I am beside myself excited! Which was not the case yesterday. Yesterday morning I was feeling sorrowful. I was feeling down. I was feeling like I had let a friend down and in turn had let God down. I was wrestling with pride and the need to make right, a wrong. I didn’t want to do it. But I did want to do it. I was dragging my feet on another request from God, I was struggling with the “what will they think” syndrome. After time in prayer, and wrestling with my inadequacies and beginning to be confused on how God could use someone so imperfect and flawed as I, I finally came to the point where God’s will was more important. He reminded me of just how gracious and merciful my friend is, and she in fact was, when I reached out to her. He reminded me that my cooperation with Him brings blessing and I finally followed through on the second request.
My afternoon was MUCH different. It was as if the floodgates of God’s presence poured out! I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it was. I attend a local church, which I have grown to love and appreciate so very much! But on Mondays I also like to listen to a Pastor from New York. I have been listening to the sermons from Times Square Church since 2008, so about eight years now. It began when I rededicated my life to the Lord, and I was hungry for truth. Anyway, I didn’t go to my book marked page for the sermons, and instead landed on the homepage, where I saw “Women of God Rising”. I was like whuuuuuuut?! When I selected the link…blown away!
Wait, what’s the big deal you ask? Throughout the last challenge, this theme of a Shepherdess Rise Up began to take shape. I sensed I, and other women, were being called to Rise up to properly tend to our “flocks”. Flocks that may include our husbands, children, family, friends and community. But I sensed it was time to “rise up” and get into God’s Word to see how HE needed us to rise up in His strength, and a devotion series was created. Following the challenge, I “fell off the horse”. Devotions were there, but not nearly as rich, deep and I rarely felt as connected as I did during the challenge. Now, here we are again. Since committing to do the second challenge, and seeing our current devotions as an addition to the Shepherdess Rise Up series (although initially I thought it would be a small “pause”), the theme has been prominent in my mind again. And then I see this!
As I listened to the Pastor’s wife speak on Women of God Rising, I was overwhelmed by God’s presence. It was as if He was saying to me, “I am doing a work. Not just here, but everywhere. Women are coming together to RISE UP. Keep going. Keep encouraging. Keep supporting women on their journey of rising up!” I got so excited. I listened to a portion of the two and a half hour session. But dinner, a 5k, my kiddos, my hubby – all took precedence. I listened to a bit more before bed and finished this morning! The same thoughts, the same ideas, all aligned with God’s impressions upon my heart. We are a part of something so much bigger than we know!
When Pastor Teresa went into the book of Luke, I about lost my mind. Seriously. How could this not be God, speaking very directly?! A testimony on adversities, a testimony on impurity, a testimony of what young women need from us “older” women, a testimony of God given strength, and a testimony of deliverance. ALL so the women sharing their stories could rise to the purpose God had set before them, not in their strength, but in His. I’m still very pumped, just in case it isn’t being translated in text.
I’m pumped, because I have WITNESSED women in this challenge and the first, rise up to the occasion and now get to hear their stories of how their husband is being affected. How their children are being affected. How their parents, siblings and in-laws are being affected. I’m hearing how those husbands and children are then affecting those in their circle of influence, because they are rising up! God is AMAZING. And it is amazing He is weaving a redeeming thread through the fabrics of our brokenness and need for Him, to create a covering we all can be comforted and transformed by!
If you have been following along since the beginning and you too are blown away, let’s just praise God right now! If you listen to the message that was delivered to the New York congregation on February 20th (just one week before we kicked off the second challenge), here is a heads up: it is very animated and could be overwhelming for the sensitive of heart. I personally don’t mind the delivery, but I know some are a bit “turned off” by certain methods. If after you listen you are just as excited as I am, please let me know. I believe we should join together in prayer, continue to be encouragement to one another, and lend ourselves to other women who are hearing the call to rise up in their homes and lives.
Have a beautiful day!
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