asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


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Experiencing God

For months, I have been feeling God pulling pushing me into leading a women’s bible study in our community.  This is something that I would not have felt worthy of doing even in the states…in English.  Now, God was asking me to do it here in the DR..in SPANISH!  Aye, mi Dios!!!  As I have stated before, my Spanish is not quite where I wish it were.  I often compare my Spanish to that of the other Domericans here, and I always fall short.  Of course, we all know…comparison My word for this year is Intention (which I will discuss more about this on another post).  One area that I really want to be intentional is my relationship with Christ and with other women.  A women’s bible study is the perfect place to practice this intentionality!  Although I prayed that God would just bypass me on leading this, He never did.  After finally surrendering, I prayed that He would calm my nerves and give me the courage to pursue this.  Once again, He did not fail me.  (Seriously, EVERY SINGLE TIME, I doubt!  When will I learn?)  My fear of not speaking Spanish well was holding me back.  But God knew better!  He replaced my fear with excitement and expectation.  Not expectation of the ladies that are attending, or even expectation of myself, but of the expectation that God is going to do something wonderful in this!

IMG_4323After praying and seeking counsel, I finally settled on the study by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King, Experiencing God.  It’s about learning what God’s will is for your life and doing it.  It is also about developing a deeper relationship with Him. This excites me because half of the women that are invited are not currently attending church.  I remember being that woman.  I was lost for so many years.  I remember friends inviting me to church and truly experiencing God’s love for the first time.  I remember finally understanding that it had nothing to do with religion and EVERYTHING to do with a relationship with Him.  I want this for these ladies!  I want them to know how much God truly does love them, and how He has a plan for their lives.

When I first knew which ladies that God wanted me to invited, I was SO nervous to ask them.  Because half of these women are not currently attending church, I had no idea what they would say to me.  Imagine my surprise when each woman immediately said “yes” with a smile!

Yesterday, when I was passing out the workbooks, one of my friends, that is part of the group, asked who else was coming.  As I was telling her, she said “But they don’t go to church”.  I smiled and said, “I know!  Are you still coming?”.  She got so excited and, with a huge smile on her face, said “Claro!”, which means “Of course!”

Here’s another cool thing…when ordering the books, I miscounted and ordered one extra.  Of course, we all know that there are no accidents.  I am not sure, yet, which lady this extra book belongs to, but am waiting for God to point her out!

Tonight is just a meet and greet, and develop a plan.  I am so crazy excited!  I am making coffee and cookies!!!  We will be meeting on Tuesdays at 4:30.  We are on Atlantic time, which is one hour ahead of Eastern time and two hours ahead of Central time.   Could you guys stop and pray the following for us at that time, please?:

1)  That God comes before us and opens minds and hearts to hear His word

2)  That God deafens our ears to satan’s nasty lies so that we will not be discouraged.

3)  That God breaks down any language barrier so that we can all learn from one another

4)  That God fills each of us with the courage to carry out His will for our lives

5)  That God shows us the lady to which this extra book belongs

Thank you!!!


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Fear

Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real

I recently posted on Facebook about being scared during my marathon training…scared of all the miles…scared of not being able to finish.  I saw one of my cousins shortly after that post and she said “I couldn’t believe that you said that you were scared.  You aren’t scared of anything!”   I had to laugh because I am scared of ALOT of stuff!  I am also amazed at how these fears have caused me to miss out on some really great experiences and memories!

See…when my dad died in 2004, I went through almost a year of anxiety disorder and panic attacks.  I had lost my rock…the one person that could keep me grounded and that I knew that I could count on for anything!  I was like a helium balloon without someone holding it down on earth.  I felt lost and floating around unable to attach myself to anything to anchor me to reality.  Instead, I had panic attacks and believed some pretty scary thoughts.  Luckily, I was able to heal from this and am forever grateful for that.  However, I held on to one big fear…for all this time…for 8 years!!! My first panic attack happened while driving…on the interstate!!!  Driving on the interstate became my trigger spot…so I just avoided it!  I don’t have panic attacks or generalized anxiety at all anymore but the thought of driving more than 2 hours alone on the interstate would cause my palms to sweat…so I just continued to avoid it.  Until now…

God is asking us to do a VERY BIG, VERY SCARY thing right now!  If He is asking this big thing, then how can I continue to hold on to these small fears?  If I can’t trust that He is going to give me the strength and protect me while overcoming these small fears, how am I going to trust Him to give me strength and protect me during this big thing?

While doing my devotional recently, I felt God nudging me to “just get over these fears”.  Every verse that He was pointing me towards was “Do not fear!” (Deuteronomy 31:6Isaiah 41:10,Psalm 118:6).  I also kept hearing Ephesians 6:11: Put on your armor of God.  I knew that I would be protected!

So…I put on my big girl panties and planned a trip to the beach with my 2 daughters…by myself!  There would be no safety net…there would be no one to drive or come get me!  I got a few scriptures to repeat to myself, packed our bags and away we went!!!  And guess what?  I was fine!  No problems driving at all…and guess what else??? We had a blast!  We made so many amazing memories!  It amazed and saddened me that I have allowed fear to rob me of many fun times and memories.

We even had to sleep in the car the first night because there were no hotels to stay in for an hour’s radius of Destin

Doesn’t this look like fun!!!
My babies and me!

I figured while I was in “dragon slaying mode” that I might as well tackle a few more.  Two others fears that I had were: open water swims (mostly in the lake) and riding my bike with clips (clips attach special shoes to the pedal of your bike).  Well, I am proud to say that I completed a triathlon where the swim was in the lake, and I wore clips on my bike!  Mind you, it sucked…I sucked!  The swim was just short of doggy paddling.  I fell over on my bike right smack on my hip…with the bike still attached to my feet.

What I realized while out slaying dragons was that I will be ok!  I didn’t die and no one got seriously injured (just a bruised hip and bruised pride)!  With the armor of God, we can do great things…we can do really hard things!

What things do you have fear about?  What things have held you back from completely enjoying life?