Women Scare Me to Death

By: Sarah

Women scare me to death. Let me teach children or share my testimony before 1,000 people. No problem. But place me in front of a dozen ranging females, and my legs get wobbly.

Could it have something to do with the outrageous expectations of modern-day women’s meetings? It seems the formula is as follows:

1) Find a dynamic speaker who makes us laugh and cry while we draw closer to the Lord.

2) Coordinate the food, music, decorations, games, prizes and crafts around a cute theme.

3) Designate responsibilities for each area, letting everyone give her input and be involved.

4) Invite ladies and ask them to bring their unsaved friends.

5) Add a dash of prayer so that God will bless it.

As a rookie at coordinating ladies’ Bible studies, I am learning how all this works . . . and doesn’t work.

You see, for our meeting in March, many things fell through at the last minute. Our music and craft leaders both decided they weren’t coming . . . and didn’t tell me . . . and I found out through the grapevine the day before the meeting. Thankfully, I had an extra craft on hand, and we sang a capella. There were some unpleasant surprises the day of the meeting too, but I viewed it as a learning experience, and vowed to do better the next time.

I started with prayer. Then came the idea. Another missionary knew a nursing home resident in our town. We could visit her! “Service and Encouragement” would be our theme. We would make cards! We would be challenged with a message! As the sun shone overhead and the birds sang, we would walk to the nursing home, brimming with joy as we put our theme into action! IT WOULD BE GLORIOUS!!!

So, maybe I was too excited about revolutionizing our ladies’ meeting, but I got on the stick. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Not the “Please bless this meeting” variety, but the literally-on-my-face version as I asked God about each detail. I invited ladies online and in person. Most didn’t reply, and some had prior commitments, but several agreed to come and to invite others. After putting our baby to bed at night, I stayed up late crafting homemade cards to use as examples. A couple weeks before the meeting, the lady at the nursing home said she wasn’t going to be up to visitors after all. We checked into visiting other nursing homes, but to no avail. I kept praying, “Lord, please do what You want with this meeting. What should we do?” We decided to continue with the craft and message, but then have a small fellowship time at the end. This little change wouldn’t deter us. God had a plan!

The day before the meeting, we cleaned our house, rearranged the furniture, put down tablecloths, hung decorations, and bought more craft supplies. A few more ladies informed me they had been called in to work and couldn’t come after all. We were dwindling like Gideon’s army, but that still left 6 or more of us. We prayed for God to lead while we pressed on. Another ministry commitment kept our family out until midnight, but I finished frosting brownies at a quarter to one in the morning, and we were ready!

T minus 4 hours: the phone started firing off another round of cancellations. When the smoke had cleared, the only people still coming were the speaker and I. As much as I would have loved her message, and as much as she might have loved my brownies, we weren’t up to a one-on-one shindig. We postponed the meeting.

So what went wrong? I looked at my empty chairs (which made me sad) and my pan of brownies that we now had to eat ourselves (which didn’t make me sad), and I felt peace. I had prayed more about this meeting than any other. I am my hardest critic, but, for once, I had nothing bad to say to myself. I looked around and said, “God, here are the chairs, the food, the craft, and my house ready for this. All that was left was to plug in the glue gun. I did all I could do.”

God had a reason. Maybe it was to work in me. Maybe it was to work in someone else. Maybe I’ll never know. Since then, I’ve done the only thing I know to do — keep praying and keep working. Women still scare me, but I’m trusting God to fill my empty chairs and save their empty souls in His perfect time.

9 thoughts on “Women Scare Me to Death”

  1. I do SO much enjoy your prayer letters! Your “article” about your “empty” meeting was so fun to read….maybe you could write a column for your local paper! Seriously, it surely is hard sometimes to understand the “whys” of happenings in our lives. I know you will remain faithful to however the Lord leads you ~ (both of you).

    That little Laura is surely a cute one ~ ~ she looks so happy. I am still praying for you barber, David. Is he still open to listening?

    Time to go finish up supper, but wanted to drop a quick line back, across the wide ocean. Isn’t this technical world wonderful!?!

    An “older” friend you met at First Baptist in Marshall, MN
    Donna Dunlap

  2. Oh Sarah! How heartbreaking. We will join you in prayer for your ministry
    and your little family. ~Bonita

  3. Dear Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing so openly of how things went for this first ladies meeting. I really admire all the time that you put into this, and the hard work. I will have to say, I am very much like you in that it is so much harder to speak to a group of women than to kids or even a mixed group. I will be praying that God would continue to encourage you as you continue to take steps to reach out to the ladies He has placed along your path. We are grateful for you and David, and all that you do to share the Gospel.

    Blessings,
    Becky

    PS: I very much enjoyed reading your version of the story! You blessed my heart and encouraged me this evening.

  4. Sarah,
    I am thankful for your good attitude in all this. Most of us would have been upset, sad, then mad. You are truly a woman of grace. God knows your heart – that is all that really matters. I will be praying that the ladies ministry will grow and blossom for Jesus.
    Angie Payne

  5. Dear Sarah,
    What a great response on your part. Been there, done that! We have been in several small works and started a new work in Redwood Falls, Mn where we were when we met you at the SW missions banquet. One difference – I love speaking to ladies and wish I could do it all the time. It is the children that for me are getting more and more difficult to teach. The past 3 small works I have taugth S.S., junior church and had to play piano at times. Of course there are the chidren’s meetings, Bible Schools, and camps. as well as subbing in the public school as a para and have been a Christian SChool teacher. So…. after 40 plus years in the ministry I find it very refreshing to share with ladies and have them share back in Bible studies. I am pretty laid back but I do have a special gal in our church here in ST. James who likes to keep it fancy! Just relax, and enjoy the fellowship with ladies who all have a lot in common. Keep your sense of humor and you can handle anything with the Lord’s help! I do remember our first small church when I was about your age and I was very intinmidated by the older ladies who (had it all together)! This too shall pass! As for the not showing up, we can truly relate. It keeps us humble and praying and we will pray for you and your ministry!
    In Christ, Vera Smetak

  6. Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing! Pray for you often and will continue to do so.
    Ruth Litke
    Faith Baptist Church
    Rhinelander, Wisconsin

  7. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I pray for you all on a regular basis. And we’ve found your missionary letters to be the most enjoyable and interesting to read. So, thankful that God is letting you shine in a very dark place.

  8. Sarah,

    Thank you for your faithfulness to pray, prepare, and respond in willing submission to God at work in even the circumstances that we don’t understand, which can be humurous, sometimes, in retrospect! 🙂 Thanks for honestly sharing! I can identify on several accounts! Praying that God will indeed fill those chairs and hearts for His glory and honor!

    Blessings,
    LOri

  9. Thank you very much to send to us. Ur baby is so cute and beautiful. I’m sure that ur family are so proud. Pls keep touch and send to me.
    God Bless Ur Family
    Love in Christ, Margaret and Jerry Lee Collins

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