A Note from Chris Adams: One of my prayer warriors is a women’s leader who has served women for many, many years. Karen Alexander-Doyel is a personal friend and women’s leadership trainer. As a woman who has faced extremely painful situations, she always uses those experiences to glorify God and minister to others. This article is just a snippet of all God has and continues to do in and through her as she walks faithfully with Christ.
By Karen Alexander-Doyel
In January many of my friends emailed me their verses for the year. They shared what they felt God was telling them to pursue in their lives with Him in the coming year. As I read them, I wondered, “What does God want for me this year?” I prayed and asked. I have to say I did not get an immediate answer. I asked again and told Him I was willing to walk whatever journey He wanted for me. Again, it seemed as though there was not an answer. I have walked with my Lord long enough to know that His answers don’t always come instantly, through a verse, a sermon or even a vision. For me, the answer has come in the walk of life so far this year.
I could list the events I’ve experienced (and am still experiencing) since January, but you might think I am exaggerating, feel sorry for me, or even wonder what I’ve done wrong. My goal is not for you to hear the struggles, but to see the One Who walks with me through the struggles.
As we work with women it’s obvious as Jesus said, “In this world there will be trouble.” Each place I speak, I hear heartbreaking stories. What does God want me to do with those stories? What does He want you to do as you listen to the trials in the lives of the women you serve?
My year is a call to pray, to be spiritually ready and to persevere. In the middle of trials it’s easy to pray for my troubles, but God has tuned my heart to the hurts and struggles of others. He wakes me in the night to pray for children of friends, sick family members of coworkers, salvation for the lost, broken homes, chronic health problems. In praying, I’m talking to the One Who has all the answers, asking Him to bring everything under the Shadow of His Wings (Psalm 91:1-2; 4-5).
Things are not going to get easier. We are living in a world that so wants to deny our God. Let’s shore up our women for battle. Teach them the Word. Teach them to pray. And teach them to put on their armor (Ephesians 6).
Perseverance is courageous endurance without quitting. Are you equipping your women to persevere? I Timothy 1:16 says, “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
Many of you are my encouragers. I know you pray for me and I know God hears. We need to teach our women that God is listening and always answers. Every trial is preparation for His Kingdom work. It is worth it!
Keep serving, keep praying, keep seeking. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Karen Doyel is a writer for the Tennessee Baptist Convention Ministers’ Wives blog, and also writes and teaches Bible studies. A speaker and conference leader, former pastor’s wife, and LifeWay Ministry Multiplier from Lenoir City, Tenn., Karen was married to Dr. Douglas R. Alexander, former pastor of First Baptist Church, Lenoir City, Tenn., until his untimely death a few years ago. They served in ministry in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Ohio and Tennessee. Karen established and led women’s ministries in each church she attended. She especially has a heart for ministers’ wives and wants to help them love their special calling in ministry. Karen is married to Jim Doyel and is the mother of three grown sons.