Godly Gals ~ Melissa, Breath of Life Ministries

Determined to Make a Change
By: Melissa, Breath of Life Ministry
Her name jumped off the sign up sheet.  The pencil marks bold, as if written in black permanent ink IN ALL CAPS and highlighted for good measure.  I know she wanted to go.  We’d talked about her going.  Somehow, I wasn’t quite ready to see my girl’s name on that sheet, in her own handwriting.  Only 11, yet she’d taken the plunge and signed up for a mission trip that neither of her parents will go on.
Just last summer, she cried as I left for10 days in Peru.  This year I’ll be the one in the parking lot waving goodbye, crying on my husband’s shoulder as our girl journeys across the state to minister in Jesus’ name.  I cannot describe the growth God has orchestrated in my daughter that, a few short months ago, I would not have thought possible.  I am humbled and grateful that He used me as one of many instruments in that process.
CJ’s first year of middle school has been filled with adjustments.  Drama has weighed heavily on her large group of friends, straining some bonds and severing others.  I was distraught.  I complained.  I attempted to control.  I wanted my daughter to have strong friendships with Christian girls, not stormy relationships with drama queens.
I felt the Spirit nudging me.  What are you willing to do about it?
Realizing I needed to be more proactive, I broached the subject of a group Bible study.  An only child, CJ loved the idea of having her friends over every week.  I carefully selected the material and the other girls who would participate.  We spent the next few weeks learning how to find and to be a godly friend.  I watched these girls, apart from the pressure of their larger social circle.  
Gone were the quiet, perfect “company” manners.  They openly discussed the pitfalls of being a tween girl.  They entrusted me with their fears, spoke their hearts, and listened intently as I shared my testimony.  What surprised me most of all was CJ’s boldness, her willingness to confess her sin in the presence of her friends and to share what God was teaching her.  Listening to my child bare her soul, not caring if there were any ramifications, took my breath away.
And to think, I could have missed it.
Throughout my daughter’s life, she’s heard me talk about teaching youth and adults in Sunday School.  She’s seen me invite women into my home for Bible study.  I am ashamed that she has never been the focus of my ministry to women.  
I’ve allowed the popular notion of women’s ministry – and my own desire for a thriving, important ministry – to decide who I should minister to.  As a result, I’ve neglected the calling on my life to mentor this young woman in my home.  She, the one female I am charged to minister to, care for, love and teach the most.  Shame on me.
I am determined to make a change.
I will minister to my daughter by being available to listen and pray.  To laugh and cry.  To give advice.  To cover wounds with the balm of soothing truth.
I will teach my daughter how to be a godly wife and mother.  A woman who knows how to make wise choices.  A woman who understands her need for Jesus above all else.
I will disciple my daughter by demonstrating what it means to be a woman of prayer and of the Word.
I will lead by example.
Halfway through our Bible study, the girls that started with us were asking for another study after we finished.  This summer, I will lead these precious girls and their mothers as we dig into the Word.  I pray for the Lord’s grace to model our need for “Daughter Ministry”.  After all, they are the most important women in our lives.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Duet. 6:5-7 (ESV)
A Little Bit About Melissa;
Melissa recently celebrated 17 years of marriage with her wonderful husband.  She is mother to CJ (11).  Sher serves her church family as a deacon’s wife, choir member, and Sunday School teacher.  She is an avid reader and coffee drinker.  Her ramblings on what God is teaching her through this life can be found on her blog, Breath of Life.
Wow, Wow, Wow Melissa…what an incredible reminder for each and every one of us!  I love that you are determined to make a change and in your transparency you have inspired me, and I am sure many more, to make a change too!  Thank you!
I can hardly believe the blessings of these women each and every week of the Godly Gals series!  As of right now we have the entire summer lined up with some truly amazing women who are “Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith” in action…true Godly Gals!
I’m also starting to line up writers for the fall, so if you are interested in writing for the series and want to find out more, then send me an email at melsworldministry {at} gmail {dot} com for a copy of the Submission Guidelines.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!
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