The thing I am missing the most during the pandemic is not being able to be in ministry in the presence of other women in person. I long to again walk into a large room percolating and brimming, full of fellow sisters ready to dive into Bible study, eager to learn golden truth-nuggets tucked in God's word. I miss being together and getting to talk about our week's happenings face to face and in a shared space, elbows close. Do not get me wrong - I am very grateful that I am still able to enjoy doing this online - any time in this with my beloved sisters is good and precious, but a girl can still dream right?
Technology during this strange, broken time has been an unexpected blessing in many ways. Thankfully I still get to see the beautiful faces and hear my sister's voices, but nothing beats a big, squeezing hug from a friend and Godly girl-talk around a table for me. Each time we "get together" I want to jump through the screen and be in their presence!
I feel like the title of this season could share that of a once popular movie: "Girl, Interrupted". Last year, just when it felt like the wheels were beginning to turn and burn in my mission for God's kingdom in ministry for the women in my church, everything I was picturing for my future came to a screeching standstill. Just when I had gotten into a weekly rhythm of planning, co-teaching and filling up my true-joy-cup by using my spiritual gifts to glorify God, it all just stopped.
Recently, feeling adrift, somewhat frustrated and confused, I brought my wrung-out hopes to God during my morning prayer time: “Lord, I feel so lost right now. I sense strongly like you have given me a purpose to be in women's ministry work vocationally, but from where I stand now, I cannot see how it is possible.”
Finally, I step out of my own headspace and foggy understanding and ask Him in urgent wonder: “When will Your desired plans for me fully begin?” As clear as a bell ringing in my ear, I heard Him say in my spirit “Be patient, your purpose is growing in the womb of My grace”.
That ending phrase softly blanketed my heart and mind in peace. It kept circling, slowly turning; “The womb of My grace, the womb of My grace”. Wow. I knew that must have been from God, my own mind did not come up with that phrase; it was surely from above and helped me come back into focus and the solid ground of "Thy will be done" - oh yeah, and in Your timing too God.
I decided right then and there to stop pushing my own agenda and timetable and wait on Him. After all, I know that there is nothing I can do to improve upon His timing and ways anyhow:
“God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 CEV)
This verse tells us that God does not mind our questions in the least. Even better, He actually plants them in us so we will stay in the space of wonder and conversation with Him about our lives. But, this also tells us to wait for His predetermined "right time". Staying patient is a special skill some people have, I sure wish I were one of them. If you are, please write an instruction manual for the rest of us. Show us the secret formula.
When I was pregnant with my two kids, I remember that with both as I reached week thirty or so of the pregnancies, the ache to meet them rose to crescendo levels. All I wanted was to see them, hold them, kiss them, smell them. But, of course, no matter my own preferences, I had to wait, hard as it was. Have you ever felt like this while waiting for something good? So tough!
What we all must remember is that with any premature birth comes complications and many fearful moments. So, in our excitement to see the face of a new and beautiful thing, we must remember that He is sovereign and knows the end from the beginning. So waiting on Him in full trust is truly our very best choice.
As we wait on the bench for whatever is on our heart's vision board, we should rest and be still as fresh and wonderful things grow in the womb of His almighty, all-knowing and all-amazing grace. I must admit, now that I have settled down, it feels pretty cozy in here. I think I can get used to this, until the time is right. Resting in the place of grace-filled expectation.
Question: Are you able to trust that God's timing and plans for you are perfect? If not, pray about this and ask Him to give you peace in it this week.