August 31, 2022 | Carrie Henry
It was what I had dreamed of as a little girl. And at that point, seven years into marriage, having read all the baby and parenting books I could get my hands on, I felt overwhelmed by the newness. My husband was driving us home from the hospital, our brand-new baby girl sleeping in her car seat beside me, and I remember praying aloud that God would help us know how do this.
I mean, let’s be honest—you hold, you feed, you change diapers, and you watch people coo and make funny faces at this incredibly beautiful human.
Sitting next to her that day 28 years ago, I felt so ill-equipped to feed her, to protect her, to guide her. I felt I had to make sure she was breathing. It was weighty. There was no instruction book. The nurses gave us directions for feeding and diapering, confirmed we had her car seat installed correctly, and reminded us to see her pediatrician within two weeks. We quickly found that in parenting, you just take the next step, and you learn as you go.
All I knew to do that day as an uncertain mom was pray—ask God. A newborn in Christ, I had begun practicing prayer ten years prior to bringing home our baby girl. When I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I began to ask God to help me whole-heartedly desire to be His disciple and follow Him all the days of my life. I had much to learn and needed to be nurtured.
There were new ways of thinking and responding as a Christ-follower that were different than what I had known before. It was by the Holy Spirit’s power and work that I began to grow in Christlikeness. And like our newborn daughter needed us to help her adjust to new life, I needed, then and now, women in my life to help me be more like Jesus and help other women do the same.
In Titus 2:3-5, Paul is clear about the need for older women to encourage and equip younger women to live godly lives by cultivating deeper connection with Him and other women:
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5).
God provided women for me to grow alongside. My understanding of how much I needed them; however, would take a lifetime to learn. At my first ladies retreat, I met the two women who became my first mentors. I didn’t seek these ladies out. They saw me and took an interest in me. They shared with me how to think and feel and act as a Christian. They didn’t have all the answers, but they were available.
Through the years, these relationships have happened in the places where I’ve already connected with women: in Bible studies, in homeschool co-ops, in our church, in our neighborhood, and in one another’s kitchens. Among them have been a few who were “Paul” for me, who mentor, lead, and counsel me. There have been many dear “Barnabas” ladies in my life, with whom I share mutual encouragement and accountability. Along with my three daughters, a number have been “Timothy” ladies, who I have helped guide along the road of faith and life.
When I am afraid, uncertain, or just too proud to ask a dear sister for her time, I’m so thankful there are women who initiate with me. When I feel ill-prepared to offer anything of value to a younger sister, I’m grateful for the times God opens my eyes to see the opportunity and prompts me to step out in faith and try it anyway.
You and I need women to share life with as we grow in faith. We need the encouragement and sharpening. We need to become disciples who make disciples.
Do you desire deeper friendships with godly women?
Do you long for someone to encourage and equip you to live for God’s glory?
Do you know what God says about womanhood?
Do you want to know how to apply biblical principles of womanhood in your circumstances and relationships?
How might God change the landscape of Fellowship Bible Church and our community if women commit to find and invest in “Paul” and “Timothy” relationships this year?
As a ministry that exists to glorify God and make disciples among women, Woven offers three ways for you to meet and connect with women this Fall:
- Woven Retreat, Saturday, September 17, at FBC. We hope you can join ladies from our community as we learn more about the fundamental characteristic of God’s hesed from Psalm 103.
- Woven Fall Bible Study, October 3-December 12. Build deep, meaningful relationships with other women while understanding God’s Word in a more profound way. The Fall study will focus on God’s Hesed, following up on the Woven Fall Retreat theme.
- Woven T2 Pods (Discipleship), October 1-December. In the spirit of Titus 2, our T2 Pods Discipleship Ministry was designed to create small pods (one leader and three women) who meet in homes and who grow together in the grace and knowledge of Christ.