The last 3 chapters of Part 3 in our study deal with the heart. My heart has been broken by betrayal and loss, but PRAISE GOD it has also been mended by truth!
Today, I want to share a story with you. The whole thing spans the length of my existence here on Earth, so I will not be able to type out the whole story (nor do I imagine you'd like to be sitting at your computer for days on end ;).
I would like to share the short version though, but before I do, it's important for me that you understand a few things:
I do not blame anyone besides satan. There is no one person or group of people responsible for what happened to me. I truly believe satan was behind it all along. He would have loved to see me miss my calling.
I mean no harm or disrespect to any religion, denomination, set of beliefs or morals when I tell you this story. This is simply about what I'm learning by reading the Bible myself and allowing God to speak to me, personally.
I tell you this story because I want you to see how God is working in my life, and I want to praise Him for all He has done!
I tell you this story because that's one reason we're on this journey together... to share in the learning, triumphs and sadness of it all.
I tell you this story because the truth set me free!
I grew up in an environment where women were not allowed to speak with authority in the church. They were expected to "keep silent" in part due to what 1 Timothy 2:11-12 says: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
I grew up believing that women should not teach or preach in front of the church as a whole. While I don't remember a sermon on 1 Timothy, I do remember hearing the words, "Women are to be silent in the church."
Now, fast forward to the present. For some time now (about a year and a half), I have been feeling like God has a plan for me. To make a long story short, I have been feeling a call to vocational ministry.
This is something that I began to talk to my pastors about. I also began praying earnestly that God would reveal His will.
There was a big problem: While I felt the call, something was holding me back. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was never moving forward with the call. I was always standing still and rehashing the same information over and over: God was calling me to vocational ministry and I knew how to pursue it. I just didn't move forward.
Looking at the circumstances, I was "doing the right thing." I felt like God was speaking to me and I sought wise counsel to help discern this call. I found out the steps to take when discerning a call.
Something was holding me back, though.
It wasn't until Tuesday, May 18th that I realized the problem. As I toured the ancient ruins during our week unplugged, I found a key that unlocked the deepest, darkest places of my soul. There, behind cobwebs and loads of dust, I found the reason I couldn't answer my call: Women aren't supposed to do what I've been called by God to do. That was my belief system... tucked snugly away in the depths of my being. I was operating under a belief system that I didn't even realize I had. Does that make any sense?
So, I began to challenge "my beliefs" only to realize they weren't my beliefs at all. These "beliefs" were thoughts that were fed to me early on in life... passed down generation to generation. I believe that because they were a part of me (in my soul - mind), I was afraid to answer the call to vocational ministry.
As I pondered why I felt this way about the role of a woman in the Body of Christ, I opened my Bible to search for Scripture that might help me understand these things I had heard as a child.
Please believe me when I say that I opened my Bible directly to 1 Timothy (not knowing that's where the "women keep silent" stuff is). There on the pages of my Bible were the exact set of verses I needed to read. Chapter 2 stared back at me.
Now, again... you can see that this is a long story... I do apologize... but to try and wrap it up...
This is what I believe after reading the entire context of those Scriptures and researching the time frame/context: 1 Timothy is a letter from Paul who is speaking about uneducated women. Women were not allowed to learn back in that time, so it is understandable why they would not be allowed to teach or preach. No one should just start teaching and preaching something when they don't know what they're talking about.
Okay, again, long story and a whole lot involved here... but, when God opened my eyes to the truths in Scripture, it set me free from the stronghold that was keeping me from moving forward and answering the call.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28
When the veil was torn, the liberty bell rang!
And as of Wednesday, May 19th, I was free to explore my call to vocational ministry!!! Sweet Mercy!!!
The stronghold was released!!! I cannot even begin to describe the FREEDOM I felt because you might be here for another hour reading
It was an AWESOME feeling(s)! I felt very educated, for one ; )
I realize that a lot of people will not agree with my revelation, and I also realize that this is a touchy subject for many. Please understand that I do not mean any disrespect to what anyone believes. This is only my opinion and experience.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.
I had no intentions at the beginning of this blog to include this next part, but I am feeling like I should.
There is a way you can partner with me to help me run towards this call with all that I have and all that I am. I am feeling led to attend an equipping conference called "She Speaks." I cannot do it alone. I need your help through prayer and/or monetary donations. Even $5 would help me advance toward the call to vocational ministry. I promise, you will be blessed because of it. I am convinced that God is calling me to this, and I know He blesses His work and those involved in it. He promised it and He does it.
Prayer is the most important part. Please pray for me.
Below, I will provide links so that you can read more. If you feel led to pray and/or give, please know that I cherish your support. If you are not feeling led to help at this time, I still thank God for you and I am thankful that you are reading my blog.
Stop, Drop and Pray for our Breaking Free journey and the women who have concerns.
Tomorrow, we are moving on to Part 4 or what I'd like to call "Reconstruction!" I'm as excited as ever to continue on this journey with you!!!
Blog entries with more details:
Website for the conference: