How do you DO that? How do you know you can trust God?
In Becoming Women of the Word: How to Answer God’s Call with Purpose and Joy, I enter the lives of some of the first people God ever reached out to — Eve and Sarah, Miriam, Ruth and Esther, to name a few — and walk alongside them to learn the secrets of their faith in God. In the process, I share stories from my own faith journey and the lives of other women I know.
All of them, the biblical and the modern women, are ordinary women who heard God’s word in tough times in their lives and learned to trust and follow. By their example, we can learn how to answer God’s call in our lives “with purpose and joy.”
Here are some answers to FAQs about the book:
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a “Woman of the Word”?
- How can you “answer God’s call with purpose and joy”?
- Where did the idea for Becoming Women of the Word come from?
- Why is there a tree on the cover?
What is a “Woman of the Word”?
A woman (or a person) of the Word is one who has taken the word of God to heart so that it informs who she is and what she does and how.
A woman of the Word — like Mary, Mother of the Word — hears God’s word and receives it; she says “yes” to its call on her life. She ponders it (including what she doesn’t understand). She lets it take shape inside her and transform her until she “bears Christ to the world” in her actions.
How can we “answer God’s call with purpose and joy?”
You will need to read the book for a full answer. But as we learn from these women of the OT and as I was taught by the other women I have written about: To answer God’s call, you must first of all hear it! So – listen for God’s voice, really listen to what you hear. And then comes the hard part: to give your “yes” to what he asks. This is possible when we know God’s character and his love for us; when we know what he has done to demonstrate that love; and when we know his plan and promises. We find our purpose in his when we seek his guidance and follow, allowing him to grow and work in us.
Where did the idea for Becoming Women of the Word come from?
For years, I’ve been teaching people the overarching story of salvation history as it’s told in the Bible: particularly in the Old Testament, which Catholics are less familiar with. The first time I heard it, many years ago, I was captivated by the love and mercy of God not just for the Jews, but for me. I realized that their story is my story, too.
As we teach in the Great Adventure Bible Timeline program, that story unfolds in a series of covenant promises that God makes with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David – all eventually leading to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. Those great men of the Bible are incredible examples to us of what it means to have faith and be part of God’s family. But one day I realized, that while the focus is always on those men, nearly every one has a woman beside him. And she’s not just there for looks! Just like Mary isn’t just some woman who had a womb, that God used to be born in. The women of the Old Testament play a crucial role in forming the people of God.
I could go on all day about that, but this isn’t the place. Everyone knows that about the men. I wanted to look at the women, at what they show us about how to live by faith and about who we are as the people of God.
Why is there a tree on the cover?
I get asked this a lot! Why isn’t there a picture of a woman? That’s because even though I use the stories of women to get across the message, it’s the message that’s most important: that the people who are like this tree, whether they are men or women, are those who flourish with purpose and joy.
The tree is a picture of a person “of the Word.”
Read Psalm 1 or Jeremiah 17:7-8. And think about a tree in the desert. Unless its roots are plunged deep into the stream of God’s spirit: through meditating on Scripture “day and night,” as Psalm 1 says; through prayer and regular partaking of the Sacraments; through trust in the Lord alone, as Jeremiah says. Unless its roots are in that stream, it’s nothing but a tumbleweed tossed about by the wind.
You can be like the flourishing tree that’s on the cover. You can be in the desert of a dry spell, in a sandstorm, or your world falling apart: but if you are deeply rooted in the Word, in Prayer and the Sacraments – you’ll withstand the drought and flourish!
The women I wrote about teach us this truth.
Blessings on you as you dig deeper into his Word!
© 2019 Sarah Christmyer