Friday, March 30, 2007

His Mysterious Ways

Many years ago, God laid on my heart to start a group for women, who had been abused either in childhood, or present day circumstances. As many of you know, when abused in childhood, you can carry that baggage with you into adulthood. Getting saved, helps so much! When I first got saved, God began dealing with me....on issue after issue. One at a time, He would bring something back to my memory. I had to work through it, all the while, He would give me the scriptures that I needed to instill in my soul, to get through it. It was quite a long process, which I still find myself going through
even to today. I'm far from perfect! I always tell people not to look to me as being the best Christian, because
I'm not. I sin DAILY. I'm probably the worst Christian on planet earth! But I do try, and I think God honors that:)

Before I started the group, I asked God for confirmations. Being in the lime light of anything, is not my thing. Being in front of people, trying to lead them, is also not my thing. I'm the most back ward person you would probably ever meet! So why did He want me to do this? Because I was there, and if I hadn't done it, He would have asked someone else, hoping that they would do it. There was a need of this type of group in our church. God gave me MANY confirmations, from people that had no idea what God had spoken to my heart. The last confirmation, sealed the deal. There was a man that lived far away from our church. He was a very well known speaker. On a Wednesday night, my husband and I were walking into the church. The pastor was outside talking to some people. A car drove up, and it was this man. He rolled down his window, and asked the minister if he could speak at our church that night. He wasn't scheduled to speak there at all! The pastor recognised him immediately, and was stunned that THIS man would want to speak at our church. He welcomed him to speak The man explained that the Lord had spoken to him, and wanted him to speak to our church that very night. I forgot to mention that as the confirmations had been coming in that I start this group, also were the negative respones's of others. I had told God that morning, that He make it VERY CLEAR that I do this, that very day. Or I would give up on it, and chalk it off as my own imagination. Little did I know, that God had sent this wonderful man to confirm it to me.


The man was a dynamic speaker! Everything that God had put on my heart to do, this man said! He said that God wanted our church to be a healing center, an emergency room, for wounded spirits. The man went into how he had been abused as a child. One of his parents had been an alcoholic.We all know the problems that can have in a family. He also went on to say that God would not let him rest, until he came to tell our church of God's plan for us. He said that God had the people ready to start this group. I almost fell over! To have God confirm all this
to me, was surreal! Also, all the people that had openly rebuked me, for even thinking that God would tell me to start a group of this nature, were also hearing this dynamic speakers words! The "nay-sayers" reasoning for this, was that once you were saved, all things are made new. So NO ONE should have problems that stemmed back from childhood. After this man's serman, I knew absolutely that it wasn't my imagination, and nothing nor anyone could stop me from doing God's work.

The pastor was all for it, especially after the speakers sermon. I had no idea how to do a group like this, so I went to the Christian Book Store, to look for a book.There were so many books on the subject, I had no idea which one to buy. So I asked God to lead me to the right one. On this rack of 100's of books, one stood out. It was a book I wouldn't have even chosen, because the cover of the book was so unattractive. The name of the book was "Pain And Pretending" by Rich Buhler. To this day, I remember the name of that book, and the author...which in itself is a miracle! My next thought was that I was like this book. I didn't stand out as anyone that God would choose. Without even opening the book to look at it, I took it up to the register and bought it. After getting it home and beginning to read it, I knew why God had chosen this book.

The group was announced, and to my shock there were quite a few people on that first night. One of the people that I asked to help me, was a counselor at a children's home. I also had two other ladies that vowed their help too. We didn't know how to even begin, so we started with prayer. Then we introduced ourselves, and began reading the book out loud. Each time we met, we did the same thing...prayed, read the book, and discussed what we read, then prayed again for each person before we left. God was leading this group, not me. I usually went in unprepared, because I had no idea how to lead. I said a little prayer on my way into the church, asking God to lead it. We would only read a few paragraphs out loud, before someone would stop the reading and begin telling us their story. Usually with tears, and then someone else would tell their story. The people that had told their stories, were prayed for before they left. It took us almost a year to finish this book! God was healing broken hearts:)

Half way through that first year, we were reading about jealousy. One of the ladies that had started to come to our group, was someone that I knew didn't need this group. I wondered why she had come. As we read, this woman stopped the reading, and began talking. This was how the book worked, the Holy Spirit would gently nudge people about things in their own life, and they would talk about it. She said that she had been very jealous of someone in our group. The next words out of her mouth was that I was the object of her jealousy.
I know my mouth probably flew open, as did everyone else's!

She went on to tell me why she had been so jealous. All of the reasons I won't even mention, because they are not important. My first reaction was to laugh. Which I believe
shocked her, and everyone else. I couldn't imagine anyone, especially her, being jealous of me! After I composed myself, I told her that I had always admired her and her family.
I was drawn to them, from the first time I had come to that church. I loved the closeness I saw in all of them. She had a beautiful family, a wonderful husband, a nice home, nice clothes (I bought mine at garage sales!), and I couldn't imagine her of all people being jealous of me. She asked me to forgive her, which I did immediately. We both hugged each other.

Then she told me that the pastor had sent her to our group to spy on me. He was afraid that the group wouldn't be "Godly". Again my mouth flew open. Because he seemed to be very supportive to my face. She said she wouldn't be back to our group anymore, and that she would tell the pastor what a fine job we were doing, and that she would never do anything like that again for him. The group that I started remained in place for four years. Other churches that heard of our group, were asking for information on how to start a group in their own Church. As I said before, this wasn't my idea or group, but God's. As long as you solely rely on Him, He will do the rest! I love the way the Holy Spirit works:)

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