About a year ago, I felt that God was speaking to me and telling me that I needed to go into ministry. Not the kind of ministry where I’m speaking from a pulpit but in the areas of teaching and just being there for women who are married, women who are mothers of young children and so on. I prayed about it and within the next week I felt led to do two things, join the women’s ministry at my church and put in an application to become a Discussion Group Leader, or DGL, for MOPS International. For the purpose of my message today, I just want to focus on the women’s ministry at my church.
A couple of weeks ago, I got really sick on what I deemed the worst day EVER to get sick. It was the first day of returning to Women’s Bible Study at my church after the winter break and we were starting the study called Seamless by Angie Smith. Not only that, my friend Marissa and I are co-teaching this study together and had spent lots of time preparing for our first day. Again, it was the worst day EVER to get sick.
I remember sending my husband a text that morning saying I didn’t feel well and he honestly thought it was just my nerves. Although I do get nervous, I usually don’t get physically sick because of it but on this particular morning, I hung on to that notion, it was my nerves.
I remember texting Marissa saying I was coming but I didn’t feel well, I had every intention of going. I had left the house twice, only to return home to use the bathroom. I dropped my oldest off at Mothers Day Out and I remember sitting in the parking lot and feeling like I needed someone to get me and my youngest home. I called my mom and asked for prayer. I sent a group text to my friends asking for prayer. I called my dad and he said, “Where do you have to be this morning that you are getting so worked up about if you’re sick?” As much as I wanted to, I. JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT.
I finally sent a text to Marissa and said I was too sick to come. I literally cried driving back home. My dad called again and made the following statement, “You know Erika, God allows things for a reason. Maybe there is a reason you are not there today. I think you should pray about it and really seek to find out why He blocked this for you today.”
Umm, WHAT?! SERIOUSLY?! That’s what my dad says to me?!
As confused as I was, I listened and I really prayed about it, “God, if there is a reason, enlighten me.” And He did.
While my intentions may have been good, I was too worried about “me”. Would “I” do a good job? Would “I” get the message across? Am “I’ good enough to co-teach this study? Am “I” knowledgable enough to teach others about Christ? Would “I” be a hindrance to not only my co-teacher, Marissa, but to the other ladies who lead Bible study? I had let the enemy fill my head with all sorts of self-doubts and reasons to worry about “my” role.
Praise God for His lessons in what seem to us to be the most “inopportune” times. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
The truth is that I wasn’t completely trusting that God would equip me with what I needed to co-teach this study. Marissa kept telling me, “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” But I didn’t fully understand that until I got sick and couldn’t go. God needed me to completely trust Him and depend on Him for this study. It wasn’t about me or anyone else. It was about Him and what he had and still has for the women who were in that study group. God needed me to miss that first day.
I will also share this, the following week at Bible study, about two minutes before we got started, a well-intending lady made the following statement, “Oh, you’re the one who didn’t show up last week. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I were Marissa but she did an excellent job. I mean she was amazing!”
I’ll be honest and tell you that for a split-second all those insecurities crept their way into my heart and that feeling of self-doubt started rearing its ugly head. But I remembered what God had laid on my heart and instead of letting those feelings get the best of me, I looked at Marissa and said, “Let’s go pray.”
We had a great study that day, praise God for He was there and equipped us all.