"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Lady in Waiting

There have been several times where I can look back and know now that they were pivotal points in my life and in my relationship with the Lord. Some of these being my salvation at age 8, Sondays Camp every summer in high school, deciding reluctantly to go to SFA for college over Baylor, getting engaged and then married to the man of my dreams, having my 1st baby, my hubby becoming a 1st time pastor and so on...

I did this Bible study in high school with a group of my besties that would change my life "forever" called Lady in Waiting. It is a study based on the book of Ruth that encourages young women to take on the character of Ruth when waiting on your future husband. Simple enough. For some reason, this is the particular time in my walk with the Lord where He really captured my heart. I had always been a girl that was a little boy-crazy and for some reason I always felt as though when I had a boy on my arm I was more complete and that couldn't have been further from the truth. I started looking to God to fill in the gaps and He started to become my contentment. I guess you could say that I started "dating" Jesus. It was like that Lord told me during this period that it was time to get serious and more passionate about Him and the future He had for my life. I had already felt a calling into the ministry a year or 2 earlier and I knew I was going to marry a minister of some type. (You might be thinking - ok a little weird, but I remember meeting with my youth pastor and asking him if I was like the weirdest girl on the planet and then him telling me that his wife felt the same calling as a young woman:)

I just had a deep desire to know the Lord and to become all He desired me to be. I wanted to recklessly abandon myself to Him and be a woman of conviction and commitment with patience like this study taught. I also remember going on a "date fast" where I would pray about going out with guys before I said yes. (Seriously, a guy asked me out my first semester of college and I told him I needed to pray about it and could I get back with him and he looked at me like I was super crazy and told me never mind! Obviously, he was not worth wasting my time dating!)It was also during this study that I started writing letters to mu future husband whenever the Lord laid him on my heart. I didn't tell anyone about this (not even my precious sister). I only wrote about 5 letters to Andrew before I met him, but I did make a list of about 30 things I wanted in a guy that I was not settling less for. (And my sweet husband meets ALL of them - it is quite funny to look back over the list:)The amazing thing about this very simple journal was that about 5 minutes before I walked down the aisle to be married to my knight, I got to complete it with a letter to Andrew and then give it to him on our wedding night. Andrew and I also went through Lady in Waiting together during our engagement b/c I wanted to share with him all that the Lord had taught me and how I had waited and prayed for him. Precious memories!

I know that many of you know my testimony, but some of you don't so I thought I would share that I did get engaged at 19 and married at 20 and my own wedding was one of the 1st I ever even went to! I didn't know at the time why I was getting married so young except for the fact that I was in love with Andrew and that he was 5 years older than me and already out of college and we didn't see the need to wait. Well, about 6 months into marriage, I started having problems and issues that didn't seem normal during those "intimate moments". It turned out that I had a softball-size cyst that had completely covered my right ovary and was heading to my left. The doc said I was about 6 months from losing both of my ovaries and that I needed surgery immediately to remove it. That would have meant no kiddos and even though I was in college to be a teacher I knew that all I wanted was to be a mom one day. So, if I wasn't married, I wouldn't have known about the cyst and I truly do believe that is one of the main reasons I married so young. Praise God that I am sitting here 3 kiddos later having the time of my life as a mom! He is so good to us!

So, the Lord has definitely given me a passion for this topic because of my own life experience. I have actually been teaching this Bible study for about 10 years (WOW!) to high school girls. The more I teach it the older I feel and I just praise God that I still feel like I can relate to them and they can relate to me. It is also WAY different teaching high school girls knowing that I have 2 future high school girls (Audrey and Ainsley) living in my house! I just wrapped up possibly my last Lady in Waiting Bible study. I think this was definitely the hardest time in my life (maybe a little too ambitious) to do this study with 3 under 3, but it was a great semester and we (my family) made it. Thanks so much to the sweet FBC Anna girls who put up with me this Fall!

I just wanted to put in an email that I received a couple of months ago as I was praying whether or not to do Lady in Waiting this semester. This is why I do ministry! It truly is because of the Lord's grace that He chooses to use me and Andrew, but this one had me in tears!

First of all your kids are adorable! I am so happy for you, and I can't believe how long ago it was that I was in youth group. I just wanted to let you know that I got married in May and I'm not sure if you remember but I did a Lady in Waiting study with you in like the eighth grade. Well, during that study you encouraged us to write how where we wanted to be spiritually before we got married and spiritual qualities that we wanted in our future husbands. Also I think I am remembering this right.. but you told us that on your wedding night you gave Andrew your purity ring SO I guess like almost ten years later here I am, married to an amazing man of God and I just wanted to thank you. You had a left a huge impression on me, and on our wedding night I gave Stuart (my husb) my purity ring and the list of spiritual qualities that I wrote down during that study. It was just so cool to me that everything I wanted spiritually the Lord completely blessed me with. I was only apart of your life for a short time, and my family didn't even go to Oak Grove, I just came with my brother Nathan on Wednesday nights. I hope all is well! Thanks again for your encouragement. Anna

I am crying again! What an incredible girl! I remember her sweet face and her story is one that I want for my daughters one day.

So sorry that this post is so long! I figured that since I hadn't posted in 2 weeks I could have a longer one! Thanks for reading!

Here are some pics of some of the precious girls who have gone through this study with me and even one of my Bible study group about 12-13 years ago!!

This was my Lady in Waiting Bible study group in high school. Sorry for the WAY bad quality - my scanner is broken so I had to take a pic of a pic with my phone! Good times! Many of these sweet girls are still very dear friends to me today ( and several of them were in my wedding!) Love you, girls!

Back L to R: Meg (Harris) Watwood, Vanessa (Monroe) Riley, Wendy Lucenay, Kylie (Lindsey) Higgins and Amy (Ginsburg) Kalenbach
Fron: Julie (I think that was her name!), me, Dawn Dixon and Lindsay (Maguire) Turner

And this is several of us now! (At Kylie's baby shower for sweet Avery last year)

These are some of our girls from Katy (minus the boys - now Seniors in college!)
More Katy girls!

These are my precious Waco Lady in Waiting girls!

I taught these girls as 7th and 8th graders and at Waco Baptist Academy and then they still wanted for me to lead them in Bible Study in high school. What an incredible bunch that I miss so much!

And these are my sweet FBC Anna girls (most of them)from this semester! What a fun group!

I am truly thankful to the Lord and amazed at how awesome He is! I am WAY behind on my posts, so there will be more coming shortly.:)


Jennifer said...

I'm not sure if you know that I've found your blog and am a reader! :) You are such a beautiful woman. By that I mean both inside and out--which I realize sounds a little cliche"ish", but really! It is neat to see into your heart through this blog. You are an encouragement. When I saw the title I was immediately taken back to the group I studied the book with at SFA. Good times! Love ya, girl!

jason dikes said...

You were only 20 when you got married? I always thought you were a bit older, Andrew never struck me as a cradle robber.

angie said...

so awesome! I just love you:)

Kylie said...

I remember the study well! The book is still on my shelf. Thank you for this post. I had no idea this was the study you taught every year. That is awesome!

Darlene said...

What a great post!!Thanks for sharing..WOW 20 huh and Pastor is 5 years older..didn't know...

SuperMom said...


Just a question for 7th grade too young for this study? At what age do you find girls are most impacted by the truths of this study? I would LOVE for Kellie-Laine to do this, as she is already seeming to be a little boy-crazy, but I want her to desire the relationship with the Lord first. I wish you were still at WBA to lead our girls through this study next year!

Oh, how I wish I had had something like this in my own life at such a confusing age!

Angela Beeler