Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith

Chapter Three - God Has a Plan

We're reading What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst. This book is amazing. Leila at Write from the Heart is hosting the study. I would encourage you to please join in. Pop over and visit her and see what the other women are saying. It's a great book, definitely inspired by God. Lysa TerKeurst writes with a passion to see women serving Christ while living out their dream. She's showing us how to "Walk in Faith". It's awesome, ya'll!

Here are a few quotes from this chapter that really made me go, "Ahh..." The whole chapter was great, but obviously I can't type the whole chapter.

"I always thought to be in ministry meant painting the facade that I was perfect. Only then would I be a qualified servant of God. I quickly learned that people aren't impressed with fake perfection - they're turned off and intimidated by it!"

"So I tried to force the dream to come true with my own formula, and it failed miserably."

"God's plan was perfect, and when I left my plans behind, God let me participate in His. Looking back, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way."

Galatians 3:6-9 - "Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."

Abraham loved God, walked with God, and believed God's plan for His life. Abraham had to leave some things behind and press forward on faith, following God's plans, and not one single plan of God's failed. I always thought Abraham was a pretty good guy, but he was not perfect. When Sarah offered Hagar (her maidservant) to him to start a family, Abraham could have said no. He wasn't perfect, but God still blessed him, though it was in God's time and not Abraham's. I have to remember that I don't need to be perfect to serve God either. I can live my dream, warts and all. God uses some of my weaknesses to actually provide material for writing. If I can minister to one person because of them, I count myself blessed and highly favored. The glory belongs to the Lord! In my weaknesses His grace is made perfect.

Revelation 3:7-8 - "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."

Lysa asks, "What do the sheep find when they walk through Jesus' door? How does this encourage you?"

Christ, who is holy and true. I remain encouraged by knowing that as I walk through the doorway of this dream I'm pursuing that it's His door and His plans are the best for me. May I, in my small strength, keep God's Word and never deny His name. May I claim His promises and not pass up His plans for me while I'm in working toward walking in stronger faith as I live this dream of mine. If I ever step out on my own strength, I pray God would knock me to my knees.

Oh, how I praise God for this last section in the Personal Bible Study. God's plans are always best!

One of the verses listed is Palms 113:9 - "He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD." Lysa writes, "God has placed you exactly where you are according to His purposes."

It's no great secret that I was barren. Barren. Eight year, no child. After years of infertility drugs and prayer I got pregnant. Miscarried. I do not say that to whine or illicit sympathy. It was a horrible time in my life and I was a train wreck when that happened, but it will be 10 years ago on the 20th of this month. God has healed me remarkably since then. Still no baby. But because I was obedient to Him and walked in faith that His will was good for my life, I reaped the reward of this:

I am a bonus mom. Steve had custody of Kristyn when we met and she was 6 when we married. I raised her with Steve and when she was 20 she married her husband. I had the pleasure of being a "mother" for all those years. Now my baby is married and has produced off-spring. Nolan is our 10 month old grandson. There is another grandson, Liam, due November 1. (They wasted no time, LOL!) My sister is pregnant with my first biological nephew and will deliver August 19 unless Ethan decides to arrive earlier.

I said all that to say, "I am living that verse!" God has settled me in my home as the happy "mother" of children. I have one child in Heaven that I cannot wait to see, but I cannot focus on Sydney Michel every second of every day. God has made me look around to see what He has blessed me with. He knew before I was formed in my mother's womb that I would never bear children of my own. Me praying for 8 solid years, every morning, did not come as a surprise to Him. He knew the plans He had for me. Now He has given me children running out my ears.

I trust Him with His plans for my life. I trust Him to bring my dreams to reality in His time.

When I started this study, I said I didn't know the dream God had for me. I know it now. My dream is to serve God through writing. Writing in this blog is my first step.


Runner Mom said...

Laurie Ann,
Your blog is WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for sharing your heart about your life. You are just a precious "mom" to all those around you. Like we read yesterday, His plans are so different than ours...we have to step out in faith to lovingly accept His desire for us.

I hope that you have a wonderful day...try to stay cool!

Yolanda said...

Laurie Ann:

Girl, You have your eyes on the right spot....the GLORY OF OUR MAGNIFICENT SAVIOR!

I too, am a barren woman. And you are right on....GOD BLESS' US! I am a step-mother at this point to two adult children, with children of their own. I love the SWEETNESS TO MY EARS of "Grandma, I love you". Bryan, Abigail and YES....Nolan are my grandchildren.

I also have been mentoring a young girl for the last 2 years in our local public school for one hour each week and this year she & I are moving to the Junior High. She is precious....

Writing to point others to Christ and what He has done in my life and can do in others, is exhilirating and a ministry. I see that God has placed this on your heart as well.



Jill said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. It's interesting you mention the miscarriage as a friend and I were just discussing that. It's been over 20 years since that happened to her, but she's feeling the need to minister to others currently experiencing the same thing. God truly can use bad for good. Thank you for recognizing God's call to write, your words are a blessing, Jill

Laura said...

What an amazing testimony you have! Thank you for sharing your heart. You are a blessing to many, I can tell. Sometimes His plans are so different than what we envision, aren't they? But look at all the joy you have been given! You bless!

Laura said...

What an amazing testimony you have! Thank you for sharing your heart. You are a blessing to many, I can tell. Sometimes His plans are so different than what we envision, aren't they? But look at all the joy you have been given! You bless!

tiggerdaisy said...

What a testimony! I just loved this post, girl!

Though His plans don't always (almost never to be exact) match up with ours, we can trust that His plans, ways and thoughts are better than ours. His plans are to prosper us and not harm us, for good and not for evil!

Prayers and blessings,

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely heart with us.

Sandra said...

Thank you for sharing how God has moved in your life. How He has healed you. I'm sure there is someone out there that needs to know what you've been through and how God has healed you and given you peace.


Gina's Public Diary said...

How precious Laurie Ann. My husband couldn't have children and unfortunately we are not blessed with babies of relatives. But I realize the Lord's will is the best for us. You have a precious outlook! I'm so happy you got to be Mom to Kristyn all these years!