15 years ago, I had just had my 3rd son, who was 7 years younger than our 2nd boy. I was hungry for fellowship with other moms, and my church didn’t have a moms group, so I started attending a moms group at Fellowship Bible in Little Rock. It just so “happened” that their leadership team still needed a few small group co-leaders and a friend with whom I had served in leadership for several years in Bible Study Fellowship recommended me to serve alongside these dear women in ministry.
It was during the 3 years I spent observing, listening, and walking alongside these wise Titus 2 women that God planted His dream in my heart and began to stir my soul to pursue this dream. My calling wasn’t my own idea – my calling came while I was walking among these women, learning what it looks like to live a Titus 2 life.
I had walked among other Titus 2 women, but these dear ladies gave me a clear example of what it can look like in a structured, God-focused, biblical environment. My calling became clearer when their women’s ministry director noticed the desire in my heart to lead women in a biblical model and spoke a word over my life, that God had a work for me to do in my own church and community, along with women who desired to live the Titus 2 pattern. I will never forget the wise teaching I received during this time, and mostly, the daily life example these seasoned, biblical women imprinted on my life.
Fast forward to 15 years later! Now – for the rest of the story … well maybe not ALL of it! Suffice it to say at this point that I spent a good 10 years leading women in my own church, transitioning and establishing a new ministry, and 5 1/2 years ago, God led me out of that role. More on that later.
I’d like to share an excerpt from the last column I wrote to the women in our church, which included the theme for that year and the heart of what we felt God wanted to see happen among His women. The theme was “Pull Up a Chair” — it was my heart then and it remains my heart today for women who love the Lord and desire to live biblically as friends, moms, wives, and leaders.
“PULL UP A CHAIR” (2009)
Many of you may remember the little song we learned in Sunday School, “Friends, friends, friends, . . . I love my friends and they love me, I help my friends and they help me . . . “ As a women’s ministry director, I have been increasingly intrigued in the past few years by the dynamics in the friendships of women. The friends who surround us not only every day, but also in times past, leave a lasting imprint in our lives, shaping and defining who we become. Having grown up with all brothers, their friends, and surrounded now by 3 sons (and their friends!) in my home, I think I appreciate even more, the good girlfriends God has brought into my life. Last week I enjoyed catching up with some dear college friends whom I hadn’t seen in years! The beauty is that our friendship has deepened and matured over time, because it was based in a common love for our Lord and His service. An interesting pastime for me is to consider and observe groups of women friendships around me, of which there are several. I have my own labels for them and a few come to mind, There’s the “fun” group, the “steady” group, the “young things”, the “50-somethings”, and a few more for which I have yet to come up with a name. The most common positive denominator I witness in these women is that they love the Lord and are there for each other. I love to hear stories from some of our “steady” group about the Baptist Women circles from years past, where women came together regularly to share life — before technology, busy-ness, and society’s demands, infiltrated and corrupted the simplicity of life.
As we begin a new year of opportunities to connect … I’d like to share the heart of our Leadership Team. I enjoy and appreciate serving with these great women, and we feel God is desperately drawing us back to relationship – to the patterns of the early church. God has led our team in a unified spirit to establish this year’s theme on the exhortation found in Acts 2:42-47, “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” “And day by day continuing with one mind . . . they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart”. In a small survey taken among a few women in our church, most said they long for a small group in which they could connect and find friendship, a place to belong. Women – it’s time we all realized that none of us is perfect, we must give up our unrealistic assumptions and expectations and make time to get to know each other and grow each other. We don’t necessarily have it all together, but we know and love the One who holds it all together! And we want our lives to matter for here, for now, and for eternity – together. I invite you to the step out of your comfort zone, out of your lonely zone, seek God and some dear Christians sisters. How about we pull up a chair and sit a while?!? It’s time we got to know one another!”
I’d love to say that’s exactly what happened! But it didn’t. Next week, I’ll begin to share what God has been teaching me about women, leadership, but most importantly, what happened when I let go of my dream.