Monday, March 30

Jonah and the She Cells: This ain't no fish story

God began whispering strange things in my heart shortly after I got home from the women's JaNUary retreat in the mountains. I know I was still Spirit-high and open to His voice from three days of non-stop study, worship, and fellowship, but I could have sworn I heard Him encouraging (commanding? gulp) me to start a women's small group. Me? Eeek!

I have to tell you, my instinct was to make like like Jonah and run screaming in the opposite direction. But when God really wants you to do something, He doesn't give up easily, ya know?

I went back and forth, one day listening and obedient, excited, and ready to step out in faith, and the next convincing myself I can't. I'm not the right kind of woman to do this. I don't know enough. I have too many faults. I'm not a "leader". I'm not good enough... Well, you've probably told yourselves similar things at times, am I right?

It didn't matter how many times I said, "No, because.."; God refused to take "No" or "because" for an answer. He kept whispering, nudging, prodding, and nagging me. His Affirmations were delivered through church members, through devotions, through songs, through His Word, and through prayer.

Way back in January, when God caught me off guard, fresh from being filled at His well, and I was on fire for Him - filled with confidence that YES God DID want ME to do something - I listed a few women He put on my heart, and I started praying for them. For a time. But the fire was banked and I only occasionally remembered them in my prayers or devotion time.

When our Women's Ministry team started the "She Cells" program this month (in-home discipleship groups for women), I thought about my (God's) list, but I still wasn't convinced that I was supposed to be a small-group leader. I was just going to be a group MEMBER and try to fit in somewhere with these women.

God's timing is very cool (I know, you know that, but read on to see how cool.)

The day before the She Cells orientation meeting, I was reading in Exodus 3-4 about Moses receiving his call from God -- he was to go to Pharaoh and tell him God says, "Let my people go." As I read the excuses that Moses gave God as to why he couldn't possibly do what God chose him to do, I started recognizing myself, and I chuckled and shook my head. "Yep, me too, Moses. Me too."

"Who am I that I should go....";

"But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice";

"O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I [am] slow of speech and slow of tongue."

As I read God's answers to Moses last (and final) excuse, these Words jumped off the page and smacked me in the forehead ...

"Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say." (Ex 4:12)

I kept trying to read on, but I couldn't. My eyes (and my heart) kept boomeranging back to Verse 12.

Questions were answered and I was convicted to make a decision, and neither the questions nor the decision were my conscious thoughts - I was deep into Moses's story!

Since I could no longer concentrate on the dilemma Moses was facing, I wrote God's words to me from Exodus 4:12 in my journal. Then I wrote out my fears, and I prayed.

God convinced me that it was time to stop running away.

Tomorrow night is the first night of my She Cell. The perfect study-theme and curriculum came via's bi-weekly email - at half price - the day after I made the decision. Five of the seven women on my (God's) list are in my group, plus five more. I am so psyched about what my God is doing!

(But please don't hesitate to say a prayer for me anyway..)


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)