“…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 8:11) Never has a truer statement been made!
My name is Joanna Ridgway and I’m honored to be asked by Brynn to be a ‘guest writer’ on her amazing blog! I may not be as eloquent as she is, but I hope you’ll glean some ‘pearls’ along the way.
I live in Pickerington, Ohio and have been married to my husband, Jeff, for 28 years and we have two amazing children. Lauren is 25 years old and lives in Queens, New York (of all places!) with the absolute light of my life, my granddaughter, McKenna and her daddy, Mark (who works for the New York Mets.) Lauren is truly the best mommy I’ve ever seen and also works a few days a week being a wonderful and compassionate nurse to oncology patients. And Chase, my 21-year old is a senior Nursing student at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Two years ago, Chase underwent major surgery to donate a portion of his liver to a family friend from our church who was dying with liver disease. They both recovered 100%! It’s an awesome thing to say that my child volunteered to do this of his own volition at the ripe old age of 19 during his college Christmas break. (You can’t tell I like to brag on my family, can you?!)
I’ve been on staff at World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio (where I met Brynn when she was there as a college student at World Harvest Bible College) for 28 years (yes, that’s a long time!) I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Pastor Rod Parsley in an executive assistant role for most of those years but I’ve recently transitioned into a position of research for sermon topics/ministry services and preparing for any ministry or speaking opportunities. And I LOVE it! It’s definitely my nitch. However, if you would’ve asked me ten years ago if I could do this, I would’ve shrunk away from such an opportunity, thinking there’s no way I could ever do that – but God has a way of stretching us and sometimes even proving us wrong, doesn’t He?
I met my husband, Jeff, at World Harvest Church ‘back in the day’! We were married there and raised our children there, and they even attended the school at our church. Jeff also worked at the church for 23 years before he was attacked with cancer in 2012. But God supernaturally healed him after he’d been in the hospital for seven long months and at death’s door three times. What a wild and crazy experience for all of us but needless to say, we’re all changed people after going through that ordeal. Let me tell you, you learn how to constantly gird yourself with the armor of God, confess the Word of God more than ever before, and come out the other side with faith that’s been tried in the refiner’s fire – but is stronger than you could ever imagine.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share a couple of nuggets I’ve learned on the subject of wisdom – things that I really wish I would’ve learned much earlier in life. (Please understand I’m no authority on this subject by any means – I just want to share some things I’ve learned along the way!)
Wisdom is truly a precious thing as the Scripture states – and it’s a much-needed commodity to make right decisions and to juggle “life,” not just major decisions but everyday ones, as well.
So how do you gain the wisdom of God? James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” That’s it – just ask! And He promises it will be given to you.
1 Corinthians 2:7 tells us that wisdom is a mystery that’s been hidden. Do you know why God hid it? He hid it so the devil – your adversary – couldn’t find it! He hid it FOR you – not FROM you. Neither the devil nor the world can have it, but you can access it and unlock the wisdom of God for every area of your life!
1 Corinthians 14:2 tells us “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
So here’s another key – pray in the Holy Spirit, and as you do, the wisdom of God is revealed or uncovered. And you will no longer have to ask God daily, “What am I going to do about this? I don’t know what to do.” You will begin looking up and saying, “Lord, what are You going to do about this?” And let Him begin to show you and lead you as you walk in the demonstration of His wisdom.
These truths have helped me in countless ways and in numerous areas of my life. As I stated earlier, I only wish I would’ve known them and applied them many years ago! But regardless of what stage of life or what ‘status’ you may find yourself – a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a single mom, a single adult, an aunt, a friend, a church leader, a pastor, etc. – the 35,000 decisions we’re all faced with daily can be made with Godly wisdom and eliminate unnecessary drama along the way (don’t we all need that?!)
I encourage you to carve out some time on a regular basis to pray in the spirit and in the understanding, specifically asking God for His wisdom. Gather some applicable Scriptures regarding wisdom and begin to confess them during this time of prayer. I believe this simple process can be a life-changer for you, as it has been for me!
Thank you, everyone, for reading my first ever blog entry and thank you, Brynn, for allowing me to contribute to Diary of a Preacher’s Wife!