Encouragement from Emma
by Emma Schmidt
Hi! My name is Emma Schmidt. I'm Bethel's Women's Ministry Intern and have the privilege of sharing with you some of the things I have learned from working in the Church. First off, I would love to share a little bit about myself. I was raised in the small, West Side farming community of Enumclaw. I graduated high school in 2019, and in 2020 started pursing a degree in Ministry Leadership. Having moved to the Tri-Cities six months ago, this has been a season of "new" - navigating a new city, building new relationships and finding my new home church. Three months ago, I started attending Bethel, as well as joined Bethel's internship program. Even in this short amount of time, I have been blessed in countless ways.
Working under the Women's Ministry Director, Rachal Carr, has taught me, grown me and opened my eyes to a great deal. I have had the opportunity to interview many women who hold a significant role within Bethel. As I reflected on our conversations, the most evident thing in them all is the heart for their work and their faith in the Lord. Each and every woman I spoke to has a beautiful testimony of how the Lord has orchestrated their lives and has worked within them, through them and around them. When asked how to stay refreshed while working in ministry, the united conclusion was "Purpose". Not only is it important to remind yourself of the purpose behind everything you are doing, but to remember that God has given you a purpose, intentional gifts and unique abilities to work in His kingdom. Even so, it is also incredibly easy to look at our seasons of life and become overwhelmed, feel unqualified, ill-equipped, and just unmotivated to get through another day. Well, I am here to tell you, we have all been there and chances are, still there.
Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." We are not meant to be doing life alone. We are to share our prayers, praises and burdens with one another. Having a community of fellow believers that will remind you of your purpose and the real reason why you do what you do, may not make things better, but it will help things become more bearable. A lesson I quickly learned in this internship was the bottom line of any gathering, regardless of its size, is not how the decorations look, or how many people show up, but that the presence of the Lord is felt and His intentional love is shown during our interactions with one another. For example, Jocelyn Crowell, another Bethel Intern and I, plan what we call "Serve Saturday", a once a month serving opportunity for the Bethel Young Adults. During this, we package up lunches and distribute them throughout the Tri-Cities at low income housing apartments and homeless communities. During our first Serve Saturday, we were quick to look at all the things we did not do, such as include little cards to go in each lunch. But when we took a second to stop and think of the real reason we are doing the lunches, God reminded us that it is to show His love and compassion to our community. What if we started adopting this mindset throughout our day? We can be intentional about slowing down a couple times a day to take 30 seconds throughout our busy schedules to have a conversation with the Lord. A true blessing that we all get to experience is the fact He is always with us. In the car, at work, as we are walking into a meeting, even in the bathroom! He is right there. Let's try to take a moment and hit pause on our day for a matter of seconds to not only talk with the Lord, but to allow Him to remind us of our purpose.
One of the best quotes I have gotten thus far from Rachal is, "This week may be rough, but God is still good!" Although she said it in a somewhat joking manner, it could not be more true! Most of us have had those days in which we truly believe going back to bed would have been the best option - just call it a day and try again tomorrow. Maybe your day has looked similar to the Tuesday I lived through last week - running 10 minutes late to everything scheduled that day, dropping my coffee on the floor of my car, and backing into a co-worker's car as I tried to rush to the store. By the time I got home, I was ready for the day to be over. Sometimes the tears are necessary, but the best part about God, as one of my favorite songs says, "Before my heart knows what to pray, You've already made a way." (You've Always Been by Unspoken). Throughout our bad days we can take a deep breath and find the much-needed comfort in the fact that God already knows what is going on before we even approach Him about it. There is a purpose behind the bad days. Maybe God wants you to slow down and take a minute to talk with Him so He can remind you that you are a great wife, mother, sister, and ultimately, His beloved masterpiece.
The past few months here at Bethel have been amazing and I am excited to continue learning, growing and following Jesus. May we all be reminded of the love of Jesus and the purpose He has so graciously instilled in each and every one of us. I pray that we can slow down throughout our days, listen to Him and give thanks for all that He is doing, and has yet to do.