CWC Director Opens Up about Overcoming Struggles, Finding Purpose
By Carl Stagner
The consequences of the rampant isolation, division, and unfolding crises of the present age are far-reaching in church and society, but help is not far away. In addition to the unfettered access we have to a loving heavenly Father through prayer, those weighed down by the year 2020 (and 2021) have a new resource to supplement their personal Bible study. Written by the executive director of Christian Women Connection, It’s Not in Vain: Finding Purpose in Life’s Struggles is the result of one woman’s lifelong journey of ups and downs, twists and turns, and everything in between. In refreshingly honest communication, Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese Bailey offers practical insights gleaned from her experiences—both good and bad—in pursuit of purpose.
With a provocative title like It’s Not in Vain: Finding Purpose in Life’s Struggles, Arnetta’s new book has already attracted attention far and wide since it’s release by Warner Christian Resources earlier this year.
“The title of the book reflects my realization that all my life’s journey has meaning; not one moment, experience, sadness or loss, celebration or perceived set-back has been in vain,” Arnetta explains. “It went beyond finding balance to the clarity of thought that my lowest points have always produced mountain-top experiences. I have felt it an honor and an obligation to share my experiences to encourage others on their journey. Everything I have experienced in life is raw material to be used by God.”
By definition, raw material is unrefined, is sometimes composed of unpleasant material, and may even be considered not useful. But, when harnessed by God, such an authentic telling of lessons learned in the midst of what might otherwise be considered a mess, raw material can produce tremendous fruit.
“I have shared my personal struggle of experiencing hurts, but also taking up the mantle of responsibility that I am called to live out and bring about, or give, reconciliation,” she continues. “When we unite for the cause of Christ and immerse ourselves in his Word, the path becomes clear that we are to journey together. There is great healing—forgiveness, honesty, and inequalities—that must be addressed in this country, but as believers we must lean into God’s Word for direction how best to move forward together. From Hagar, a woman with no voice who became mother to a nation or Rahab, a woman with a story, no life experience is wasted. God will use each one of us to bring healing to individuals, communities, and nations.”
It’s Not in Vain, though featuring stories of women in Scripture, is not designed exclusively for women. Like the stories of women in the Bible, Arnetta’s new book is also not just for women. The application of truth and wisdom drawn from these stories through the scholarly and spiritual lens of this longtime Church of God leader is a wellspring any thirsty soul would be foolish to ignore. As an example of the universality of the teaching, she mentions a man who ended up finding so much value in the book that he purchased eleven additional copies to share with his men’s Bible study group.
“Even though the Bible is heavily influenced by a patriarchal dominant society, we would never assume that it was written for men only,” Arnetta points out. “My passion for highlighting the studies behind these women called by God is to inform and educate all people about the life principles that can be drawn from any story in the Bible. It is so important for us to understand the life of these biblical heroes and how we can apply these teachings to our present-day experience.”
Learn more and order a copy of It’s Not in Vain: Finding Purpose in Life’s Struggles at through Warner Christian Resources at www.warnerpress.org/its-not-in-vain.