Room At The Front

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
A woman who fears the Lord…what does that even look like? 
There’s no doubt that ‘we’ are naturally attracted to charming and beautiful people.
I think back on that girl in school who always had what seemed like a big following of friends while I on the other hand sat over in the corner and just blended with the wall paper – a wall flower.   I was that insecure girl who sat back and watched the pretty girls and allowed the enemy to tell me, “You’ll never be like her.”  I have also been that grown-up woman who sat back and watched the “godly” ladies sitting on the front row of church and believed the same lie.
“You’ll never be like them.”  

Not too many years ago and not long after we came to Church of the Highlands, I remember sitting in my seat closer to the back watching the lady across the isle and up a few rows. (closer to the front that I thought was unattainable for me)  I watched woman after women come by each week to give this particular lady a hug. Week after week I remember thinking…How do you get to be like that?  How do you get that many friends coming by each Sunday to speak to you?  Lord, could that ever be me?  Could I ever be like her?  She wasn’t necessarily one of those beautiful people but nonetheless even I could see that she had something that I wanted.  
As time went on we slowly moved up a row or two on Sunday’s and I couldn’t help but over hear her sweet conversations with her friends and quickly realized that she had been their small group leader.  These many ladies came by to get a hug and a word of encouragement each week because Sandy had poured into them and they loved her for it.  They were in relationship because of her small groups.
I never did much more that cordially speak to the lady I admired so much but she was a great influence in my life.  She modeled out her love for her ladies so well that It caused me to want what she had. I decided to give small groups a try.  Within the next year, I was sold.  I was in love with showing the love of Jesus to the women who came to my small groups.   I didn’t try to lead any great in-depth Bible study or try to teach something that I wasn’t equipped to do.  My first small group was teaching women how to smock. Then I moved onto leading a cooking small group that summer.   It was in these small groups of women that I learned how to love on my girls and pray for them.  We all crave the love of Jesus being poured out on us and modeled out before us.

Life change really does happen in relationships.

It’s not about the curriculum.  It’s about sharing the love that’s within you with those God brings to your group and puts in your path.
IMG_9512bwToday, some six years and many, many small groups later, I have women who come by my seat on Sunday’s to get a word of encouragement, a welcoming smile and a hug.  BUT I always want be looking back for that woman like I was, wondering if she could ever make it to the front of the church, not feeling qualified and doubting if God could ever use her.  It’s not a secret.  It’s simple! 
Love Jesus and help others see that they can too.
There’s always room at the front.  You see, God has an amazing plan for every one of us.  All you have to do is go all-in with Him.  Be a woman who fears the Lord.  ~ Cindy



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img_2715-1Cindy Willingham is a wife, mother, empty nester and natural encourager. She enjoys writing, working in her garden, taking day trips and talking with friends over coffee. She has a heart for women’s ministry and prayer. To learn more about Cindy click here.


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