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Preparing for Divine Appointments
I welcome my writer friend and women’s ministry leader, Jennifer Slattery, to my blog. Today, she discusses how self-centeredness distorts our ability to see the opportunities, the missions, God is giving us to draw people close to Him. I pray her words speak to you as they did to me…
Preparing for Divine Appointments
By: Jennifer Slattery
We are never unseen, insignificant, or an afterthought.
I was a young mom who spent most of my time surrounded by children. I didn’t have much influence. People weren’t clamoring to hear what I had to say. In fact, most often, it felt as if my words were tuned out, lost among the cartoons, whining, and temper tantrums that come with parenting.
In the grand, cosmic scheme of things, it would’ve been easy to feel insignificant. Honestly, there were moments when I did. When I allowed myself to get so wrapped up in my small world, everything else slipped my notice.
The more I allowed self-centeredness to narrow my view, the more miserable I became. Until one day I happened upon a little book titled the Prayer of Jabez. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It took the Christian world by storm in 2006, as I was just beginning to grow in my relationship with Christ. This book, or rather, what God did through it, stirred within me a passion to live on mission for Him.
There wasn’t anything magical about that book, though it was well-written (although largely speculative). And honestly, there wasn’t anything special about the prayer the book was based on. But through the book, God challenged me to shift my focus. Through words spoken by an ancient man briefly mentioned among a long list of descendants, God awaked my eyes to notice. To be alert and ready for whatever God might want to do through me each day.
In other words, God awakened my heart to watch out for God moments. And as I went about my day, alert, the most amazing things happened. I encountered people with questions, with concerns, with prayer requests. It seemed, the moment I began to pray this prayer, that God would expand my territory, it was like He opened up His divine appointment book and sent me on mission.
Whether God was bringing people into my path because I was alert or those people—those divine opportunities—had been there all along but I’d been to preoccupied with self to notice doesn’t matter. God challenged me to view every day through a gospel-shaped, image-bearer, purpose-filled lens knowing God created me for a purpose and with a purpose.
The next time I begin to feel unnoticed, or have grown bored with the monotony of life, may I look up, then look around, and be ready to be used by God whenever and however He desires. I believe that is when we begin to experience the exciting, empowered, abundant life Christ promised.
What about you? Do you have any similar stories to share? Perhaps of times when you felt God prodding you to be more alert to those around you? Did you find yourself landing in any divine appointments? Like me, do you have a tendency to get so caught up in yourself—your worries, to-do lists, calculating how many pieces of chocolate you can have before someone deems you a glutton—that you perhaps miss out on being part of the miraculous?
Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.
Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com
Check out Jennifer’s latest book! Healing Love
A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.
Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?
(Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread. Dual setting: Southern California, and El Salvador)
Follow her on Goodreads here.
About Kristen Terrette
Kristen is on fire for Christ and loves to serve Him when she has the opportunity. Whenever she’s not blogging or writing books, she spends time with her husband and two children. She also serves on the Ladies Leadership team at her church.