Be careful what you share with your friends, especially the ones that believe in you, for you may find God speaking to you through them and be challenged and blessed.
A weekend away with a good friend ended up in an amazing opportunity for me. For the past three years I have attended a missionary women’s retreat in the beautiful mountain town of Valle de Los Angeles. It is a time of spiritual refreshment, encouragement, healing, and profound worship. I look forward to it every year, but this year my heart told me not to go. It was confusing, I really wanted to go. Instead, my dear friend and fellow missionary, Teri Riley, and I decided to take a two-night weekend away together. Indeed, our plan was for a spiritual getaway in the word, but instead it was a time filled with deep talks, laughter and tears – something both of us needed.
During one of those talks, I shared with Teri that I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned in God’s word about my life. If you have ever been in a bible study with me, you know this to be true. I continued to share that, “I think my desire to share my heart and what I’ve learned may mean that I have a gift of teaching that I never realized I had.” Well, little did I know that this lovely sister of mine had a need and in her loving, encouraging way she immediately said, “Hey! I need a speaker at a women’s conference in Tegucigalpa and you’d be great! I know that you can do it!” This was followed by her signature gesture: Two thumbs up and a big smile. Aha! Now I know why God didn’t want me to go to that retreat in the mountains.
After some prayer and consideration Dave and I both felt strongly that I should be that teacher that my friend needed. It was an amazing opportunity for me to branch out and do something new and a wonderful way to serve the body of Christ in Honduras. Given the theme of “Binding Wounds” I knew exactly what I should share, my heart. I put down my testimony in words for the first time and opened my heart. By doing so I allowed my story and His Story to mingle on the page that I might speak the truth about the Power of the Word of God to these lovely sisters in Christ. I taught from Isaiah 43:10:
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
He wants us to know him, believe Him, and understand Him in our tragedies, in our wounds, and in our battles with sin. He is the Great I Am! Oh, it was a lot of work but it was so worth it. I loved teaching; I felt comfortable and confident and never once nervous. Is that God working in and through me or what? What a privilege. Oh, by the way, I knew right away that I wanted to honor these sisters by teaching in Spanish. Thank you Christy Andino, Mariah Fields, Jenny Riley, and Betsy Howard for your loving help in translating my words into this lovely language so that I could share my heart and His heart more clearly.
ADDENDUM: Since the writing of this blog (and our newsletter) Teri has invited me to speak at another women’s conference here locally. Your prayers are sure needed and appreciated!