Posts by traceymetzger

There’s an old proverb that says, “Change is the only constant.”

I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot over the past month as I have been preparing a message about the “Seasons of Change” for FTGI’s Girls Night Out in October.

Of course it is Fall and so the topic seemed appropriate, but more than just picking a topic that would go with the decorations I always pray that I will share something that will touch the hearts of the women I speak to right where they are. Lately I have had so many conversations with people that are in a season of change in their lives. I can relate.

Although change can be uncomfortable and a bit difficult to navigate at times it is what brings out the colors in our lives. As God moves us into new seasons we discover colors that we didn’t even know were there!

When I think of the “Fall” season of life I think of the stripping off of the old to make room for the new. Even though the letting go part can be so hard it is often necessary for growth and that is exciting!! If we don’t embrace change we could miss out on a beautiful arrangement of color to add to the landscape of our lives.

I hope to see all of you at our Autumn Girls Night Out. I’ll be speaking in more depth about navigating the seasons of change. Whether you come or not I hope this verse speaks life into your heart about your future…with God writing your story this is what you have to look forward to:

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.

Lots of Love,

Tracey

P.S.

I love the fact that the God we serve is unchanging. What a comfort to know that through every season of our life He is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)

As a post script to my last blog I’d like to report that the peace that God gave me regarding the news of the suspicious lump, lasted all week long. So much so that I forgot at times that it was looming in the back of my mind – a matter to be dealt with. I did my best throughout the week to keep my mind stayed on Him but I also had a LOT of prayers for which I am very grateful.

Today was the day. They decided to aspirate the cyst. It was a complex cyst which meant that it had shading on the ultrasound that indicated that it may not be completely fluid. That shading is what they needed to investigate. They explained how they would do that. They would take a needle and guided by ultrasound they would puncture the cyst. Then they would suction it. If it all drained out, the cyst would collapse and it would be all good. If not, they would switch the needle to a bigger one, get a sample of what was left and send it for a biopsy. I liked the first scenario best. I pick door #1 please.

As I laid there being prepped, here’s how my thought process went…

Gosh, I can’t believe how very calm I am…

I can’t believe how much peace I have laying here waiting for them to stick me with a large needle…

Why do I have so much peace??? (Here’s where the downward spiral began…)

I wonder if God is preparing me for something???

I wonder if He’s giving me this peace in advance to cushion the bad news I may get???

How quickly I digressed! I let the if’s come creeping in.

I can just imagine God looking down and saying…”What is it with this girl? She prays for peace, I give it to her and then she questions why she has so much peace!”

I caught myself and turned my attention to the doctor who was saying, “OK, here we go” and I watched the monitor as the fluid completely drained out and the cyst collapsed. YAY!!

The three lovely ladies in the room were all so genuinely happy for me.

I mentioned to one of the ladies that my heart ached a little to think of the women that have gone before me and those who will come after me whose news would not be as good. She assured me that there is so much that can be done now that even bad news still comes with a lot of hope. I know I will have even more compassion now for the causes bearing the pink ribbons.

Thanks to my family and friends for all the prayers and thank you Lord for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Love,

Tracey

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.

When I was younger I battled with fear. I have worked hard to overcome it because nothing good comes of it. For the most part I feel like I have a handle on it now, but every so often it tries to rears its ugly head.

Last week I went to see my doctor for a “yearly” exam (that I haven’t had in 7 years). I know, I know, I’m not proud of that I’m just letting you know – it’s been a while. (If you are a guy and you’re reading this you may want to click out now and go read the paper or something.)

During the routine visit the doctor performed a breast exam. She stopped mid-exam and with a concerned look on her face ask me, “Have you ever felt this before?” She was referring to a small lump that she was fingering. I hadn’t. I don’t know how I missed it but I did.

She immediately set-me up for a mammogram and an ultrasound to investigate. Right about then is when my fearful nature would have kicked into overdrive. The “what if____” questions were beginning to circle, taunting me to fill in the blanks. I didn’t want the “what if’s” to prevail so I reached for a promise. This verse was the first one that popped into my head:

You will keep her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.
(I changed the pronouns to suit myself :))

That’s the part of the verse that I remembered. So that’s what I did. I started to think about the fact that no one loves me more than God does and He’s the one in control of everything in my life.

