It was late January in 2016. My carotid artery had ruptured two months prior and I was still recovering from the surgeries that repaired it. I wasn’t driving. I wasn’t working. I wasn’t doing much of anything except trying to process the ramifications of the diagnosis I had just received. Yes, I did have Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that makes my insides prone to spontaneous rupture.
If you’ve ever heard me tell the story about the months where I had to set an alarm on my phone every hour to pray because sixty minutes was as long as I would last before I felt another panic attack coming on – this is that season.
I heard a knock on the door and slowly made my way to answer it. And there stood Beth Moore on my front porch. Well, okay technically no. It was my next door neighbor, Mary Ann. But she could have been Beth Moore – she was little and blond and feisty and I was about to see that she couldn’t keep her love for Jesus just to herself.
Mary Ann had just moved to the neighborhood and she didn’t know me from Adam. But our conversation went like this:
Mary Ann: Hey! I don’t know if you’d be interested in this or not, but I was wondering if you would like to come over for Bible st—
Me: YES! Wait. You were going to say Bible study, right?
Mary Ann: Yes, but don’t you want to know what day we are meeting or what we are studying or what time?
Me: No. I don’t care when. I’ll be there, whenever it is.
Mary Ann: Well okay then, I’ll see you next Tuesday!
What Mary Ann didn’t know is that I had spent that cold morning in January asking God to give me direction from His Word on my next steps.
What I didn’t know was that Mary Ann was nervous about inviting a stranger to Bible study, but she was determined to obey Jesus anyway. She knew He was asking her to invite the housebound neighbor next door.
From that conversation, along with a few other similar ones Mary Ann had with other friends, the Turtle Sisters were born. What are the Turtle Sisters? We’re a group of girls wanting to dive into God’s Word together, but we love and pray and support each other through the ups and downs of life.
Here’s the part of this story that I want to encourage you with today:
Our choice to obey God helps to advance His will for the world around us.
Not long after Mary Ann invited me to Bible study, I would build this website, start this online ministry which you are a part of, and begin writing my first Bible study for my fellow Turtle Sisters. Last month, I released my second Bible study, Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment, a six-week study of Luke.
If you are reading this post, if you have walked through the Ready study, if you are reading through the Bible with me in my private Facebook group, or if you are about to walk through the Determined study with me, you can thank my next door neighbor for being courageous enough to obey God. She helped open the door that God wanted me to walk through.
Why am I telling you this story? Because I’m wondering if God is stirring your heart in a specific way today. How is God calling you to obey Him?
Our stories are never just about ourselves. God doesn’t need us to accomplish His will, but He chooses to partner with us to make beautiful things happen. That truth humbles me as much as it inspires me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Take the leap of faith. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if you’re afraid. God’s plan for you is about His plan for the world around you.
Get to it.
I’m rooting for you, always.