My daughter loves to take her daughter to the zoo...it is one of their favorite things to do. She also has a group of friends who often meet her there with their children which makes it a fun outing for all. A few weeks ago, she had not planned a zoo trip, but received a call from one of their group who called to say she was going and just wondered if my daughter might be going the same day. Since she had planned to be in the area, she thought "Why not? We can stay for an hour or so". So the two of them hooked up and began their trek with their little ones through the zoo.
As they were walking they were also catching up with each other. Somehow the conversation came around to church and my daughter remembered that this friend went to Bellevue Baptist Church. She asked her if she happened to know Jean Stockdale. "Oh yes!" her friend replied, "I'm in her Mom to Mom group. She is a fantastic Bible teacher! Why do you ask?" My daughter told her that I had been teaching Mom to Mom at our church and that we were using Jean's videos and how much we loved them.
Then her friend went on to tell her that Jean was just amazed at how well these videos had been received. "In fact," her friend told her, "there is this one group that has planned a dinner party just for her with all their women because they are all so anxious to meet her! Can you believe it?! Jean is just blown away and almost a little nervous. She doesn' t see herself as anyone special...and because we've known her so long, she's just "Jean" to us...not a celebrity like Beth Moore or Kay Arthur. But to others who have never heard her before, they are just blown away by her teaching! So Jean has had us praying for her that she won't be a disappointment to these girls when they meet her in the flesh. She is just so humbled that they would go to this much trouble just to meet her."
My daughter was speechless and then began to laugh. "Uhhhh....you're not going to believe this, but that woman who is hosting the dinner party would be MY MOM and that group is HER Mom to Mom group!" How ironic is that?!
Again, we see the threads of God's amazing tapestry weaving their way through our lives. Here we see a godly woman God has raised up to teach and disciple young moms. She's been doing this for over 20 years now...it is God's calling on her life. She doesn't see herself as anything special. Yet God has blessed her ministry and now enlarged her territory as she has been lead to write out and publish her material and create the video series to go along with them. (See her blog on my blogroll) Now she is able to reach even more young mommas for Him. Still, she just sees herself as a momma and now a grandmother who is teaching what God taught her along the way. She is humbled and amazed that her name is being spoken of in the teaching realms of Beth Moore, Anne Graham Lotz and Kay Arthur. But those of us who have sat under her teaching would have no problem saying that. She is without a doubt a very gifted teacher.
It was my joy to host this dinner party in honor of both my girls and Jean. I felt it would be a blessing to them to get to meet her up close and personal. We have done two of her studies and they have been such a blessing to all of us. Seeing someone week after week on a video is one thing, but getting to actually meet them, sit down and talk with them over a meal and see them face to face, just intensifies your relationship and deepens their credibility with you. Jean was so gracious to agree to come and meet with us and I was shocked to learn that she was a bit nervous about meeting us.
But, I thought how sweet it was of God to allow me to know how Jean felt before she got there, so that I could pray for her to be at ease. However, my greatest prayer was that God would honor that time of fellowship in the lives of those who came, that they would be blessed by the evening and most of all that HE would honored and lifted up.
You see I believe with all my heart that is why God gave us this house...to use for His glory and to point others to Him. So it thrilled my heart to be able to host this dinner for these young mommas and to bless Jean by affirming to her that God is using her in a mighty way. I believe that Kingdom fruit will be born from that evening. I may never know this side of Heaven what it was, but I believe with all my heart God blessed and it will be used of Him for His glory.
And all of that was orchestrated BY Him as part of His Kingdom plan. Threads of the tapestry being woven together in our lives. There were 14 women there, not one of them (including me) was there by accident. He was weaving threads of His tapestry in each of our lives that night. Threads that will cross and interweave in the days and weeks and months ahead. It will be exciting to see how they fit into the total picture one day.
It is the glimpses of these threads God is using to weave His marvelous Kingdom tapestry that has thrilled my soul! It has encouraged my heart because it shows to me that even when we don't SEE the threads being woven, the Master Designer is STILL at work, behind the scenes, orchestrating, weaving our lives into His plan in ways that we cannot begin to fathom. It encourages me because there are situations that I have prayed over, lives that I have prayed for for years and I see very little that appears to be changing. I will not give up trusting in Him. I know that He is at work even though I cannot SEE what He is doing. And just as we have studied in our Esther study, His timing is always, always, always PERFECT!! But He has been so gracious to allow me to see in just these few scenarios how He weaves our lives together, people that we don't even know are praying for us. He is using people to cross paths with those we are praying for that we don't know about and that they have no idea HE is using. There is much going on in the unseen realms and we must learn to trust Him, the Master Weaver, as He orchestrates and weaves the colorful threads of His Kingdom tapestry. One day soon the tapestry will be complete and we will get to see it in its entirety....all the threads of our lives woven together over all the ages and it will do one thing...........magnify and glorify HIM, the one and only true God, the King of King and Lord of Lords.
19 hours ago