I went about my day in peace. Peace throughout the mammogram. Peace throughout the ultrasound. I’m telling you, I had an overwhelming sense of PEACE. His word is true, His promises are for TODAY.

When I got home I looked it up the verse and found it in Isaiah. But there was more to it than just the part I had remembered. Here it is in its entirety.

Isaiah 26:3 (New King James Version)
You will keep her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because she trusts in You.

In that simple verse there is a promise, a condition and a reason.

The promise – He will keep you in perfect peace
The condition – If you keep your mind STAYED on Him.
The reason – Because we trust Him

Don’t waste a single moment today worrying or fearing for tomorrow. Don’t let what only may be rob you of what is today.

Lord, help me today and everyday to keep my mind stayed on you and help me to trust you with everything I am.

Love,
Tracey

P.S. Turned out to be a complex cyst that they will biopsy. I’ll keep you posted – prayers appreciated!!

Yesterday God gave me an unexpected opportunity for some ALONE TIME and I grabbed it and ran!

In a spontaneous moment on Tuesday night at 9:30pm I decided to go with my husband to Orlando on Wednesday, to lounge around the pool at the Marriot World Center while he attended a Chick-fil-A seminar. We had to drive up to Tallahassee on Wednesday night for Zac’s orientation so Danny would have had to drive back to New Port Richey just to have to get back in the car and drive up to Tallahassee the same night. So I, self-sacrificing wife that I am, offered to go to Orlando with him so that we could leave from there for Tallahassee. The decision set in motion a flurry of arrangements that had to be made.

I had to figure out where my daughter would stay, who would walk the dog and water the plants. We have house-guests arriving on Friday about the same time we will be getting home so I needed to do a quick cleanup of the upstairs and the bathrooms, throw a load of towels in the wash and I still needed to pack. It seemed like an awful lot to do to get ready to go on such short notice but all the while in the back of my mind was the payoff…ALONE TIME.

The past month has been very busy. I have caught myself several times saying to either my husband or friends, “I feel like I’m so busy I don’t have time to think”. I have been on the go and was craving a little rest.

Rest and time to think. I sometimes feel guilty even saying that I need those things. They sounds like luxuries for most of us that run at a normal pace of 100 miles an hour but they are not luxuries. They are necessary.

After a particularly busy series of events Jesus himself instructed his disciples to rest. They had been running at a crazy pace. Mark 6:30-31 tells us they didn’t even have time to eat. (I always manage to make time to eat!!) Here’s what the passage says:

And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away, by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” (For many people had been coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

It is in that time alone that we have time to think. Ideas and dreams take shape when we take time to reflect. It is also in those “alone times” that God has the opportunity to speak to us. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time either.

Maybe someone reading this is saying to themselves…I need some rest and some time to think. Sometimes we actually need to schedule that time in and sometimes we just need to grab it when we can.

Either way I pray that if you need that alone time that you will get it!

It did wonders for me yesterday :)

To truly chronicle the beginnings of For the Girls International I would need to write a book but below you will find a synopsis of the events of my personal journey this year 2008.

When 2008 began I knew that this was the year. I just felt it in the core of my being. I didn’t know how or exactly when but I knew that I must start moving on this vision that has been in my heart for several years now. I made a commitment to myself and God that I would start moving forward even if it was the smallest of steps. That was January 1st 2008.

Fourteen days later at 2 o’clock in the morning I received a phone call that would change my life and the landscape of my extended family forever. My beautiful, adorable, bubbly, carefree and fearless cousin, Alex, died that night in a car accident. She was only eighteen. It is really impossible to describe how that news impacted me. It felt so final even though I knew that she was immediately with Jesus and that I would see her again. I felt so helpless. Shock and grief is so difficult to put into words. There is an overwhelming feeling of wanting to turn back the hands of time and do something to prevent it. How can you describe the emptiness and hopelessness you feel when you lose someone you love so dearly? There are no words.

