Message from Christine Abraham: People do not call us to lead ministries. Only God has the position to call us into this role in His Kingdom, for His purpose, and for His will. It has been my personal experience that He will not gently nudge you into ministry. He will boldly call you to step into the role He has designed for you.
I remember the day God called me to create the first online Bible study for women. He prepared the path ahead of me, and I think its uniqueness is worth sharing to help you identity your own calling.
God had been preparing me to create online Bible studies for women, though I did not realize this at the time. First, God sent me to a local church Bible study group where I witnessed personal challenges of women attending local groups. Another woman in my group was a celebrity and found transparency difficult; she worried about gossip. The leader in my group was suffering the damaging effects of anorexia, and she arrived each week wearing an oxygen tank and a wheelchair, weakening in her strength and ability. Another woman had a severe leg injury and walking from the church doors to the upstairs meeting room was excruciating for her each week. Lastly, one woman had a child with autism and each week as she prepared to attend local Bible study, her child had an episode requiring her immediate attention. I observed these women were passionate about fellowship and learning Scripture, yet faced hardships that prevented them from weekly attendance. Many eventually dropped out of the study and completed their Bible study alone at home.
While I witnessed suffering from women in church, I also witnessed suffering from my close friends. One friend fought terminal leukemia with her two-year old daughter. Linda and her daughter Katie were isolated inside a children’s hospital 1,200 miles away from home, church and friends. They were in the hospital for one year battling childhood cancer together. Praise God, Katie is a cancer survivor today, and led 600 people to register for the National Marrow Donor Registry. It rested upon my heart that many women were in hospitals caring for children, spouses, family members or even battling their own health issues. God placed a seed in my heart to connect these isolated women with other Christian woman during difficult seasons of their lives. With eyes of compassion and love, I saw how difficult it was for them to fellowship and study Scripture during a time they needed God most.
Next, God called me to a small business, designing LifeVerse® Jewelry with scripture verses. To operate the business I learned the skills of blogging, online marketing, social media and connecting with women. While I was educating myself on these skills, I never realized God was preparing me to use them in a manner that magnified His plan and His purpose for my life. I remember the day Christian Work At Home Ministries asked me if I wanted to join a blogging team to review Christian books. Seeking content and article ideas for my jewelry blog, I accepted the invitation and my first book from a publisher arrived. I laughed hysterically when I unwrapped the packaging, saying “God, are you trying to tell me something here?”
I don’t ordinarily laugh when books arrive in the mail. You see, the book this publisher sent for me to review- with a deadline review date- was written by the women’s ministry leader from my church. What made me laugh even harder is that I had three copies of this book on my bookshelf: I purchased one, I received one as a gift from a womens conference I attended, and now I had a third copy of “A Different Kind of WILD: Is Your Faith Too Tame?” by Debbie Alsdorf, with an appointed deadline for reading it. I was certain God wanted me to read it as soon as possible, so I did! Halfway through the book I laughed and asked “You aren’t going to make me lead a Bible study for women, are you God?” It was the laughter of joy and not the laughter of doubt. I knew God was calling me into service and was delighted by the experience.
My calling was a blessing and a joy, and I pray yours will be too. With certainty God was leading me into unchartered territory and with childlike faith I followed Him there. This was not a gentle nudge; it was a personal relationship of trusting God. This was not a friend or family member complementing me on my abilities and fueling my pride. In fact, when I asked God if He was going to make me lead Bible studies the first words I heard in my heart from Him were “You can’t lead with pride.” He followed this with “You can’t lead for profit.” I accepted the call to lead humbly, without profit. My ego would not profit nor would my bank account. Yielded and surrender to a loving God, I became His vessel.