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Personal Words

September 14, 2011

I have postponed my scheduled posts for this week in order to share with you what God is currently doing in my life. Who needs to know the best freelancing tip when God is alive and moving among His people? My last post talked about the seven principles I learned at the Beth Moore Simulcast, which was held on Saturday, September 10. It was God’s will for me to be there that day (after all, it’s difficult for anybody to give up an entire Saturday at home, right?). God, through Beth’s words and teaching, spoke to me about two very personal issues.

Each morning I attempt to get up when the alarm goes off (notice the word attempt … I’ve shared my struggles in another post about how I am really not a morning person) so that I can have some quiet time alone with God to read His Word and pray over the day. Currently, I am reading through the New Testament—something a pastor encouraged us to do in 30 days back in January, but I’m still plowing through! I am currently on Acts 22, so last week I was reading through Acts 16. Since I am a grammar freak and constantly edit other people’s pronouns, verbs, commas, and the like, I quickly noticed the switch in Acts 16 from third person (“they/them”) to first person (“we/us”). I could not figure out why! I do not use a study Bible in the morning, because I don’t want to get caught up in commentary; I only want to read God’s Word. I thought that Paul was the writer of Acts (after all, he wrote most of the New Testament, right? I’ll admit right now—I am no theologian!). However, if Paul was the writer, what was up with the strange twist in language to first person but as someone other than Paul? (For example, verse 17 says: “She followed Paul and us” so Paul would not write in that way if he was the writer, right?) Since I didn’t have a study Bible, the author information was not readily available, and I knew if I went to my computer to Google it, I would get caught up being online and miss my prayer time. So it was one of those “I’ll check it out later” mental notes. But, surprise! I never remembered to look it up.

So back to last Saturday with Beth … guess what one of her primary Scriptures was? Yes! Acts 16! She brought to light the sudden change in pronouns from “they” to “us” and then went on to explain the reasoning behind the abrupt twist of words. Amazing! My question was a valid question and was addressed in such detail that I realized how alive God’s Word is and how only He could breathe Himself into the pages of the Bible.

#1 Personal Word from God: I care about you and love you enough to answer even the littlest of questions you have about My Word. It is important—vital to your life—that you read and understand what I’ve given you in the Bible. When you read My Word, you are learning about Me and getting to know Me. Spend time reading My Word; I will guide you into greater understanding.

Beth explained that the pronoun change in Acts 16 is because Luke joined Paul at that moment, and together they traveled and ministered to others. Her first point was how important the “we” in the rest of Acts is and that all of us, like Paul and Luke, were created for good company. Relationships are important, especially in our world that is becoming more and more virtual and less and less about being relational.

As Beth talked about this first point, I begin to think to myself: “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard this before. I know relationships are important. But I am an introvert; I am not a social person. I am a writer! I not only need to be alone to write, but I prefer to be alone.” I reminded myself of recent conversations with my husband about how I sometimes feel so alone as a writer, because nobody really understands what I do. Nobody seems to get that I need to be alone to write. It ends up being a struggle for me because the more alone I am to write, the less I put myself out there to relate to others. I have been having a pity party by myself, about myself, with myself.

Then Beth made her second point: “An individual calling can only be fulfilled in a ‘we’ context.” Um, what was that? My head perked up. Here is where God grabbed my face with His tender hands, looked me in the eye, and spoke personal words to me (through Beth):

“If you are a writer, and you are feeling all alone because you write alone—and believe me, I know, because I am a writer and I spend a lot of time alone—then God wants you to know you are not alone; you must fulfill your calling with others.”

My body felt paralyzed; tears starting streaming down my face. Did she really just say that? Beth gave no other examples, such as If you are a mom and feeling alone; if you are a wife and feeling alone; if you are single and feeling alone. Nope, she only gave this random aside “if you are a writer” and moved on to her next point. My friend, who was sitting beside me and who has encouraged me through my struggles and insecurities, nudged me. She knew those words were for me. I was speechless. I could not move. God really did truly speak directly to me.

#2 Personal Word from God:I love you, Christi McGuire, so much that I have caused you to rearrange your schedule to be at a live simulcast that is broadcasted all around the world among 180,000 believers to give you a personal word. I care about each and every feeling that you may have. And although that encouragement may certainly be for other writers and women as well, those words were meant for you. I have called you to writing—never doubt that. I have a purpose and destiny for your life—never doubt that. But you are not alone. You need to fulfill your calling, your purpose, your destiny with others.

I did not do a very good at getting myself back together. Tears would not dry up; the feeling of God’s arms around me would not dissipate. I was crying an ugly, awful cry, but I felt beautifully and wonderfully loved by God. Why He chose to speak to me in that way on this day with those words, I do not know. But how amazing is His love for me—for all of us—that He would do so. When we search for God and seek His face, He will show up in a personal and unique way.

On the way home from the event, I had to pull over and gather my thoughts. I could not just drive home like it was an ordinary day. I wrote down seven things God confirmed to me during the day. I’ll share those in the next post on Friday. Again, this is more for my documentation and as a remembrance of what God is doing for me. This is very exposing, very personal, and very not like me to share with others. But God just commanded me to fulfill my calling with others, so how can I not share?

If you feel led to share with us a time when God showed His absolute, unconditional, all-encompassing love, please do so! We need to celebrate the times He graciously and abundantly demonstrates His love for us!
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, ESV).

 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristy Williams permalink
    September 14, 2011 11:39 am

    You are so dearly loved…

  2. Mary Ann Bradberry permalink
    September 14, 2011 12:11 pm

    What a wonderful confirmation to you of what I’ve known for a long time. You are a very gifted, talent writer (and editor). Love you and blessings on your journey ahead!

    • September 14, 2011 5:06 pm

      Mary Ann, thank you! I think of you every day and all that you taught me … you were the greatest mentor I could ever have had, especially so early on in my journey. I really hope our paths cross again!

  3. Jenny permalink
    September 14, 2011 11:41 pm

    You did an amazing job at sharing such personal thoughts! Thank you for being so transparent:)

  4. Cheri permalink
    September 15, 2011 10:00 pm

    That was anointed, sweetie. It jumped right off of the page and touched my heart and brought those things to my remembrance that was very much needed. Thank you for your obedience which is better than any sacrifice you could have made.

    • September 16, 2011 8:45 am

      Thank you! It is humbling to know God uses my obedience to bless others, as well!

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