Godly Gals ~ Marsha Harwood

The Second Mile
By: Marsha Harwood

In the mid 1990’s, God called my husband Mike and I to leave our comfortable life in suburban Atlanta, GA and move to the poorest county in the state of NC.  We both love the mountains and had grown to love the Cherokees and the people of Appalachia we’d met and been ministering to over the years, so we were thrilled.

The Lord called me to minister to hurting and sometimes abused women and children, at risk teen girls and pregnant teens. My days are filled with teaching school and mentoring the girls at our ministry house the first part of the day and counseling in the afternoons. I’m just an ordinary woman. There’s no long line of degrees behind my name, but the Lord chose me for this ministry because I understand what it’s like to be hurting and abused since I was raised in a family with an abusive father. 

When the Lord called us to this little corner of His world, we knew that there would be times we would need to walk the extra mile with hurting people in the community. The people don’t want to know how much we know, they just want to know how much we care.

Isn’t that what the Lord has called all of us to, not just those in vocational ministry? We’re to cheer on the weary, bandage their wounds, be their stretcher bearer if need be, whatever it takes.  Sometimes we need to stand guard over them, holding their hand and pray silently for them.  He wants us to continue administering the healing oil of His mercy so the wounded become whole, grow in righteousness and in turn walk the second mile with someone else.

What does the Lord say to us about going the extra mile with those who are weary? 

During a particularly busy time of walking the extra mile with multiple women at the same time, I told Him I didn’t know if I could continue. As I poured out my heart to Him and read Scripture, He chose to speak to my soul in paraphrase. Here is what I learned that evening.

“And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:41)
You are never so weary that you cannot go the second mile,
never so humble, that you cannot bend lower;
never so bereft that you have nothing left to give.

I give you abundant life,
and that means more and more – unending!
True, overcoming faith does not scrape the edges of the bowl,
does not grapple, beg or cajole for favors.
Faith does not scramble for bites of life, nor hide from earthly blows.
The child of God has strength for one more mile.
The first one was for man,
the second one is for Me.”
Inspired by: Hebrews 12:3,12,13

Look around you…who is walking alone? Go and walk with them.

A little bit about Marsha:
Marsha Harwood lives deep in the woods of western North Carolina with the love of her life, Mike, their dog, Lucky and an occasional bear that comes by to visit. Married for 36 years, they are blessed with 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren.

Marsha and her husband started Snowbird TEAM Ministries in the late 1990’s to reach the Cherokee Indians and the poor of Appalachia for Christ.  Her ministry is with at risk teen girls, pregnant teens and counseling women and children who have been abused. Growing up as a battered child, she understands the shame and fear that fills the hearts of abused women and children. 

She can be found daily writing at her blog, Marsha’s Musings and on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter.  She’s also the Marriage Channel Editor for Exemplify Online and Magazine.
Marsha, what a blessing you are to so many! Thank you for sharing your heart and your words with us today! I loved it and will be keeping my eyes open all week for that opportunity to go the Second Mile!
Ladies, have you been inspired, blessed or encouraged by the women in the Godly Gals series over the last eight months?
I know I have!  I’m always on the look out for ways to share “Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith” in action and if you’ve ever considered writing for this series I’d like to ask you to pray about it once more.  I’m taking submissions right now for August, September, and October…yep…that far out, which is incredible!
But I don’t want you to miss out on it either.  You don’t have to be an author, speaker, Bible study teacher, Pastor’s Wife, Pastor, whatever…you just have to be a woman who is “Taking her everyday, ordinary life and placing it as an offering to Him“, that’s it!
Email me at melsworldministry {at} gmail {dot} com for a copy of the Submission Guidelines…you never know, this could be the beginning of something amazing!
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