By Sherry Graf
In a few weeks I’m traveling to see a few good girlfriends from our days in South Dakota. Each of these women were in a Bible study I led when we lived there. Since then some of us have moved to different states, but the bond remains strong from our years of having babies and studying the Word together. This study happened during a season when I didn’t lead a single study on campus with college women.
During some of the years of directing the ministry at SDSU and parenting three very little boys at home, I was connected and involved in our ministry, but not as a Bible study leader. I think this was partly because we had other staff women and student leaders, so there wasn’t a huge need for my involvement. I did stay engaged by hosting the leadership team on and off, as well as meeting occasionally with students, our EDGE women and staff team. I also enjoyed going to campus for evangelism.
At that time I still longed for time to dig into the Word with others. God put on my heart various young mom friends I knew that weren’t involved in any Bible study at all. One mom had never been in a Bible Study before. Another had a clingy toddler that wouldn’t go to the church nursery. And a third mom went to such a small church where there wasn’t even one offered. The group grew to about 6-8 of us each week and countless kids! One morning a week (which was a way easier time for me to stay awake for vs. late nights studies on campus), we hired a couple of our students from Navs to come over and watch all the kids in our basement. It worked really well and met a need for all of us to study and fellowship together. Some years I hosted and other years we held it at someone else’s home. It was very exciting to see God grow these young moms in relationship with Him and one another.
During our student leadership meetings I made a point to share about how my study was going. I wanted the student women to see an example of what they might do someday if they were staying home with their little ones. I also wanted them all to see that getting into God’s Word and reaching out to others can continue for a lifetime.
After a few years together the study ended and I found myself really enjoying leading a study on campus again. Since then it has been fun to watch these moms continue to spread their wings and lead in other ministry opportunities.
From our moms study there were three women that not only initiated but planned a few overnight shopping trips. (What a nice break it was for me not to be the one initiating and planning everything!) Those trips together took our friendship to an even deeper level and really ministered to my heart in those long, cold winters stuck inside all the time. Those are the ladies I’m traveling back to see very soon! And you’d better believe there will be kid-free shopping involved. 🙂
I pray that no matter what your season of life or capacity to pour into others over two-feet-tall, that you will find time to dig deep into His Word. May the choice to be in His Word nourish you in the unseen work you do, day in and day out. And may it reap a harvest in your life and the lives you pour into.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my WORD be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
Sherry joined staff in 1997. She robbed the cradle and married a handsome student (gasp!) named Jeff in 2000. Since then they have served in WI, SD and now in CO. They have 3 boys ages 8-13 and there is never a dull moment in their house. 3 years ago Sherry finally got her girl, a black and white lab mix who is her constant shadow. Jeff works with operations and training for collegiate. Sherry enjoys writing and encouraging mommy missionaries when she isn’t busy homeschooling.