About a month ago I told the Lord I felt He may be showing me that it was time to let go of RMIOU due to the enormous and ongoing struggles that were wearing me out. But also, because we had failed to see the fruits of our labors. Instead of it helping to train women to become ministers in order to help RMIEW, working with our ministers and trying to train them took up the majority of my time and I knew the stress and weariness clearly wasn’t from Him and this wasn’t His yoke.
Matthew 11:30—“For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Soon after telling the Lord I was letting go, things made a surprising turn upward, of course, because I was letting go. Yet, even though things improved there were still many questions that I continue to SG about.
Then, not surprisingly, the real breakthrough happened due to a huge trial, not related to RMIOU. God used a trial in my personal life for good in order to show me what now seems so obvious, but quite honestly, had eluded me all these years. What we are really designed to do as Ministers—thus what I needed to do to train our ministers in RMIOU, was to simply feed women spiritual truths.
Feed My Sheep
John 21:17-19 NIV "The third time He said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love Me?' Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, 'Do you love Me? and he said, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.'
Jesus replied, “Then feed My sheep."
What I finally realized was that it’s not about us interacting or ministering one-on-one, because when women are hurt as horribly as they are when they come looking for us, they need the Comfort of the Lord, their Husband.
True, we’ve understood that for a while, but nevertheless, I still teetered or dabbled too closely to believing that in some way we needed to help them on an individual basis, one-on-one, which has the propensity or tendency to slip right into counseling.
I also wrongly believed that helping to “correct” those seeking our help would benefit them. Not surprisingly, very few were able to handle our correction correctly, due again, to being so badly wounded, which is why they came to us. Honestly, I should have known because our ministry’s name is, after all, Encouraging Women!
What I’ve come to understand is: what is able to Feed more of His Sheep (and younger lambs); what will also bring about the greater amount of Encouragement; what will do more to spreading the truth and Good News— is when we step back and simply spiritually FEED women through a variety of Encouragement. In other words, through our Encourager, The Praise Report and our many Courses—each filled with His healing word.
Psalm 107:20—"He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from ALL their destructions [their graves, certain death]."
Whenever we become weary and ineffective as ministers, it’s due to entangling ourselves with a hurting and desperate and drowning woman who needs a Savior, a Heavenly Husband, the Prince of Peace, and every other Person He can be to her.
Once I finally understood this revelation fully, I was then able to understand why RMIOU wasn’t flourishing the way I knew it could or should—because it’s foundation wasn’t poured correctly. Rather than training “Marriage Ministers” in the sense that I was trying to do, being involved and entrenched with women who fill out a MEQ “Marriage Evaluation Questionnaire,” He wants us to step back and simply offer them our FREE Course 1, encouraging them to begin to heal.
We then moved forward and updated where each is sent after filling out their MEQ, and not surprisingly, the Marriage Ministers we had tried earlier to train—the Lord just began making it happen!!
And for all the ministers who are not yet ready to be trained as a Marriage Minister, the primary goal of our minister training will now be to encourage “ministering” primarily through the ministers’ PRs and new Weekly Message Commentaries (when they fill out their Journals), which we began using on Sundays in our Encouragers.
The definition of the verb to “minister” is defined as “attend to the needs of (someone).” And if there is one thing I know for sure is that His people, who are called by His name, are desperately perishing due to the lack of knowledge and spiritually nutritious food—spiritual nourishment they are starving for. This is why the Lord has continually reminded me that my top priority, and that of the ministry, is to spiritually feed women daily, as I said, through our daily newsletters.
And along with this daily spiritual way to start their day, with our newsletters (in order to get them started in the right direction along the day’s narrow road), women also need an array of spiritual truths, which they will need to sustain them, and it’s where the variety of our lessons come in. Though our books changed many lives, the combination of reading and then pouring their hearts out, through journaling in the “What I Learned” forms, we have witnessed so many women recover from their crisis so much faster—with longer lasting results! Finally finding joy by being encouraged to not take hold of our hands or look to us in any way, but instead taking HIS hand, looking to HIM to guide them, asking HIM to reveal the truths they need and are desperate for.
Psalm 34:5—“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.”
It’s from our relationship with Him that we are able to glow, which is what will help others see us when they’re surrounded by their darkness and pain. Yet when the hurting finds us, it’s His warmth and light that shines on us, which is what they really need to follow. Much like the moon reflects the light of the sun and is "in reality" a barren dusty desert.