I am about to be as transparent as I can be. The last year has been rough. Marriage is hard. Blending lives is difficult. Couple that with two demanding jobs, a husband working on his doctorate, a 15 year old boy, growing into a young man, learning to drive and pursuing his dream of baseball. Non-stop weekends that start on Saturday morning at 5 AM and end Sunday night at 11:59 PM. You combine it all and Satan has been given an opportunity to dwell around the Hutcheson household. He has lingered and brought a cloud of negativity like no other. My children were bickering, my husband and I were in constant disagreement, and illness has plagued our home-me, kids, husband. To say Satan had a foothold on my life and in our home is an understatement.
At the beginning of October, I was admitted to the hospital. Prior to being admitted, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. My son was not talking to his father. My girls were not talking to each other. Misery and heartache were overshadowing my positive outlook with a darkness and taking over my life. I was not fun to be around. I loathed getting up. I did not care what I looked like or if anyone saw me like that. My breaking point was reached.
My first night in the hospital was fine. I was only being monitored. Then the next day I was told my gall bladder needed to be looked at because I was symptomatic of that. A day later I found out I was chronic. My gall bladder was full of stones and suddenly I understood half of the reason I felt the way I did. Surgery was scheduled and it was the most horrible pain of my life. I would say worse than childbirth.
I had too much time in the hospital and at home resting for a total of seven days. I had to do something so I read books, wrote, jounaled, etc. In that time I picked up my tablet and started doing a deep dive into a bible study called Worthy of the Calling by Sarah Koontz I had the pleasure of previewing, helping with edits, and launching it. I never knew this book of the Bible was the RX I needed. Ephesians! I have studied it often. Never like this!
Sarah Koontz has a way with words and explanations that I do not need a Masters of Theology to understand what she is telling me. I have done Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer studies spending hours daily studying. Half the time I missed a lot of the meat of the issue because I just wanted to get through it. But Sarah only needed 15 minutes of my attention and WOW! I never knew 15 minutes could make a big difference in my life. Sarah spoke to me in short emails that spoke to my hardened heart.
When I was given the opportunity to launch her bible study, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my life. I have read many Christian books and studies but this one study on Ephesians changed me. For the better.
Sarah’s easy to understand text intertwined with daily activities and the most beautiful freebies I have ever seen created for a study, make this a winner for any woman at any stage of her life.
In the last 14 days I have learned that in Christ I am:
- Chosen in Love to be holy and blameless
- I am not at fault because Jesus has paid the price for me and my sins
- Chosen by God to be His daughter; a recipient of His inheritance
- I am His princess entitled to the riches of His kingdom
- A treasured possession
- Defined by God (and ONLY God)
This is a short list of what I have learned in the first 14 days. By day one I learned that with the first two verses of Ephesians 1:1-2 I AM WORTHY! I am a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. I remembered who I am and whose I am. By day three, my marriage was saved. My husband and I talked through our issues like never before because my heart was softened. By day seven, my girls were loving one another and being kind to one another again. By day fourteen, a father and son finally hugged for the first time in months. Satan is no longer lingering in our home. Why? Because through this study, I found my Christian heart again. I was reminded of an unconditional love of a father and his daughter.
I never realized how much changes when we truly put God first. This study has helped me establish good study habits because I could not wait to see what God, through Sarah, would share with me. I enjoy my Sabbath now with rest and reflection because Sarah stresses this within the study as well. Whether it was reading my prayer cards or coloring my downloads, I have finally truly learned to rest.
In this study, I have cried tears of sadness, prayed in a different more spirtitual way and let my past go. I can look myself in the mirror for the first time in a long time and see the woman God created me to be-fearfully and wonderfully made. I have nothing to be ashamed of because all my trials were the ones He prepared for me. He knows my story. He wrote it. Only He knows the ending. No matter what path I choose going forward, I know I am Worthy of His Calling on my life.
In September of this year, I would wake up. Get dressed. I might brush my hair or I might not. I would go to work. Come home. Live in depression and strife. I, a blessed woman of God, never understood that I am worthy only because He made me.
Today, I woke up blessed and full of His love for me. I got dressed. I did my hair. I put on my makeup and looked in the mirror for the first time in months and said “I am Worthy”.
Thank you, Sarah Koontz! Because of this study, my family has been saved. I have come out of the darkness which has brought others in my home out of the darkness. God is first again.
I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for me in the next 17 days of walking with Sarah through the rest of Ephesians.
If you feel the call to join Sarah, please click the image below.