When I was hired as church secretary I thought it was the best job in the world. I loved it – I loved creating publications, communicating, and editing. I prayed over each bulletin as I folded it, I prayed in the Sanctuary walking up and down the aisles. I was eager for Sunday, eager for worship, eager for God’s people to gather together under His Word.
But there was a part that I wasn’t prepared for.
Although I really liked people, I didn’t realize they would come to me to talk about their problems.
I have to confess that I did a terrible job in this area. I wanted to comfort, I wanted to help, but too often what happened was gossip. I thought I was helpful in allowing someone to “vent”, but the truth is, far more damage was done. Oh, I didn’t tell others what was said to me, but there is more than one kind of gossip. Instead of lovingly pointing a woman to Scripture to bring healing truth and the hope of reconciliation, I would let her talk and affirm her pain.
In turn, I talked about my pain too. Until a precious sister in Christ boldly spoke God’s Truth to me. Not lovingly, not gently, but firmly. “You are in sin,” she told me when I tried to ‘vent’. She reminded me, “God doesn’t talk about His children that way. Why are you? This is wicked!”
Thought it startled me at first, but I am so grateful she was firm with me. The only place she left open to me was repentance.
She gave me the “Peacemaking Woman” book by Tara Barthel & Judy Dabler. Desperate to heal, to learn, and wanting to make things right, I completed the book in a week. Everything changed.
Since that experience five years ago, I’ve spent immeasurable hours spent studying the Word, praying with and for women, days encouraging women through the Word and being trained to become a Biblical Counselor. The morning I was to receive my Biblical Counseling Certification Letter, I woke up with tears streaming down my face. We were in Grapevine Texas for the 2018 ACBC Light in the Darkness Conference, and today I was the day.
It was the reason I woke up crying. Because our God is so good, so forgiving, so powerful to allow me this day. I knew this wasn’t my accomplishment alone – all the time in His sacred and living Scripture was illuminated by the Spirit. Every time I sat with a woman and opened His Word, it was His work that freed her. I simply had the privilege of watching.
I thought about the community who had brought me to this moment through prayer, encouragement, and exhortation. Pastor Frank, the Elders who hired me as a Biblical Counselor, the Deacons who gave me the time off to attend the training's, my sweet women friends who kept telling me not to give up, my fellow biblical counselors who were in the arena and cheering, my parents, my sister, and my son. This moment was not just for me, it was for all of us to marvel at God’s graciousness and power to take a foolish woman and exchange her foolishness for Holy Spirit Word filled wisdom to encourage and equip others as they have me.
Why did I become a Biblical Counselor? So that I could lead others to Christ’s truths, just as my friend did with me five years ago. Because I KNOW there is hope for you! I don’t know His plans for you, but I KNOW He has them and I want to encourage you with it. Because I KNOW He can do crazy things, things that we never expect and bring beauty out of mourning. Because I KNOW deep pain and that His healing love is the balm that is necessary and I want that for you! Just as others have wanted that for me.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Biblical Counselor consider attending the upcoming One-to-One Conference on where we will discuss biblical counseling and discipleship. Click here to register and learn more.
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.