We are at the cusp of something explosive and great, and I can't wait to see what God is going to do. But what some women may see as a long time coming have no idea what's been going on behind the scenes to get a women's ministry on the radar at Calvary.
In August of 2005, God laid it on my heart that I was to lead in women's ministry. I laughed like Elizabeth when she was told she going to have a child at her elderly age. I didn't laugh because I didn't think it wouldn't happen. I laughed because I thought God could not have chosen a woman who was more out of her element when she was around women than me, but I accepted it and continued on my way. Over the next year, God dealt with me on several issues. First was my identity. My identity was like most men, it was tied into my career. I investigate insurance fraud for an insurance company and have enjoyed it for 12 1/2 years. When I started I was one of very few women, and I was definitely the youngest, and that is how I liked it. I work with all levels of law enforcement from sheriffs to the FBI, state troopers to federal prosecutors. People I investigate have set their homes or cars on fire, staged accidents, and I've investigated medical provider fraud. I get great satisfaction in my job and enjoy the reaction I get when I tell people what I do. I had to travel to Arkansas for an early morning meeting, so I spent the night. I enjoy these times -- having a hotel room by myself is good mental health time. Most of the time, I do a facial, manicure, pedicure, read, listen to the quiet, etc. This trip would be different because this is when the Holy Spirit convicted me of where I got my value. He impressed upon me that my career could be gone the next day, but my value wouldn't. My value is in HIM, my Creator, the lover of my soul. The one who took His time to knit me in my mother's womb, who knows the number of hair on my head, and who has ordained my days -- He's the one in whom I have my value. It was so incredibly humbling. I kept feeling the Holy Spirit pressing on the back of my head as I repented. He led me to ask Mrs. Julie to be my mentor. I only knew Mrs. Julie by name, but I obeyed.
I told Mrs. Julie how the Holy Spirit had led me to ask her to be my mentor, but I didn't know why. I explained to her what I had learned during my overnight stay, and she understood why I was being led to her. She told me her testimony, and it amazed me. People don't surprise me much anymore, but God always can.
In 2006, I asked God to take my spiritual gift away from me. He gave me the gift that some call prophecy, some call discernment, but He would wake me at 3 AM in the morning and I would grab my Bible and notebook, pen and paper and go to the den and settle into the recliner for however long it took. He would impress messages on me to give to other people. Often times they didn't make a lot of sense to me, and sometimes it put me into some very uncomfortable positions. It was physically draining and exhausting. What I wanted was to be a cheerleader, an encourager...little did I know I would learn about that in 2007. By the end of 2006, I had to confess and repent again to God and asked Him to restore His touch, His gift to me.
In 2007, my world came to a drastic halt when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. My family retreated into itself just to survive. God was so gracious and merciful. We did more than we survive, we thrived. My mentor, Mrs. Julie told me she was my age when her mother was diagnosed with cancer...Isn't that just like God to give me a mentor ahead of time who would walk with me through this valley? That year we learned so much, and my family's border was extended.
In 2008, we were coming out of our fog of a world, and God again began working on me and my marriage. He also started leading me to start asking for a women's ministry in my church reminding me of what He had impressed upon me in 2005. So, when He led me, I pushed for it, and when He didn't, I stopped. This would go off and on throughout 2008.
It's July 2009, and I had our first women's ministry team meeting last Sunday. It's not going to be anything like these women have known. It dawned on me as I was listening to the women on the team talk that most of them had small town ties and how comfortable that can feel. That is what we are wanting to instill in this women's ministry. Women touching the hearts of other women, making the connection personal and long-standing.
I still have my job as a fraud investigator, and maybe some day I'll be able to do women's ministry full-time, but right now from where I'm sitting things are great. God is in control. He is bringing His women He chooses into this ministry and putting us together like a beautiful tapestry. I am eagerly anticipating the birth of this ministry as this is just the beginning of the heavy labor.
I praise you Most Wonderful, Excellent, Heavenly Father. Your creativity and wisdom are unmatched, and I am so thankful your mercies are new every day and that they never run out. Thank you for this opportunity to serve you and the women of my church. Thank you for continuing to mold and make me into the godly woman you desire for me to be. I am so blessed to be your daughter. Amen