Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Women of Influence

Mother's Day is coming. I have a question: Is there a woman (other than mom) who has had tremendous influence on you? If so, who was it and how?

I wrote in an earlier post about how God was pressing me to prayer. January, I started getting up early on Sunday mornings, riding up to church and doing a prayer walk before services started. This was not my idea. Pure and simple, I would never have thought of it on my own.

Aside from Susie Walther, the woman who has single-handedly had the most influence on my spiritual walk was Karen Shogren. I met Karen when I was living in Georgia, attending Crossroads Community Church. I don't remember exactly HOW we met, but she invited me to join her and a team of people on Saturday nights in praying over the church. Karen described herself as a prayer warrior. It sounded a little strange to me, this praying over the church, but at the same time it made perfect sense. Each Saturday night, the pastor, worship leader, and a small group of people would gather in the sanctuary. We would lay hands on the pastor and worship leader and pray over them. Then everyone would take a section, and every chair in the sanctuary would get prayed over. We would then spread out through the classrooms and pray over those, also.

One Sunday morning I met Karen just before service and she was radiant. I had never seen anyone look so beautiful, and whenever I think of her, this is how I see her. She was glowing. I told her so, and her response was that she had just spent some intense time in prayer meeting with God.

My prayer walk feels very humble at the moment. It is just me and God. But recently, after I completed my weekly walk, and came into the sanctuary for worship/service, someone greeted me and said, "You look RADIANT!" It was the nicest compliment anyone has ever paid to me. I had just had a pretty intense encounter with God. I wouldn't trade my time with Him for all the sleep in the world.

I moved away from Georgia, and lost touch with Karen. It's been 6 years since I've seen her. I am in the process of shutting down my hotmail account, and came across some emails from her. The memory of her example and encouragement came flooding back. I tried to email her, but the address I had was no longer valid.

I just established a new facebook account, and one of the first things I did was look for Karen. I thought it was a long shot, but lo and behold, there she was. The first person to pop up on the search list. I let out a scream and clicked the "add to friends" button as quickly as possible.

Whether Karen and I reestablish relationship or not, I will always remember her example. I am a part of her spiritual fruit, and what I produce is due, in part, to her example. This is my lesson for the week: whether you know a person for a short time or for a lifetime, there's always time to influence him or her for spiritual good.

Thanks, Karen. If I never do get to meet you again here, I will definitely see you in heaven!!

1 comment:

  1. Gillian, I just came across your blog, and love your last blog on prayer. I was also part of a prayer warrior group, a church close to us had two ladies who would pray every tuesday night for their Church and Pastor, Debbie and I joined them and it changed me. We would pray sometimes for two hours, Wow how God changed each of us and the Church we were praying for. I no longer go to prayer group because our Bible Study for our Church meets on Tuesday nights. I miss that time, but the three of them still meet every Tuesday and pray. It is amazing to see how God works when we pray. He loves spending time with us. So great to see God's love in you.