Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We All Need an Elizabeth

Taken from NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women


“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”     
~ Luke 1: 45 NIV

By Renee Swope

It seemed I’d just dropped off a thank-you note at my neighbor’s house and now she was standing on my front porch. “This is the most amazing thank-you note I’ve ever read,” Janet said. “God’s given you a writing gift and you need to use it.”

Janet’s words of affirmation kept me company all afternoon. I’d never written much of anything before, but I wondered if God might want to use my words to touch others’ lives.

I was so grateful for this friend who saw something I couldn’t see in myself. It’s one thing to sense God is calling you to do something but to have it confirmed by a woman who will pray for, encourage and remind you of his calling – that’s a gift.

Several weeks later I attended a women’s outreach dinner my church hosted three times a year. Afterward, I got the craziest idea while driving home: Maybe I could write a follow-up study guide to give to women who attend these dinners so they can apply the messages in their lives.

Immediately, doubt shot down my idea, quickly reminding me I had no writing training. But God kept persistently nudging me. Eventually, I told Janet, who served in our women’s ministry. She said they had spent months praying for something to give to women after the dinner series.

They asked me to write a study guide, and I hesitantly said yes. Without Janet’s encouragement, without her reminders that God was nudging me and without her prayers, I might have backed out. But she helped me believe that what God had promised would be fulfilled.

I wrote the study guide and over 1,000 women received it. I still call Janet my “Elizabeth,” because she recognized God’s gift in me and helped me believe his promises to me.


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