I used to watch prominent Bible teachers and sit in awe of their amazing ability to understand Scripture, tie verses together in such a way that they made sense and came to life, and connect with women on a personal level. I felt such a burning in my soul to be like them. I wanted to be so filled with Bible knowledge that it oozed out of my soul and spilled over to bless others.
The only problem was that I didn’t know that much about the Bible, I had nothing whatsoever of value to add to any conversation, and the idea of standing in front a group of women terrified me.
Needless to say, I struggled with my desire to speak and teach and the feeling that I lacked anything of value to say. But God is so amazing in how He works. He didn’t place a desire in my heart for no reason. Instead, He planted the seed and then gently guided me through developing it. What I had no way of knowing at the time was that God was going to use the next 15 years to bring me through some of the most difficult times of my life. Those experiences would be when I leaned on God THE hardest and got to know Him better than I ever had before.
I learned that God’s strength shines brightest when I am at my weakest (2 Corinthians 12:9), I learned that God has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He will use every part of my life –struggles and all — to glorify Himself (Romans 8:28). It was when I looked back at those struggles that I saw God’s hand in it all. I saw the times He led me and all the opportunities He placed before me to lean on Him. And through those experiences, He gave me my story. My story — my life — is really all about Him.
I realized that the reason those Christian teachers connected so powerfully with their audience was because they were able to relate to God through personal experience. They knew God in an intimate way because they had relied on Him to sustain them through difficult times.
It wasn’t until 15 years later, after several heartaches that brought me to my knees, that I had a greater understanding of God’s love, His grace, and His mercy. It was during those times that I had nothing but Him that I gained a voice. As I reflected back on the ways He navigated me through loss and struggle, I clearly saw the beautiful story He wove together. That story is my testimony. As I relied on His Word to teach me and bind together my wounds (Psalm 147:3), His Word filled my mind and the scriptures came to life. And as I shared with others what God brought me through and felt the connection that only the Holy Spirit can create, my fear of sharing with others vanished.
Before I knew it, the dream I had so many years before and the longing of my heart was being fulfilled. Not only was I standing in front of women and teaching about God’s Word, but I was also sharing my story and how God was in every part of it. God is fulfilling every part of the the desire I had carried for almost two decades.
What about you? Do you feel a burning to know God and to serve Him? Do you long to know Him better? Perhaps you aren’t longing to teach or speak, but maybe there is something you have been yearning to do in service to Him?
Lean on Him. He desires to fill us to overflowing with His love. Any seeds He plants will be watered and cultivated until they bear beautiful fruit. He will not place a longing in you heart if He does not intend to follow through on it.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Jenny Schroedel, author of Naming the Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships8 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture5 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions