I began to draw near to him and therefore my heart started to change. I wanted to know Him more, I wanted to be like Him, I was chasing after Him.
As I drew closer to God I started to get a desire on my heart to minister to other women and girls. I wanted to be around ladies who were like me and to use what God had taught me to minister to them.
I continued to move forward in life, not really pursuing that desire, but assuming God would just drop those opportunities into my life.
Throughout the years, God never dropped those opportunities in my life and I let that desire fizzle. It seemed like it no longer applied in my life. Just a silly thought that I had in college.
Over time I became involved in a church in my college town only to eventually get hurt in some friendships at that church. Which then led me to leave that church. I did not walk away from church completely, but I walked away from that church with hurt feelings and the beginning signs of bitterness. Dangerous.
I also "realized" that the desire I had to minister to other women was something I concocted myself. I was not worthy enough to minister to other women. This is the lie that was fed to me (not through any person but through the enemy) and I believed it fully.
Years later I married Luke and we continued our roles at our church where we had attended for several years prior to getting married. I had long since abandoned the idea of ministering to others. Years of codling bitterness, and believing lies had led me to a place where the voice of God was fuzzy and distant.
And to be honest I didn't feel that I ever had the opportunity to minister to women. You see when I first had the thoughts of reaching out to others I had a picture of the people I would be talking with.
We all looked alike, and thought alike. They were basically little replicas of me in every way.
Looking around my church, at the place where I thought I would connect with people I saw many women, men and teenagers who looked nothing like me. NOTHING like I had pictured.
If I was to show you pictures of these people you would see they are not like me.
Some are not the same color as me.
Some are not in the same economic status as me.
Some do not have the same educational status that I have.
Some have seen more hurt from this world then I could even imagine.
They do not wear the same clothes I wear.
They do not get their hair highlighted every other month because heaven forbid their true roots start showing, nor do they go buy a new outfit for every small event they attend, because repeating an outfit would just be a travesty.
At first, because it was natural to me I became bitter with the fact that God placed me in a situation where I had very little in common with most around me. This is not what I had pictured. This was simply not fair.
But throughout time my heart began to grow a little at at a time, and I realized that this was in fact what He always had in mind.
He did not intend for me to stay in my comfort zone, nursing my prideful self as I connected with other women about our favorite purses, our stores of choice when shopping and our similar desires in life.
No the people that I am around are not like me in those ways. But they are like me in the way that we are both sinners, we both have a longing in our hearts to be rescued from this world. To know Somebody who is greater than ourselves and saves us from ourselves.
I soon realized that He wanted me to grow, to get out of my comfort zone and see His people. Not the people that I want to see but the people that need to be seen. The hurt, the lost, the people that I don't relate to at all. The people who need a Savior. A Savior that I know and can show to them.
I will admit it has taken me a lot of time to humble myself enough to see what God is teaching me. Sometimes God can be trying to teach us something but we put up enough blinders and earplugs that we completely miss out on his teachings - and believe me I put up enough blinders and earplugs that I had to do a lot of shedding to finally see and hear what God intended for me.
I've realized, that though it may not seem like it at the time, our lives are always better when we listen to Him.
I learned that waiting for God to "drop" opportunities in my lap to minister to others is completely ridiculous. I am surrounded by opportunities every single day. It's how I choose to use these opportunities that is up to me.
And I'm still learning. God is teaching me so much through this particular area of my life. I can only imagine what else I have to learn. One thing I know is that it may not always be comfortable but it will be amazing.