On November 1, 2001, I accepted the position as Director of Women’s Ministry here at First Baptist Naples. I sensed God’s call both to this church and to the women’s ministry, but I felt completely unequipped to step into the position. At that time, I was just walking into my 30’s, and although I had served beside my husband in ministry prior to accepting this position I struggled with my own inadequacy. I served beside and studied with women who were by far my seniors in life, ministry, and service to the Lord. My prayer was that God would daily transform me, fill me, and use me, giving me discernment and wisdom to lead and serve well.
I am now wrapping up my 40’s, have celebrated 28 years of marriage to my very best friend, Chad, and have a married son serving his country in the Army. But my prayer has not changed. I still ask God to daily equip, fill, and use my life for His glory. I have had the joy of serving in the women’s ministry for 17 years beside my dear mentor, Janet Wicker, and among precious women of all ages!
Over these years I have had the distinct privilege of serving in a ministry that has been one of the single greatest ways God has shaped my spiritual life. What has made this journey sweeter is to see God’s work among the women who gather in RefresHer Bible Study and in the various ministries where women are equipped and serve each week. We follow the example of Mary of Nazareth, the bondservant of the Lord, and nurturer of Jesus.
Our women represent every season of life. For some the season is singleness, or pursuing a career, or the challenges of single-parenting; for others it is mothering, empty-nesting, caring for aging parents, or widowhood. Whether in a season of abundance or scarcity, we gather together in the name of Jesus, seeking community and discipleship in the pages of Scripture so that we can better reflect Him in whatever season He has called us to.
I often stand in the back of the Worship Center during the opening worship time before we begin our study and look out at the faces in the room; it leaves me with a lump in my throat. Only God could fill a room with such diversity and unity all at the same time. It’s still my favorite place to be every Tuesday and Wednesday! If you are a woman reading this and have not yet had the opportunity to join us, let me personally invite you to meet the dearest group of Jesus–loving women. We will begin our new study, God of Covenant, on Tuesday, January 8th at 9:00am and Wednesday, January 9th at 6:30pm. You will be most welcome!