I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.
Friend to Friend
I took a deep breath and prayed, “Thank You, Father, for showing up tonight. Thank You for the magnificent display of Your power!” It had been a long time since I had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit at work in such an amazing way. I felt as if each word I spoke, each step I took was saturated with His power and His favor. That night, it truly was all about Him!
I have been speaking for women’s events for 25 years … and absolutely love it! It’s my passion and my calling. I have had many jobs over the years – elementary school teacher, insurance agent, high school Bible teacher, choir director, church pianist, women’s ministry director … but I always came back to teaching His Word to women who are hungry for more – more of God.
The messier the women are, the more I love it. I think I am drawn to broken women because I am a broken woman who has experienced the healing power of God. Love called me and grace saved me. It is a message I have to share! It is my story. I love the Christian song, Nobody, that Matthew West sings: “I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody about Somebody who saved my soul.” Yep! That’s it!
As I stood, just taking in the women before me – kneeling at the altar, weeping, crying out to God for forgiveness, for salvation, for help facing the giants before them – a woman walked up to me. With tears streaming down her face, she spoke in jagged whispers, “Mary, thank you for being so transparent tonight, sharing your story – your real and raw story. It is my story, too. To know that I am not alone means everything. I know it must be hard to travel and speak, but please don’t stop. We need you.”
I prayed with her and watched her walk away, her words ringing in my ears. Yes – it is hard for me to travel and speak. I have thought about quitting many times. I still battle depression. I have a seriously bad back – Scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, stenosis and arthritis riddle my spine.
But I have to go. I have to follow that burning desire that rises from the depths of my soul. It will not let me stay. It makes me go!
It costs me every time I travel to an event and speak. I give pieces of myself away in speaking, counseling, praying … walking with wounded women who need a helping hand. Physically, it takes me a few days to recover after an event. The stress of flying and travel has a hefty price tag dangling from it. But it is a price I pay with absolute joy – knowing it pleases my Father – knowing it is a step of obedience in the plan He created just for me.
You see, I am not an accident, although I may not have been planned by my father and mother. Even though I was not wanted or planned in the heart and mind of man, I was planned and wanted in the heart and mind of God. Oh friend, that is more than enough for every step I take, whether it is in the midst of a hellish storm or in a sweet and peaceful valley.
The plan came first!
God created me in response to the perfect plan He has for me. And because He created me with a plan in mind, I am at rest in Him.
I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken (Psalm 62:1-2).
Father, I am tired today. I need Your strength to go on. I want to walk in obedience to Your plan for my life for as long as I possibly can. Thank You for the privilege of serving You. Thank You for including me in your plan. You didn’t have to … but You did! And I praise You and celebrate the life You have given me. Help me to be faithful.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 139:13-14 once a day this week. You are loved, chosen and wanted by God. Celebrate the incredible fact that you were created by God – for God.
More from the Girlfriends
You can’t eliminate stress, but you can learn to control stress before it controls you. In her book, Escaping the Stress Trap, Mary Southerland transforms the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps that will hand you the keys to stress management.