Woman to Woman is sponsored by Morning Glory at Seeds From My Garden and Lei at My Many Colored Days. You can go to their posts to learn more about WTW. The topic for this edition is Celebrate Me!
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
My life has been full of variety and ever-changing phases. I have been a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, and friend. I was at one time a stay at home mom. Professionally I have been a writer, a teacher, and a principal. As a student I attended three universities. I have been the wife to a remarkable man. In all of these roles I have experienced many successes--and had a few episodes I wish I could do over!
As I approached this Woman to Woman topic, Celebrate Me, I found myself resisting the urge to explore those familiar roles and, instead, examining the latest phase of my life journey. I analyzed what I consider to be some of my personal strengths: flexibility, intelligence, caring spirit, dependability, and honesty. Finally, I decided to look beyond those characteristics. I attempted to simply answer the question so many friends have asked recently, "How do you do it?"
perhaps you have come
to the kingdom
for such a time as this.
Esther 4:14c (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The last two years of my life have been a challenge. When my husband became so critically ill that we both were forced to retire, I thought that I would never really be able to meet the challenge. I was terrified and I felt unprepared and unworthy for the task. One of the things I have come to understand in this particular part of our journey is that God has been preparing me for this role all of my life. HE has mercifully given me the required emotional and spiritual strength to face each day's trials. HE has blended into me the personality traits, characteristics, and even quirks necessary to accept detours in life's journey. HE provided me with opportunities--education and life experiences--that prepared me to make difficult and unexpected decisions. Without my realizing it HE was preparing me to meet the challenge.
God has been leading me spiritually my entire life. HE has stayed with me even when I was not as receptive as I should have been. HE put some remarkable people in my life to direct me in the right way. My mother, Beulah, who died when I was seven, introduced me to Jesus. I was living with my Aunt Frankie and Uncle Ed when, at the tender age of eight, I accepted Christ as my savior. My dad, Charlie, made sure that, throughout my childhood and teen years, I was in church almost every time the doors opened. My husband, Mr. L. has a deep relationship with the Lord, and has been the spiritual leader in our home. My husband's career in religious publishing has given us opportunities to meet and be touched by some Christian leaders who walk closely with the Lord. I have had the opportunity to study with some truly anointed Bible teachers.
Does my relationship with all those people assure that I have a relationship with the Lord. Has our family escaped dark and troubled times. No! NO, of course not. But the foundation has always been there. There has always been a path back to the walk with Him. The struggle will always be there and Christians will experience it over and over. The enemy is going to work to lead us from that path, from that walk.
Even in the trials and the emotional upheaval of the last two years I have felt the strength I need for this portion of the journey. Early in this stage I received a very definite message from the Lord. I was headed to bed late one night. My husband had been home for the hospital just a few days and, honestly, I was exhausted. As I went to bed I picked up my Bible. I was really too tired to read, but I felt led. I just opened the Bible and was struck by the passage that appeared before me. I read just what I needed to hear:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.