God Is Moving, What Kind of Woman Do You Want to Be Intro
I have never felt so alive in Christ! I can’t tell you in adequate words what a blessing it is to write for all of my readers and to minister to and encourage your hearts, but I received the wonderful gift of being ministered to over the weekend at a women’s retreat. Ministry is challenging, and sometimes I just need some time alone with the Lord to be restored and refreshed and some time in fellowship and encouragement and prayer with other women of the faith. Let me tell you something exciting – God moved!
I have never heard God’s voice so clearly or felt His presence so strongly. His Word is living and powerful and actively moving in and around and through me and I never felt it like that before. I spent the weekend in dialogue with God. Here’s what God spoke to me:
Hannah, my beloved daughter, I love you. Stop focusing on all your questions – where you’re going, what career you will have, where you’ll go back to school at, if you’ll go back to school, where you’ll serve in ministry, where you’re going in your marriage, what you should be doing – but instead focus on what kind of woman you want to be.
I realized that at the heart of all those questions was a desire for peace and comfort in knowing. But I don’t need to know everything because God has me in His hands. I have been striving to know the answers and I need to be striving to know God more. He desires to be in relationship with me and as our retreat speaker, Linda Shepherd, said over the weekend, “The only way to have a relationship is to wear the righteousness of Christ daily because He died on the cross for me so I can walk with a Holy God!”
The King of the Universe wants to live in my heart. How exciting and comforting and peaceful that is!
In the book, Holy Habits, by Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt, the first chapter talks about a wake up call – a wake up call to live intentionally for Christ daily! They write, “I asked God, who has the perspective of eternity, to teach me how to make today count, to show me how to use the precious gift of each day purposefully.”
When I read that two weeks ago, I remember praying something similarly. I started thinking about what kind of woman I wanted to be. As I’m talking to God, reading His Word, and journaling over the weekend, He answered me.
Hannah, all those things you wanted answers to: they help define who you are, they help shape you, but they are not who you are. I want you to think about who you want to be and desire those things, pray for those things, and focus on those things.
I want to be a woman of worship, prayer, and joy, Lord!
And then God added in His still, small voice…
God: I want you to be a woman of rest.
Me: Rest? What does that even mean?
God: I want you to be a woman of rest.
Me: But rest is so opposite of who I am.
God: Rest in Me.
Suddenly, Bible verses about resting in the Lord flooded into my life. Cast your cares/burdens upon Me… Be still and know that I am God…My soul finds rest in God alone. We sang songs at the retreat like Great is Thy Faithfulness and I Surrender All. Our speaker talked about inviting in the presence of the Lord and living a life of praise, prayer, and joy.
Rest is completely opposite of my nature. I like being a little busy bee! I like doing things. I like being places. I like checklists. I stress out when I can’t handle everything. I carry the worries of the day in my shoulders, neck, and back. But a relationship with God isn’t a checklist. My relationship with God is to be a living sacrifice of praise, to worship Him continually in all aspects of my life in the spirit and truth of the triune God!
As Wilson and Volkhardt write, “True worship and prayer can only flow out of a heart-response to His character.”
When I began desiring these things – worship, prayer, joy, and rest – God began to answer my heart’s cry! Let me tell you something – God can and does move without you, and He will move regardless of your involvement, but (and this is a big BUT) He desires for you to know Him, and He longs for you to ask! No prayer is too small, too trivial, too silly, that our God will not hear it or answer!
I’ve been getting in the habit of sending prayers heavenward – prayers of praise and prayers of request – to God this weekend as often as possible. Last night, I was trying to find a shirt in the dark, and I sent a prayer to God, asking Him to help me find a shirt. When I did, my hands fell upon a shirt of Adam’s actually that was just warm enough and just cool enough and just comfortable enough to wear to bed. No, it’s not silly! None of our desires, no matter how tiny, are silly to God! But the point is: Whether you desire to be healed from cancer or you need a parking spot at work today or whether you need to find a pencil or you long to find a spouse, have a child, children, or start your career, God wants you to ask! And He will answer!
It was such a blessing to participate in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blog Challenge. The Lord taught me so much during those first 13 days this month, and the 1 Corinthians 13 Love passage was preparing my heart to experience the perfect, unfailing love of God over the weekend. I want to take the blog in a new direction.
Whatever the desires of your heart, take them to the Lord, but begin to ask God to desire the things that He desires like the ones I mentioned – worship, prayer, joy, and rest. It may be completely different for you. Perhaps you struggle with anger or discontent and He wants you to be a woman of peace. Perhaps because you have struggled with selfishness and greed and He wants you to be a woman of hospitality and generosity. Or perhaps you don’t yet have a relationship with God and you’re wondering what He could possibly have for you – and He is calling you to be a woman of faith. I want to focus on what kind of woman you want to be and what kind of woman God is calling you to be. We’ll spend time diving into Scripture, praying together, and praising God without ceasing on this journey!
Are you ready?
Meet Me for a Cup of Coffee
“But it is you, a woman like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55:13-14
I love drinking coffee, and I love to meet and fellowship with other believers and friends in the faith over coffee. So instead of “Bottom Line,” and “I’d love to hear from you,” I’m instituting this new idea. This section will include Bible verses and questions for you to ponder and I’d love for you to join me in “sweet fellowship” and hear your thoughts, questions, prayer requests, and praise Lord our God together!
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…”
“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion (His holy City). May He remember all your sacrifices…May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious. We will lift our banners in the name of our God! May the Lord grant all your requests. Now I know that the LORD (Yahweh) saves His anointed; He answers them from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD (Yahweh) our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm! Oh Lord, save us! Answer us when we call!” Psalm 20
What kind of woman (or man) do you want to be? How can you live your life in continual praise and ceaseless praise? How can we, in the BHE community, encourage you in this journey toward becoming the woman God is calling you to be?