Week 1: A New Beginning, A New Revelation for the Women to Women Mentoring Program
It was just like in the wagon train movies of the 1800's, the daughter cries sweet goodbyes to her family as her radiant new husband lifts her onto the wagon traveling out west to begin their lives together - leaving the old and pressing on to a new adventure! That was sort of the beginning of my married life, only 5 days wed we scrambled onto a U-Haul jam packed with wedding gifts and 23 years worth of memories and a Siamese Cat named Austin; heading South, from the wet lush green mountains of Oregon to the hot dry landscape of Texas. We embarked on the greatest adventure of our lives, together with the Lord, the pair of us naively headed towards a new life. My husband was paving his way in the world of men, eager to take on the responsibility of caring for a new wife. I, unknowingly at the time, was running from my careful life of rules and order in hopes of uncovering this woman within that I deeply desired to discover.
I grew up in a wonderful church that taught the Bible, but somewhere along the way I had taken all that head knowledge but hadn't a clue how to relate to a very distant God.. I pulled out all the rules and characteristics of God that fit the way I percieved life and created my own image of god. This god that I worshiped was restricted, rigid, expected perfection, was kind yet always down on me because I could never get it just right.. My god was a god of love since he died on the cross for my sins, but he was distant and hard to get close to. Are you getting my picture of God? What is your image of God? What does God think about you each day? The answer to those two questions may just be the most important questions in the entire universe. "What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with him. In addition, what you believe God thinks about you determines how close we will grow towards him." (Ingram, God As He Longs For You To See Him, page 20) Unknowing, my false image of God shaped so much of the woman I had become. I concluded that if I could never please god then why worship him? I had my "fire insurance" so my waste my time trying to please a god that would never be satisfied with me.
But then, with our new life in Texas forming, a new and true image of God began to take shape. The Lord started to reveal Himself to me through prayer times, many trials, Bible studies, friends, my husband, becoming a mother, & great books that taught me about the very nature of God - truths only found in the Bible. The past 4 years I have spent searching and discovering a magnificent God who is the embodiment of perfection, who loves me the same regardless of my actions, whose ways are not my ways and whose deepest desire is to mold me into the image of Christ. The road has not been painless, most of my lessons were forged through great trials, but the rewards have been intimate and everlasting. The more I study the Word of God to discover the multifaceted God I server, the more in awe I stand before Him and the more I fall in love with Him and await the day when I can finally see His face and bow before Him in reverence. I will never conclude my aspirations of knowing God completely, for each trial reveals new truths and experiences. My new longing is for other women to develop a Biblical image of God, because if we have an image of God that is true our perspective on this life shifts from one of self to one of upward focus.
I would like to encourage you to seek out this God you serve, challenge yourself to get into the Word of God and meditate on the life of Jesus, and the God of the Old Testament. Do not be discouraged by trials that will come your way, but be encouraged because it is through these trials that the Lord desires to reveal himself to you; one verse that I meditate on often during trials is James 1:2-3, "Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." You are being equipped with endurance and experience that will help you along your Christian journey. Please e-mail or call me with your prayer requests, I would love to pray and encourage you!
I will close with a verse hidden deep in the Old Testament - meditate on this verse and ask the Lord to disclose himself deeply and intimately to you over the next 6 months. Please ponder the two questions that started me on a journey to discovering God, "What is your image of God" and "What do you think God sees when he looks at you." Picture the delight the Lord has when you desire to know Him more and seek Him out regularly. Please know that I am praying for you; anticipating the exciting new truths that will be discovered.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.?