Myra is the wife of senior pastor, Mike Woods, who has pastored First Baptist Church of Powder Springs for 40 years. They live in Marietta, GA, have two married children and three grandchildren. Myra was raised by godly parents who brought her up to love Jesus, His Word and His church. She attended the Apprenticeship Training Program for two years at Precept Ministries in Chattanooga, and has taught multiple precept, discipleship and Sunday School classes. Being Mike’s wife for 39 years, mother of two and grandmother of three girls are her greatest joy on earth. Myra has served on the New Life Design Board of Directors since its inception in 2008. Her passion is to encourage others to know and enjoy Jesus through regular quiet times, bible study and through sharing the message of our identity in Christ.
Most of my life was characterized by fear until the truth set me free!
Early in my life I was drawn to the counseling ministry. Just as I was about to pursue it as a career, I met the man of my dreams and got married. That was nearly 40 years ago. As it turned out I needed, to learn a few things before I could move forward.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 says, “And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”
As I reflect over the past 40 years and all the things God used to humble me, I remember some hard times. I also remember some wonderful times when I saw His faithfulness over and over. In the hardships there were multiple counselors, looming anxiety, panic attacks, claustrophobic fears, fear of being stuck. There were times when I desperately wanted my way more than I wanted His. Disappointments, loneliness, heartbreaks, and sorrows accompanied my journey. My mind was never far from guilt, condemning thoughts and regret. I’ve also been on both sides of clinical depression. My husband and I have both struggled through it.
Looking back, I can see how God took me step by step, building trust and a greater dependence on Him. I learned how to trust Him with my heart and with my future. I can see reflections of His faithfulness all through my journey.
Psalm 83:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!”
There are several benchmarks on my journey where brokenness occurred but none so significant as the day I finally laid down trying to live the Christian life myself. I was attending a 3 day Grace Life conference which emphasized what Jesus did for me on the cross, who I was to Him and who He was to me. The leader pointed to a page entitled, “The Selfer’s Prayer.” He asked us to take it home and come back the next day…but not before he read it aloud. At that moment I recognized how hard I was trying to do everything right but always failing….because I was trying to do it myself. I broke. The tears flowed. I couldn’t wait till I got home to pray that prayer. I had to surrender everything to the Lord right then and there. I let go. I finally let go. And that was the beginning of a great adventure learning about Jesus living His life in me and understanding what He has already accomplished on the cross for me. I didn’t have to do it!
I learned there was nothing I could add to, suffer for, or earn to be acceptable in His eyes. He loved me just as I was and had made provision for all my fears and failures, and not only that He also had an abundant life for me to enjoy. As a result my life was changed. I believe in the biblical coaching experience that New Life Design offers because the message of the exchanged life changed mine. I’ve learned…
- to view my weaknesses in a different way. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul’s response was, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Cor. 12:9
- ways to discover my false beliefs and see how they have prevented me from living the abundant life.
- about renewing my mind with truth that leads to effortless transformation.
- the value of examining my beliefs about God, myself and how I view life. They have led me to a
deeper understanding of His love for me and what exactly He did to me and for me on the cross.
- how to see God in the midst of trials and adversities. It has changed the way I view suffering.
All these things have contributed to a life of abiding in Christ that I thought unreachable. My heart wants to share the same message with others. I believe there are depths we can’t imagine in our intimacy with Jesus.
He is the solution for every problem.