In the months that have followed it has became evident to me that time is short. That NOW is when you have to step out and follow the dreams that God has placed in your heart. No one knows the day or the hour that God will call us to be with Him, and so we must live fully engaged in today, fulfilling our calling and purpose here on earth. I knew that I couldn’t wait much longer to begin this new journey called For the Girls International.

A month later, in February, while I was slowly emerging from the initial deep grief from Alex’s sudden death, I attended a conference for my husband’s business, Chick-fil-A. It’s a seminar for the Operators and their spouses to get refreshed and inspired for the coming year. It is always personally inspiring as well. Chick-fil-A is a company founded by committed Christians that live to inspire people on every level. As I sat through the sessions, I felt the fire of the vision of this ministry burning strong. On the second evening of the seminar I was having trouble sleeping. I felt compelled to write out my vision in the notebook given to us at the beginning of the week. At the top of the page I wrote… PERSONAL GOAL… and then wrote out, not very eloquently either, what was in my heart. I made it a goal to get started this year. I never intended for anyone to read it. It was for me and God – a little note to God.

The next day my husband and I went to the sessions and events, but that evening when we got back to our room I realized that at some point during the day I had lost my book. I was really bummed out and my husband didn’t understand why because he thought it was just full of notes I had taken, so I told him that I had written out my vision in it. Just as a side note… I am, and this can be confirmed by anyone who knows me well, on the spacey side of life. I lose my keys several times a week. I lock myself out of my car on a regular basis. I leave things everywhere (including my children). So this was not really out of the ordinary for me. My husband just rolled his eyes when I told him I couldn’t find my book.

The next morning as we rushed from breakfast to the general session, I checked with the lost and found desk that Chick-fil-A had set up and found several notebooks there (so I wasn’t the only airhead!) I flipped through them and found mine. I was so glad to have it back, but we were in a rush, so I just grabbed it and ran. When we settled into our seats I wanted to read my vision again so I flipped through to get to the page I had written it on. When I came to the page, I was completely taken back. There was someone else’s handwriting on the opposite page! Someone had written in my book!

Here’s what she wrote…
I found your book and was looking for a name when I saw this (arrow pointing to vision).
I’d love to help you with this.
Lysa TerKeurst and her cell phone #
Proverbs 31 Ministries proverbs31.org

I was completely freaked out! It was like God had written me a personal note to tell me that He loves me, He got my note, He knows the desires of my heart and that He was going to help make it happen. My heart was racing, my hands started to shake, and I couldn’t hear anything else that was going on in the room! I honestly just stared at it in disbelief for quite a while. What are the chances that out of 1500 women at that conference and hundreds of bathroom stalls that Lysa would follow me into the stall where I had left my book? Then, on top of that, what are the chances that she would open to the very page that I had written my vision on and read it?? Being the space cadet that I am, the chances of me losing something while I was at the conference were great, but all the rest of the “coincidences” completely defied all the odds.

Now, I had heard of Proverbs 31 Ministries because they do radio spots on my local Christian radio station but I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that it was the same ministry that was on my radio. I was excited just at the idea that someone already involved in women’s ministry would be offering to help me. For me the big thing was the acknowledgment from God and the fact that I could also get help and direction was completely over the top. After the conference ended and I got home, I looked up Proverbs 31 and was completely blown away by the magnitude of the ministry. It is a wonderful organization and the President of the ministry wants to help me!!!! I got in touch with Lysa who was a great help and encouragement and she suggested that I attend the She Speaks conference in June. I figured that would be the start of things for FTGI but God had other plans. On the same day that Lysa found my book, my friend Cynda (co-founder of FTGI) was receiving confirmation of her own through a phone call and before we knew it, we were set up for our first ministry trip to NYC.

One of my former pastors once said that oftentimes God takes a long time to move suddenly. That has certainly been the case for me.

As long as this first post is (and I promise they won’t all be this long), this is only one of many, many ways that God has confirmed over and over that He wants to do something great in the lives of women in this day and age. I am thrilled and humbled at the thought of being a part of that and can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Lots of Love,

Tracey

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