Women’s online Bible study based on the book Read the Bible For Life by George Guthrie, we are discussing week five in small groups this week. Join us as we discuss the how to read the psalms. Below is another update from Missionary Mom and Ministry Leader Stasis Nielsen, as she shares her own experiences bringing the Bible to others. These are her words:
She was a beautiful, young girl who had served faithfully with us on our ministry teams. With her caring and engaging personality, she immediately stole her way into our hearts. Her pastor had highly recommended her family and encouraged her to come stay with us for some ministry training. We were overjoyed to have her stay for a few months.
Right from the start, we could see that she was going to be a tremendous help in so many different areas. She could cook, help with the children and she was just as capable doing the dramas or helping with the music. Emily was absolutely delightful not only for what she contributed but for who she was as well.
While working side by side during those long days, we would share the stories of our lives with one another. She was just like any other teenage girl; same hopes, fears and questions about the meaning of life. We easily talked about everything from boys and Bibles to jobs and Jesus. It was a fun time for us both as she was receiving the experience of a lifetime, and I could just sit back and watch her bloom.
It never ceases to amaze me how young girls who seem to have the most perfect lives have the most broken souls. As she began to feel safe with me, Emily shared from the shattered mirror of her soul. What she saw of herself and what we saw in her, were two very different things.
Although I saw her life as a perfect story of God’s grace and mercy, Emily felt as if she was a misprint. She needing someone to help her connect the dots of God’s rich mercy and love in her life. She just needed someone to bring a little bit of light to her story.
God does that for all of us in the misplaced pages of our lives. When the story of our life doesn’t make sense , He brings someone or something along that will illuminate the hope we need to carry on.
It was not long after she left us that I receive a simple letter from her that shook me to the very core of my being. It taught me a valuable lesson I will never forget. Honestly, I was so overwhelmed with what I read because I simply never knew the depths of the despair that she was carrying when she came to stay with us.
In her note she expressed her deep gratitude for the home and love we shared with her during her time with us. It was touching to know that our time together meant so much more to her than I could imagine. She then shared her darkest secret, she had been struggling with thoughts of suicide because of her feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Just being able to share her life with another person with whom she felt safe, helped her through that most treacherous part of her growth period.
I loved spending that time with sweet Emily. She was and continues to be such a joy although our paths have long since separated. She has a beautiful family of her own and is an active part of her church. She has grown into a lovely woman of integrity and grace.
It left me thinking, how could such a wonderful person feel such wretched despair? The fact of the matter is that many of the people we meet on a day to day basis feel exactly the same way. They wander aimlessly alone in this shattered world hoping for someone to shine a bit of light into their darkness. The broken searching for the beautiful.
In this busy world, we rush through our day to day routine and forget that we create life or death with every spoken word. We forget that we have the power to bring healing to the broken-hearted. Do our words draw people into the hope we hold true in Christ? As we share our lives and our stories of hope with others, we open the door to their own opportunities of grace. We were meant to bring hope to the hopeless.
I have been at a conference this week and being the over-friendly person that I am, I got to know a darling little Costa Rican girl at the coffee shop. Not even her co-workers knew that she was forced to the US through marriage and had no family here other than her two daughters. Every time I went for a coffee, more and more of her story came out just because I took the time to share the reason for my hope with her and listened in return.
I want to encourage you to do something radical this week, Share your story with another person (not your mom or your BFF) and give them a reason to hope. Smile, be kind, and genuinely let them know that you will pray for them. You may never know the impact your kindness will have on another life.
I loved our Read The Bible For Life Study this week. As a matter of fact, I took this quote by George Guthrie and wrote it in my Bible. I wonder what the world would look like if we began to live out these words on a daily basis.
“Are you spreading the message of Jesus beyond your own personal experience to intersect with the journeys of others around you? Pray that God will empower you to tell the story of what Jesus has done for you.” ~George Guthrie
To read more articles about the work we are doing in the missionary field please visit www.StasiaNielsen.com
Assignment For The Week
- Read WEEK SIX in your Read the Bible For Life workbook
- Download the Answers to the Viewer Guide when you click here
- Optional: Listen to the Read The Bible For Life podcasts or watch the videos
Small Group Questions from the Read the Bible For Life workbook (Post your answers here or share them in a small group this week)
- What is your favorite song? What roles do songs play in our lives?
- What is your favorite Psalm from scripture and why?
- Look at the list of emotions expressed by the Psalms on page 97. Have you recently experienced similar emotions? How do you feel about freely expressing your emotions to God as the psalmists did?
- In Psalm 23 David described ways God is the Good Shepherd. How have you experienced God as the Good Shepherd in your own life? (page 105 )