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Worthy: An Online Bible Study based on She’s Still There – My Notes Week 1 – Chapters 1-5

9 Sep

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When I began this study by Chrystal Evans Hurst, I thought it really would not apply to ME!  Really, I’m still here.  I’m that girl I’ve always been although a little more outgoing and a little more extroverted, and yes, a little bit (okay a lot) bigger.  BUT……………

I’m a volunteer with Proverbs Online Bible Studies, and I get to do a lot of different studies.  Let me tell you there has not been a single one in four years that did not speak to me, that wasn’t just in time with what was happening in my life, and WHOA this one has already spoken to me and it is only week 1.

Chrystal has faced struggles like teenage pregnancy, financial difficulties and all those mommy things like diapers and long nights, being a little heavy and  ………..

CHAPTER 1 – Break a Leg or Two – You Are A Masterpiece

This book opens up  with Chrystal telling us how she hated her job and how the time crawled by, and that is why she asked God to break her legs to just have some down time to think about where she had gone wrong and assess how she had gotten off track.

I can remember those crawling days when I worked, wishing for Friday and the weekends.  Now that I am retired every day is like Friday, but let me tell you I am as busy or busier than I ever was, but I’ve had a broken hip and wrist, and I never would wish that on anyone to slow down.  Those were two very boring times in my life, but today I think back and see it as a time God slowed me down from all the busyness.

Chrystal talks about being a little girl living in anticipation, and asks where had that little girl gone, and how do you get her back? Have you lost that “little girl” feeling?  Ever want to go back and do a “do over”?  We don’t get “do overs”.  We cannot go back and change our history, but we can make new history.

Chrystal believed the girl was still there, and so can you.  She believed in the “idea of a masterpiece”.  I do too and it has made a difference in my life.  This has been one of my favorite Bible verses for a very long time.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

 

The word in the NIV person is handiwork.  The NLT version says masterpiece.

Do you believe that?  No matter what we may think of ourselves the truth is that God knows who we are and if we only believe that truth.  What does workmanship, masterpiece, or handiwork make you think of?  For me I picture a beautiful painting by Michelangelo or a sculpted piece.

You are His workmanship – a masterpiece – His handiwork.  You were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, and He ordained that we should walk in them.    You may not feel like a masterpiece some days, but the truth is you are no matter what.  His Word, His truth trumps our feelings.

The Greek word for “masterpiece” is “poiema.” The word “poem” comes from this.  Isn’t that beautiful?  God is saying, “You are my “poem”.  I am His “poem”.

Chrystal believed that “all parts of her life -the good, the bad, and the ugly could come together in the hands of the person who gave her life.”  I know that to be true in my own life.  Nothing has happened in my life that does not have purpose.  For instance, I had five to six miscarriages.  That was bad at the time, but today I can look back and give thanks to God for the two adult children I have – children I would never had know had I not gone through that pain.

We are masterpieces, and God is continually painting our lives.  Do you want to “break a leg”?  I hope not.  As Dory says in the movie or was it Nemo – “just keep swimming”.  It’s not too late – just keep going.   Never, ever give up.

Chapter 2 – Full-Blown Ugly Cry – You Are Okay

I love all the titles in these chapters.  In this one, Chrystal talks about one of her ugly cries to a friend, and how she was reminded Chrystal that “you are okay, you are going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.”

Friend you may not feel okay today, but hang tight because no matter what is happening today, right now, it is not going to be forever.  Know who you are in God’s mind, know that you can choose and Chrystal reminds us  “every day you get to choose to honor you.”  We have to embrace who we are: a masterpiece and unique.  Embrace that and one day you will look back at whatever you are going through was only a small part of your life, and you are going to be okay.

“Your darkest moments are only moments in time.” Pg 39

Over the years I guess there have been many dark moments – loss of babies, loss of parents, a grandchild born with a disease, loss of two nephews, infertility, and the list is long, but I only remember one time when I went thru full-blown ugly cries.  I never want to be there again, but as bad as it was it turned out okay and was just a moment in time.  No, I will never forget that moment – months actually, and there is still some pain, but it has turned out well.  It is well with this girl’s soul.

Chrystal says, “Every day.   Get up.  Keep going.  You are okay.”  That will offer hope.

Chapter 3 – Get Out Of The Middle Of The Road – Own Your Story

As I began this chapter I had heard this story somewhere about a lady on a bike in San Francisco and how she fell and was hurt badly.  I remembered it was at a Declare Conference in 2015 where I heard Chrystal speak.  It was a different spin than this chapter.

In this book Chrystal talks about how we have to own our story whatever it is.  For me I’ve owned my story. I know it is all His story. Because of all the miscarriages I went through I was able to minister to my daughter and daughter-in-love in their losses.  Even if I was quiet they knew I had been there and felt their same pain.   Because of their pain and infertility I am able to minister to women going through the same – stories that bring hope. Even the embryo adoption which some of you may know with the twins has been something I can share with women thru my blogging, when I see them commenting that there is hope. It was something I had never heard of and it took me awhile to understand what they were doing – adopting embryos from someone else, implanting them, and carrying them.

Do you have a story you own – a story of hope you share with others? Those trials can bring HOPE to so many.  Your story is His story.

Chapter 4 – Good Girl….His Girl – A Chapter From My Story

As I read that title I thought about my Mom. There were 3 of us girls. I was the oldest, and Mom would say I was a good girl. I cringe when I say that because I was.   I stayed out of trouble, did what she and Dad said, and saved myself for my man. I was more of an introvert but had lots of girlfriends in school. I’m still Mom and Dad’s and His good girl even though I’ve lost them both.

As Chrystal says, “Drifts happen when we unintentionally move away from who we believe we can be, what we believe we can accomplish, or where we hope our lives will take us.” 

I drifted once, no fault of my own except had I not been working so hard at church as church clerk, choir member, pre-school director, teacher of 4s&5s, teaching older students in the evening plus working full-time, kids in sports, and a 45 minute drive to school and church, and the fact those times were a part of the reason I was not able to fill myself up with the Word because I was filling others up and maybe it might have been different.  I was a worn out mess.

One GOOD THING about our drift we changed churches and now are in a larger church. I’m not all those things. I help with women’s ministry and have time to be in a Sunday School class to study and be fed. We have many people to help now. I’m fed there and I’m fed here as a volunteer coach for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

Have you ever  just “drifted through life?”   Trust me, the results were not helpful to me or anyone, at least not until they became a part of my story, but still there are times that Satan rears his ugly self to remind me of who I am NOT, but I know who I AM. I can say today this GOOD GIRL……HIS GIRL would handle things a whole lot differently today with all the armor I have to battle that drift.

NOW I ask you after hearing my story can you identify any drifts in your life?   Please share.

Chapter 5 – Hershey and The Highway – The Anatomy of A Drift

Loved this story.  Oh I could be that girl sitting in the driver’s seat seeing that candy bar in the floor, grabbing for it, and running off the road.  This is like drifting, but we get distracted.   I think mostly today it might be with cell phones or it could be a baby or toddler in the car.

We have a choice not to drift, to pay attention.  Chrystal had a choice that day not to grab that candy bar.  She had the choice to focus on the highway.  We have that choice today not to drift no matter what may be happening in our lives.  We have to remain focused on the one who loves us and is directing our paths, but mostly for me I need His Word hidden in my heart to remind me I am His and He is there every moment through every drift.

Sharing and joining with Suzie Eller on Live Free Thursday.

 

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