Encouragement for Today - Mar. 20, 2009

March 20, 2008


A Smashing Success

T. Suzanne Eller


“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”

Jeremiah 18:6b (NIV)



The first time I spoke to a large group I was age 16. My knees knocked together with such force that I was sure no one could hear what I was saying. I was fresh in my knowledge of Jesus, but my youth pastor had faith in me. I decided to speak on Revelations. Not just about Heaven, but the whole book! About 45 minutes in, I saw the panicked look on the youth pastor’s face. My audience’s eyes were glazed over. When I was through I stumbled to my seat, making a promise: I would never, ever speak again.


Funny how promises like that can be broken!


Three years ago, I was with a team of women speaking across Europe. We spoke in Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria and were on our way to Germany to meet with military spouses to complete the 10-day tour. That night I sat in the small room snuggled in the high vineyards and I prayed. Thank You God for what You did today in the hearts of these families, and women. I will always obey You. I will walk through the doors You open.


In the darkness I felt God. The words that rang inside of me were gentle, but a rebuke.


It is good that you obey, but when will you embrace who I made you to be with joy?


I was a speaker because doors had opened for me to share my love for Him. I studied. I prepared. I prayed. I loved what God did every single time! But mentally, I showed God the error of His ways: Lord, can’t You see her? I think she would be great at this. What about that woman, Father? She’s creative and funny! Why don’t You pick her?


I was a strong woman of faith, but in this one aspect I was still the young teen inside, my knees knocking, grateful but absolutely sure that God had made a massive mistake.


The Potter’s plans were not deterred by a painful past, or how shy I once was, or who I thought might fit the call better. That night God smashed the clay down and with it, all my pre-conceived notions. The next day I spoke in Germany. Absolute joy filled my heart as I embraced what my Heavenly Father had allowed me to be. Not just as a speaker, but as a mom, as a wife, as a woman, and as His child.


What about you? Do you see yourself through the eyes of your past, or through the words of others? Do you point out the hurdles or obstacles to overcome rather than the Creator who personally created your DNA? He may not be calling you to speak, but there are certainly tasks He has for you. There are areas where He believes in you! Do you struggle to see it the same way? Are you willing to put it all in the hands of the Potter today?


Heavenly Father, success is not about the applause of people. It’s in beautiful brokenness as You remold us and remake us into what You intended from the very beginning. If there is a pebble or a mar in me today, remove it and reshape me according to Your plan. I offer my life–every aspect of it—to You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

P31 She Speaks! Conference


The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller


Visit Suzie’s blog where she’ll list links to additional sites or resources about this topic


Shaped with Purpose Workbook and companion CD by Renee Swope


Application Steps: 

Are you willing to redefine “success”?


Do You Know the Potter? What area of your life do you offer up to the Potter today?


What tools or resources do you need to help you embrace this new direction?



God shapes the course of our lives as we submit it to Him.


You might stumble as you take steps out of your comfort zone, but you will also grow.


Power Verses:

Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (NIV)


Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)




Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Friday, 20 March 2009.