Open Hands, Willing Heart {Team Journal}

 Today’s team journal is written by our Bible Study Director, Lauren Steckling.


While I want to offer baskets full of gifts and talents, many times all God asks of me is a willing and open heart.

I’ve probably mentioned before that I am a “behind the scenes” person. I prefer to be out of the spotlight, away from the center of attention. I see myself as a “follower” - the kind of character who plays the supporting role as the people around her are doing big things. I like being able to carry out the details while someone else comes up with the visionary dream. Any time the word “leader” or “leadership” is mentioned I am quick to announce: “that’s not who God created me to be.”

here are my empty hands. Fill them with qualities that only You can. If they need me, I’m willing to learn.

The problem with all of that is that it is who I say that I am. It’s my comfort zone, my safe place. I don’t like being in charge so I shy away from good opportunities for growth. Why? Because growth is uncomfortable and it takes me away from my safe place. Throughout the last ten years or so though, God has gradually, and intermittently placed me in positions of leadership that continue to stretch me. And every single time it has been good for me. From management at work during college to teaching classrooms of little ones to, most recently, my position on the Dayton Women in the Word’s Director Team.

This last position, as Bible Study Director, has definitely been a season of stretching for me. It was just over a year ago that I joined the team, and it had been evident by the events leading up to my commitment that this was where God wanted me to be. I almost didn’t apply, because little ol’ Lauren is quiet, reserved, and doesn’t take initiative - and those just aren’t the qualities of a leader. Except... God thought otherwise.

Just before I was interviewed for the position I told the Lord:

“God, I am not qualified for this job. I have empty hands and a laundry list of excuses why they’d be better off with someone else. BUT, here are my empty hands. Fill them with qualities that only You can. If they need me, I’m willing to learn.”

I constantly have to remind myself of this and I continue to pray that God would equip me. He has answered my prayer up to this point and I know He will be faithful to continue to give what I need. In my DWITW 365 reading from today (Matthew 25), I recalled the lesson of the parable of the man who gives his servants bags of gold, or talents. Two of the three servants invested their money and earned more gold for the master. One, however, hid his bag of gold and earned nothing more. To the two wise servants, he said:


“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; now I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
(Matt. 25:23)


God has been giving me small areas of leadership to be faithful in for a while now. He is proving to me that I have the ability to do good things for His glory, and as long as I am faithful in those small areas and trust Him to equip me with what I need, I can continue to trust Him to provide when He brings larger areas of leadership.

His call for me, and for you, is faithfulness and stewardship - not perfection. He has already shown us that He is the one in charge anyway. He is the true planner, provider and leader of Dayton Women in the Word and the Summer Bible Study. And oh, what a beautiful relief that is to me! He has already shown me once again that He is going before us and providing for Summer Study 2019 before we even have the chance to feel a need! I still feel unqualified and insecure at times, but the Lord is being glorified all the more because it cannot be said that any “success” is credited to me or my abilities - it is, and will always be, Him!

 Lauren Steckling wants to live in a world where donuts have no calories, weekends last longer, and everyone would feel the grace and peace that comes knowing their Savior Jesus. When she's not taking care of her toddler, you can find her sewing, baking, or with her nose in a good book.

Her favorite Scripture is Isaiah 41:10, ESV: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."