Do you ever wonder why your plans just don't work out at times? I did too, but I think I'm beginning to learn not to be so disappointed when they don't pan out like I planned. Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps". That sort of sums it up doesn't it.
Three years ago, when my husband and I were transferred to the church we now serve, we didn't know what to expect. We went from a city church of a thousand members to a one hundred fifty member church - in the country. Someone said during the introductory meeting with the staff-parish people, that I looked like a deer seeing headlights. They were so kind and welcoming though, I don't remember feeling anything but acceptance.
After the first service my husband preached, we stood at the back and greeted everyone. I kept seeing two women letting people in front of them at the end of the line. I wondered why they wanted to be the last ones to greet us. When they reached us, they hugged us and welcomed us, then pulled me off to the side to talk. They said they had been hungry for a women's group and Bible study and hoped that I would help. They said they were meeting the next day and invited me to be there to talk about some possibilities they had been discussing. My response was, "Give me a few weeks to get settled in and then I'll be ready to dig in". They said they were going to meet anyway if that was okay. I said," absolutely".
That night the Lord woke me up and said, "I want you to go to that meeting". I've learned to listen to him even when I don't want to. So, I called them and told them I'd be there. It was a lovely meeting with the two of them, Joann and Roberta. We prayed and instantly felt a bond in the Lord. To this day we still feel that bond. From that meeting the Women's Fellowship Ministry was born.
The first thing the Lord did was bring a dream alive Joann had been praying about. She wanted women to come together and work with their hands while sharing their hearts. We now have a group called Hands of Hope, who meet once a week in what we call The Fellowship House. They crochet, knit and create things to give to those in need, whether it is hats, scarves, lap quilts, or prayer shawls. And they share their prayer concerns and pray. They have been meeting for three years now.
The other thing we started was a newsletter. It includes invitations to the churches events if anyone is interested. We started sending it to 200 women in the community and now to 700. We don't know these women and they don't attend our church. We just wanted to encourage women in their walk with the Lord and share His Word. We never put any pressure to belong to our church.
We also started having one major Bible study a year that goes for ten or eleven weeks, with homework. We look forward to this one big study in the fall to get together. Through the year they attend their Sunday School classes where they study on a regular basis.
So, that is how Women's Fellowship Ministries and this blog started. I came to this church with other plans, but God's plans included bringing women together, the newsletter and a Bible Study. All three of these things have lasted three years. We have tried other things, but nothing happened. We know these are of God because they have lasted.
You just never know what the Lord is orchestrating. Planning ourselves is important. Psalm 20:4 says, "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed". The Amplified version reads, "May He grant you according to your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans".
God wants us to plan, however, we need to include God in the planning and ask Him to interrupt the plans if it is not of Him or if He wants to do things differently.
In His Hands,