FOR THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF LEADING HEARTS, I’M HONORED TO INTRODUCE SOME AMAZING WOMEN OF THE ADVANCED WRITERS AND SPEAKERS ASSOCIATION (AWSA).
These ladies are also ministry leaders, serving in the trenches with you.
The heart of each one beats with a desire to equip and encourage you as God uses your story to impact the world. I know each one personally and they are an integral part of the soul care God has provided me. I’m excited to share them with you.
Somedays we’re filled with His Spirit, other days we’re left feeling more like a leaky bucket. But no matter what we’re dealing with personally, the ministry needs keep coming. We have to learn how to function within the chaos and busyness that is life.
So often we try to step away from the stress to refill and renew, but that’s rarely possible. God calls us right where we are, and many times that is in the middle of challenging situations.
There have been many times when being in ministry has felt like trying to thread a needle while sailing on a storm-tossed sea. I’ve discovered that it’s only when I began practicing the lifestyle of staying connected to God that I could find my ministry legs. To stay strong, we must rediscover ways to renew our reserves and reconnect with the One who called us to this endeavor—in the midst of the struggle.
Is that even possible? Yes, I believe it is. I came to that realization when I began to study the ministry-life of Jesus. So many examples in the Bible show Jesus bringing peace in the midst of chaos.
We see Him ministering during times of grief and while dealing with difficult family issues, at the pinnacle of mountaintop moments and in the depths of despair. He didn’t let life interfere with His calling.
But we must be wise.
God is not calling us to a life of busyness. He’s calling us to a life of connectedness.
If we’re not careful, we’ll begin to judge our effectiveness by how overworked we are or how many plates we’re able to keep spinning at once. This leads to self-sufficiency and ultimately to burnout. We cannot pour out with peace when we ourselves have brewed up chaos.
There are three things we can do to prepare for serving in the midst of difficult times.
1. Discover the habit of constant prayer. Learning to live in the midst of an ongoing conversation with God can give us the strength and insight we need.
2. Delve deeply into God’s Word. Spend time daily reading, studying and memorizing God’s Word. When it becomes an integral part of our lives, we can serve with quiet peace.
3. Develop a discerning Spirit. Ask God for spiritual insight, and measure all you observe against His Word.
God planted a servant’s heart in each of us, and it strives to bear fruit. But this seed of service must be nurtured — shaded in the healing covering of His presence and watered by His spirit and His Word. Only then can we live out our calling as hope givers, joy bringers, and light shiners.
Guest Editor Edie Melson is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, board member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and author of numerous books. No matter whether she’s talking about writing, social media or faith, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” Her blog reaches thousands and has been named a Writer’s Digest Top 101 Sites for Writers. Visit her online at ediemelson.com.
COMING Next Week:
Get the AWSA Special Edition of Leading Hearts Magazine feature the ladies of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. If you are a Christian Woman Communicator, find out how you can join us at applyawsa.com.