Who's In Your TRIBE?............(Part 1)

BY: Deana Bell, Director, Restored Marriage
In 2008 when it was obvious that my marriage was falling apart, I knew I needed help from others. I began to tell the Lord that I needed Christian women in my life who could guide me on the right path. I needed some "Proverbs 31" women who could teach me the ways of being a wife, because I knew I was failing at it. I remember telling the Lord that I would like at least three women who would pour into me and teach me His ways. His answer was, "Just trust Me."

Little by little, those women were introduced into my life, not by anything that I did on my own except by having faith. One of those godly women was a young mother that I met at a "purse party,” who happened to have children the same ages as mine. I remember at first, she did and said some things that were very different from what I was used to. I remember one day I was perplexed when she was upset that her daughter's pre-school had dressed the little girls up as witches for Halloween. I didn't get it at first. But as I sought the Lord, I realized that my friend's holy boldness was in keeping with the Scriptures. A witch is someone who serves Satan, not the Lord. Although at first glance this may seem innocent, Exodus 22:18 tells us that we shouldn't even allow such witches to live!!!!!! John 8:44 tells us that the devil is the father of all lies. So it made perfect sense to me that Satan would deceive us into believing that it's ok to dress our little girls up as someone who serves him and not the Lord.

This was the beginning of what I would call "my Damascus road" experience. God began to open my eyes to the things of the world that were not from Him. In Romans 12:2 it says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV) I began to see, with His eyes, the patterns of the world that were not from Him.  And that through seeking Him first, above all things, He would show me the difference.

But it was not until 2012 that I began to experience God's overwhelming answer to my prayer. In the fall of 2011, we decided to change our children's school from public education to a private Christian education. That fall I started to meet more of God's angels. I joined the “Moms In Prayer” group at my children's school and I was instantly surrounded by 8-10 godly women who lived out what it means to be a Proverbs 31 women in their everyday lives. We prayed together twice a month and sometimes got together outside of our meetings for coffee or a meal. This was such an overwhelming blessing for me. When our marriage catastrophe occurred in January of 2012, those same women were the women who encouraged me, prayed for me and wiped my tears with their prayers of peace.

It was during the last week of January 2012 that God really opened the floodgates of friendship for me. Just days after my marriage crisis occurred, my son's math teacher told me about Covenant Keepers. A few days later, I attended my very first in-person meeting where God really showed me that nothing is too hard or impossible for Him. The women that I met through Covenant Keepers have become not only my friends, but my family. God's opened floodgates have not only provided me with THREE godly women to walk through life with, but many, many more. As I sit here and think back to that initial prayer in 2008, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness. He knew. He just knew that I needed much more than three women to guide me on His path. He wanted to give me all of the good gifts of friendship and bless me more than I could have ever imagined.

The next time I write, I want to share with you what God told me about these women that He brought into my life….my TRIBE, as He called them, and what you can learn from the friendships in your life.

Let me pray for you…

Dear Father, I ask that You bless this dear, sweet reader with all of the blessings of godly friendships. I pray that You would teach him/her what it means to "seek You first" above all things. I pray that You would conform this reader's thoughts, not to the pattern of this world, but to the loving and righteous words of Your Scripture. I pray that You would open the reader's eyes to the traps of this world and worldly thinking, and would guide them on Your path of righteousness. I pray that along this path, the reader would be overwhelmed by Your goodness, as I was when I was in a difficult place. Lord, You have not made us to walk this life alone. You have made us to be in community with one another. I pray that You would open your floodgates of wisdom, friendship and blessing in this reader's life. Amen.
DEANA BELL:
Deana is currently one of the Directors of Covenant Keepers, International. She graduated from the Dove School of Leadership through Chesapeake Bible College and received her Pastor's license in 2019. Previously she and her husband, Koji, served as the Mid-West Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers and as small group leaders in that area. She has a degree in Secondary Education as well as experience in counseling from a biblical standpoint. For the last 20 years, she has also served her family as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher.
 
She is passionate about having a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She has seen many miracles in her life as well as in the lives of the people around her. At her core, she is an encourager and disciple of Christ, spending most of her days ministering to people and digging into the Word. She also speaks at conferences, loves to write, and teach the Word of God. She and her family currently live and attend church in the Charlotte, NC area.

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