I was asked to come share part of my story to the 3rd-5th grade girls Sunday School class at my church as part of a summer dedicated to one generation of women sharing with another generation of soon to be women. So I told them a story of this little girl who never knew a time she didn’t know of God. How Jesus and the Bible and the church had always been a part of her life since her earliest memories. How she remembers her little nine year old feet dangling above the floor as she sat in the pew and heard her Baptist minister call people forward to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and how she pulled on her Momma’s arm asking if she could go and getting a yes, she went.
I told them how she remembers her baptism, dressed in white, arms folded across her chest as the Baptist minister, he dipped her back in the water and then brought her back up. How she remembers the physicality of the movement… the dying and rising with Christ. I told them how she had always gone to church and learned the Bible, but it wasn’t until High School that she became friends with a girl who knew God in a different way. Her friend talked about Jesus as her friend and so this girl, she became friends with Jesus too. More than church and Bible memorization, her life with God became a relationship.
I told them how this girl thought she would be a teacher and was in the Future Teachers of America club in High School. And after graduating High School, she decided to go to a Christian college and while she was thinking about teaching she came in undecided in her major. She was good in math and liked working with kids, so her parents encouraged her to pursue being a math teacher.
And then she took her first religion class. A class on the book of Romans. And she feel in love. She fell in love with the Bible and learning about the Bible and learning about God. She took more religion classes and couldn’t seem to get enough. So she declared a religion major and philosophy minor. I shared how her parents said to this girl, “What in the world are you going to do with that? How will that pay the bills? Are you sure you don’t want to be a math or teaching major?”
Because you see this girl, she grew up in a warm, nurturing Christian community, but the most a woman did was teach Sunday School to the children or play the piano. But this girl, she loved her religion classes and she had no idea what she, as a woman, would do with a religion major. But she didn’t care. For now, she just dug in deep to learning about God and His Word.
Then she started going to the church within walking distance of her college campus, and one day a woman stepped up into the pulpit and preached. And the girl thought to herself as she sat uncomfortably in the pew, “What in the world are you doing up there lady?!?”
Because, you see, a woman leading worship and preaching, that wasn’t a category she had in her worldview. But she loved learning about the Bible and her Christian faith and ways to go deeper in her life with God and helping others do that as well. And so she wrestled with the questions: What can I do as a woman in the church? Can I be up front and teach and preach to men and woman? Can I lead?
She shared how through the years of studying and asking questions and listening to God and talking with others, this girl finally embraced the truth: Yes! Yes, a woman can do all these things! Yes, God gifts women to lead and preach and do ministry as he does men.
And so this girl, she went to seminary and she soaked up every moment of those four years learning about God and theology and Greek and Hebrew and education in the church.
Then this girl, she stood before a congregation one day and she was ordained as a minister.
What a surprise! Something she never knew she could become! A category she never knew existed! God had such a marvelous plan she could never have conceived being her journey.
And then I had these young 3rd-5th grade girls, my own daughter being one of them, open their Bibles to Ephesians 2:10 and we read together.
I told them that the word “masterpiece” in the Greek (because I still love to dig into the Greek) is the word poiema. I asked them what it sounds like in English and one girl called out “Poem!” And I said, “Isn’t that beautiful? We are God’s poiema, His poem!” Then I told them the word is talking about something that is carefully made by an artist like a painting or sculpture or piece of music. I said to them, and I really wanted them to hear this, that each of them is God’s masterpiece, uniquely made by God to do something that no one else can do. And God, he may surprise them in what that ends up being, as it surprised me as the little girl who grew up not knowing that a woman could preach and teach and shepherd God’s people, but in God’s plan, that is exactly what He had planned for me as a woman.
I said to them: You never know what God is going to do with your life, what masterpiece he will make out of you! It may be something you never even thought of, but whatever it is, it is going to be a work of art!
And then I had these girls decorate the verse Ephesians 2:10 I had printed out in pretty font, because there is nothing these girls like to do more than doddle and design with gel pens. And each verse became each girl’s own unique creation, just as each one of them is God’s own unique masterpiece creation.
And you friend, you too, are God’s unique creation. And who knows how God will surprise you with the masterpiece he is make of you.
Please feel free to download this free 8×10 printable!