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My God-Image, Part 1 - Girlfriends in God - January 6, 2015

January 6, 2015
My God-Image, Part 1
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

Friend to Friend

My mother may not have had a degree in psychology, but she certainly could read me like a book.  

I can be a little stubborn. Okay – I can be a lot stubborn – and I like to be in control. You can see how this attitude might set the stage for fireworks between mother and daughter. But Mama was not big on fireworks. She was big on prayer and quietly trusting God to help her.

As a sophomore in college, I was in love and had my future planned. Yep! Every detail was covered. I had not really consulted God because I was certain He would agree with me. After all, it was a great plan that was practically handed to me on a silver platter. How could it possibly be the wrong plan?

We belonged to a small church where my mother made sure we attended every single time the doors were open – and I do mean every single time. Bill Crews, a great man who truly loved God and our family, was our pastor. My mother was a widow raising three children, working the day shift as a nurse and cleaning houses and babysitting after work to earn extra money. Bill and his wife, Joanne, took a special interest in our family – and in me – and seemed to think God had created me for some kind of special work. I was clueless and certainly couldn’t see it.  But they did.

When Pastor Bill explained that God was calling him to serve another church in the Pacific Northwest, I was crushed. I didn’t really get that whole “God calling” deal, but my devastation was short-lived when the Crews offered me an opportunity that would ultimately change the direction of my life.

I could live with them and work as a summer missionary for the Pacific Northwest Mission Board. I had never even been outside the state of Texas where I was born and raised. I had the feeling that God was up to something. A red flag to my self-centered self! My mother thought it was a great idea. Another red flag to my control-freak self, but the whole thing sounded exciting, so off I went.

I sang and played the piano, so I was assigned to a team of students who went from town-to-town, leading worship services at night and conducting vacation Bible schools during the day. It was hard work – but I loved it.

I especially loved getting to hang out with some really awesome guys, one of whom was beyond awesome. Robert (no, it is not his real name) was one tall, lean God machine complete with curly black hair, sparkling blue eyes, and colossal dimples. Robert could also preach the stars down. Every girl on the team had a crush on him, and I was no exception.

But I knew I needed to make some changes if I was going to have any kind of chance with Robert.

Guys like Robert did not date fat girls. I had to lose weight! The more weight I lost, the better friends Robert and I became. Yes, indeed, we became good friends, and promised to keep in touch.

I came home, ranting and raving about the love of my life – Robert, the man I was going to marry. He would preach. I would sing and play the piano, and we would win the world to Christ. Now I ask you, how could that not be God’s plan? Mama just smiled and said, “That’s nice.”

Nice? My plan took “nice” to the cliff and shoved it right over the edge. My plan was totally and unbelievably awesome! She would see.

Robert and I did indeed keep in touch. I flew to his hometown where I met his parents and friends, and immediately fell in love with them all. The following year, he began attending seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where my sister and brother-in-law just happened to live.

See? Another sign from God!

Mama just smiled when I laid that bit of wisdom on her. I am sure she was on her knees again, praying like crazy, while Robert and I planned our future.

When Mama met Robert for the first time, she looked him dead in the eyes and seemed to weigh and measure every inch of his gorgeous self.

Finally, she could see what I was talking about. Robert was perfect! I was certain she had fallen in love with him on the spot.

I could not have been more wrong.

Join me in my next devotion for the rest of the story.

Let’s Pray

Thank You, Lord, for the people in my life who are not afraid to confront me when I am wrong. Forgive me for the arrogance that makes me think I know what is best plan for my life. I don’t understand the height and depth of Your love for me, but I choose to accept it and revel in it. Help me learn to see myself through Your eyes.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Do you really believe God loves you unconditionally? Read John 3:16. Memorize it and record it in your journal. Then write the verse in your own words. Ask God to make it a reality in your heart and life.

More from the Girlfriends

Have you ever wondered why you were even born? Do feelings of insecurity plague your life? In His Eyes will lead you to discover your "God image" and become the woman God created you to be.

Be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook. She loves hearing what God is doing in your life!

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