Monday, May 3, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Our Journey Begins!"

I thought this day might never come! It's the first official day of our Breaking Free Journey!

Whether you've signed up to follow along with the book or you just want to read the blog posts each day, I believe God will do amazing and wonderful things in and through you as you yield to Him and yearn to break free from that which binds you.

I have been praying for each and everyone of you and I'm SO excited that you are joining me on this journey to freedom! Grab your Bible, Breaking Free book, journal, water bottle (or coffee ; ) and a snack (or breakfast ; ).

Let's GO!

I first read the preface and introduction of Breaking Free on March 24th of this year at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Charlotte, NC. I knew I needed to break free from something that was still holding me back, and I knew I had just the right bible study to help me discover freedom in Christ. I was ready to begin the journey alone when I felt God speaking to me about inviting other women to join me.

What? I could do this on my own; however, God had a different plan (see 3/25 blog post for more of the story).

If you have been following my blog and/or in recent contact with me, then you know I wanted this bible study to begin on April 19th. I had "the perfect plan" laid out for how I would study each section. I wanted the study to perfectly coincide with the personal retreat I felt led to attend in Mid-May. I was jumping the gun to get the ball rolling when I felt the tug to include others. When I obediently followed the tug, I expected 2 or 3 of my closest friends to join in and begin with me on April 19th. That was cool with me... I like small groups.

Wonderful plan, right? Not! Look more closely (if you haven't figured it out). There's a glitch (to the tenth power ; ) in the plan.

I this... I that... Me, Myself and I

While I did feel led to begin this study, I don't believe God led me to do all the planning. He already had the plan: All He asked me to do was facilitate (to know me is to know that I like to plan, so it's no big surprise that I jumped right to this task).

God let me do the planning for a while, and I imagine that He was amused by my efforts. Then, things started changing.

Some of you wrote to tell me that you were interested but couldn't get the book quickly enough or were concerned that your book wouldn't arrive in time. THANK YOU for writing! Those e-mails made me stop and question my "perfect plan" and forced me to look up and seek God's Perfect Plan for our study.

After a lot of prayer and thought, I felt like May 3rd would be a good start date. I kept questioning God... asking Him if we could move it up to maybe April 26th or the 29th... May 3rd seemed so far away.

Long story shorter, May 3rd stuck and here we are!

I can already see the good in God's Perfect Plan.

As I sat down to pray over the schedule for this study, I felt that it was important to spend extra time on Parts 1, 2 plus extra special attention to Part 3. As I laid out the schedule on the calendar, I saw a perfect fit! The part I felt led to spend the most time on fell right in line with my pre-scheduled personal retreat! Even the break I intended to take afterwards falls right in line with Memorial Day AND the study ends the Friday before the 1st July 4th holiday week!!!

It's amazing what God can do when I set aside MY agenda, get still and trust Him!

Here's another cool thing: I have a beautiful journal that has pre-printed Scripture on each page. On the page where I started writing the above story, there is an appropriate Bible verse...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV

How true! How poetic! That God!

He is working for your good as well. He has gone before you, preparing this journey just for you. He has called you to this journey, and He won't leave you at the beginning to set out on your own. He will be with you all the way through and beyond. He has prosperous, perfect plans for your future (see Jeremiah 29:11).

I really like how Beth Moore explains that our journey will be a process. Things may not click right away, but be patient. With any process there is a multitude of feelings and experiences. I don't expect our journey to be any different.

So, let's press on... toward the goal for the prize that awaits us... FREEDOM!

Keep your eyes forward, on the prize, and don't stop to look back unless you hear a sister calling for help. She may have fallen and can't get up ; ) .

What spoke to you most in the preface and introduction?

Do you see yourself in any of the lessons that Beth describes?

What lesson do you think you need the most? The least?

What did you want to underline or highlight but were afraid to for fear that someone might pick up your book and find out too much about you?

What lesson do you think you need the most? The least?

What are your answers to the study questions in the back of the book?

Feel free to answer any of the questions above in the comments section below. You are also welcome to comment on anything, anytime. Don't forget about our prayer requests. Stop, Drop and Pray.

I look forward to the journey ahead! Let's BREAK FREE!!!!!!!!!

Shelly Says ~ "Stop, Drop and Pray"

There is so much power in prayer.

This is an ongoing list of requests. Feel free to visit often, add requests in the comments section, and pray often.

I will Stop, Drop and Pray for you.