Teresa Martin: I understand her drive! Some are born with a driven personality and some are “gifted” it through trials. When you face the hard and push through it, learning all the while what God has in store. Taking it and growing in compassion for other women. That’s Teresa! I’ve only known her for a short while but thrilled that the Lord has blessed me with another “gifted”driven woman in my life. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as a team.
I always knew there was a God but I did not know him. At age 34 I had not read or studied the bible. I only knew what others said about God and I didn’t hang around people who followed his ways. When my childhood sweetheart and husband of 19 years had yet another affair and I knew divorce was the choice I had to make, I became a follower of Jesus, not just a person who believed he existed. I started to pray through my pain and go to church and then eventually attended a bible study. I watched people who worshiped unashamed and I longed for a relationship with God like that. As my life, as I knew it, crumbled before me, I began seeking to know God and understand who he says I am and how much he loves me and my life was forever changed. I committed my whole heart and surrendered my plans for my life to His plans for me.
In John 10:27 Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
We can mature in grace and live the Christian life through a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ. If we fully respond and are serious about this relationship with Jesus, then we are his disciples. Discipleship is the process of becoming the whole person God calls each of us to be through our relationship with Jesus Christ. A disciple embraces God’s highest purpose for his or her life – to grow in the likeness of Christ for the sake of others. Upon the advice of the Christian counselor I was seeing after my divorce, I went to see the minister of a large church in Lexington to talk about divorce. He listened to my story and told me I was a minister because I could minister to those going through divorce. He said his church had 8000 ministers because everyone who attended thee had their own ministry from their life’s story. You do not have to be a clergy-person to be a minister. Ministry is helping people become the whole persons God calls them to be in Jesus Christ. Jesus called common fishermen to become the greatest kind of fishermen they could be- fishers of people. God uses the pain of my divorce for me to serve others who are suffering in the same way. I experienced the pain of divorce ending a 19 year marriage. I could not have survived the pain without Jesus. We lived on a farm and I was the one to leave because I knew I couldn’t take car of it. My son, my only child, chose to stay at the farm. I lost all of what I knew at the time to be mine at that moment, my home , my son and my husband. My husband had been my best friend for 19 years and was my high school sweet heart. My mom has an entry in my baby book from kindergarten “Teresa has her first boyfriend” and it was the boy I married in 197. In Isaiah 61:1, we read, “He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted” and in chapter 61:2, “to comfort all who mourn”. The Lord showed me that he was all I could truly call mine. The Lord does not waist a hurt and has put in my path women going through divorce so I could share the generosity I have experienced from God. I had been in bible study a couple of years when I was asked to lead a small discussion group. I did not feel adequate , however the leader told me if I did I wouldn’t need Jesus! I lead that group through several studies and saw God work in amazing ways. Then the leader’s husband was called to ministry in another state. She asked us to pray about who would take the leadership position of this large group of women. As I prayed I heard in my spirit the words “feed my sheep”. I felt myself saying I can’t do that Lord. Again I heard a still small voice saying, “you can do all things through Christ”. I was driving at the time so I sat down with my bible when I got home knowing that if I heard from God it would be through His word. I found both of those in scripture and other women on the prayer team confirmed they felt God was calling me to lead the group. I was 34 years old before I accepted Christ as my Savior and as I surrendered to His will He called me to disciple other women. I have been remarried 16 years and life can still be challenging and painful. I am thankful for God’s word that sustains and fulfills me.
We read about two kinds of persons in the Gospels:
- The crowds- the thousands of persons who sought out Jesus. They were hungry and wanted to be healed. But most were curious, not committed. They were more FANS than FOLLOWERS.
- The disciples- those few who heard the call to follow, committed their lives to Him and put their faith into action.
The same two types of persons exist in today’s church. Each of us must decide which we will be. Will we stop short of fully responding to God’s grace and Call? Or will we gratefully and wholeheartedly respond by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ?
Lord Thank You for giving me women like Teresa to share life with. I praise You for know exactly what we need. Please help us hear you clearly! Amen!