study. The women's Wednesday night Bible study started this fall with a 6 week study called Seed by Priscilla Shirer...I really enjoyed it and wanted a little more...so I did a google search on Priscilla Shirer hoping to find some more of her video clips and instead found her ministry blog. AND the very day I found it, she was kicking off an online book club for The Resolution for Women. Coincidence? I don't think so. She even wanted folks to leave comments if they wanted an email penpal to discuss the book with....I've always wanted a pen pal...so I followed her directions looked through the comments and picked a pen pal. I knew I had found the pen pal for me when I read: her name, the fact that she was a mom who had adopted one daughter from China and was heading back to China for another adoption. I replied that I was the mom to 4 and my youngest was adopted from China and we had just gotten back from China earlier this year. And Priscilla even mentioned on the webcast about our God appointed connection...or at least we think she meant us. lol
Little did I know that this God connection was even awesomer...(I know that's not a real word~ I just like it)...because at the time of our pen pal connection...we were headed to the hospital that week with Jolie for her palate repair surgery. At that time, I did not know that my penpal's daughter also had cleft palate and my pen pal is an RN. She knew where we were going, she and her husband had been down that road before...and in the first days after surgery I was able to email her my concerns about recovery and ask her...Hey is this normal?....
Now isn't God just something else? YES, He is! He takes care of the littlest of details!
In this book, which is produced or written in conjunction with the Courageous movie and The Resolution for Men book. Priscilla has the book club reading a section a week....and then we can read on the blog for the next assignment or listen to the live webcast for discussion or watch it recorded. This book has some really awesome stuff in it ...very timely for me. I am needing each section...and I am glad that she assigns us one section at a time...I need time to digest it.
This past week's assignment, Authentically Me, really hit me hard. There were certain topics brought up and questions that Priscilla asked and immediately from my gut I had an answer that I scribbled in the margin. I just have to share what I learned. One of the church buzz words that I hear all the time is about being transparent. Well, that's what I'm fixin' to be...I'm fixin' to be transparent.
On page 52 Priscilla states: "I've often based my self-worth on some second-rate, inconsequential detail or assumption-like the way I looked....or the way I measured up to a culturally set standard...." further down the page she writes, "Have....you felt pressure to embody instead of believing you're enough just the way you are? or maybe you've blown things out of proportion, like an isolated event or a momentary setback, then bascially allowed it to identify you, forcing you to build the rest of your life around it. Before you knew it, you were being controlled by something that honestly didn't have the clout to boss you around."
Immediately from my gut, I wrote the words...student teaching evaluation in the margin. This isolated event happened almost 22 years ago, and I remember it very vividly. The kids had been on a field trip and had just got back to the classroom. The lesson plan for the day was to let them finish their homework before the bell. When my adviser made an unexpected visit, I was expected to "perform"...so I went over the vocabulary words that were written on the board by the regular teacher. I had not even reviewed this list, but in my haste and nervousness I pronounced a vocabulary word incorrectly and I did it not once, but twice. My adviser ate my lunch so to speak and had it out for me for the rest of her visits. She finally told me that, the best thing I could ever do in education, was to be a preschool teacher. I was majoring in English Education hoping to teach high schoolers. BUT I LISTENED TO HER...I allowed this isolated event to shape my life. I became a preschool teacher...I'd like to think a pretty good one at that, but I always lived with regret...and I always thought I just wasn't good enough to teach the high school set....being a wife/mom/ teacher had been my life-long goal.
Fast forward...I've accomplished my dream of teaching, as I am a home-educating mom. Just a few years ago, I taught high schoolers in an accredited Home school Academy. I taught them British Literature and American Literature for three years...and I loved it, and my students liked me and they acted like my class was fun I hope it was. I was even called the project Nazi and was often told by my students that I gave too much homework. I stopped teaching in that setting because God told me I needed to focus more on my own children's education, and I would love to do it again someday. I think He gave me this opportunity to teach the "big kids" as I affectionately called them because it was His way of saying to me "You see, you can do all things through ME...I strengthen you."
There are other things that I recognize as shaping me unnecessarily. I love to write, but often think I can't. I've had my share of red-inked papers, discouraging comments on the margins of what I thought were well written papers. But as my mom pointed out to me...How many of those teachers have published books, articles or papers? I don't know of any.
I read on and am encouraged by Priscilla's words: " God has made you you and has placed you here. On purpose"...She goes on to say, "He has selected you, and everything about you, to participate in the work HE is doing at this point in history."
Now that statement is like WHOA! Well, I certainly don't want to miss out on His Plan!
In the margin of my book on page 58 there's like 5 penciled stars by this underlined statement. " We were created by GOD to do our part . And if we fail to do it because we don't think it's valuable enough, great loss will be suffered. Someone, somewhere, needs you-in all of your uniqueness-to step up to the plate of your calling."
Many times in my life, I have had these thoughts of doing this or that only to dash them by thinking I'm not good enough smart enough, slim enough....just not enough.
I am tired of listening to the lies,and discouragement. Everywhere I turn lately whether it be from the pastor's sermon or the Bible study on Wednesday/Sunday nights or from The Resolution for Women, I am hearing the same message...I am hearing that in my weakness HE is strong...I hear That GOD gives us what we need to do what He wants.
By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
I don't know what God has up His sleeve for me to accomplish, but whatever it is, I don't want to miss out on it. If I am not equipped to do it...He will equip!