Back at the end of February, I attended a conference at our church. The conference was appropriately called THINK; it gave me so much to think about. I was confronted with a lot of truth, I was very convicted by what I heard, and I definitely ended the three days a different person than when I began.
After the conference, I remember praying to God, “Ok, so…You’ve presented me with all of this truth. What am I supposed to do with it?” I was expecting Him to show me some aspect of my life that needed attention, or maybe I would be pointed toward an area for further reading. Instead, the sentence that was pressed on my heart was:
I want you to start a Bible study.
That was certainly not what I had in mind. I love reading the Bible, I love talking about the Bible, but gathering together a group of women and leading them through a study seemed way out of my scope. As an introvert, personal connections are hard for me. Studying God’s Word brings a certain level of vulnerability. To get something out of it, you really have to be willing to admit your weaknesses. Could I not only do that, but be the leader and example in that process? The whole idea was terrifying.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was something I needed to do. The time, the place, the book…it all kind of came together. With a knot in my stomach, I kept moving forward. I invited people I knew. I invited people I didn’t know (super scary, btw). I didn’t really care where or if they went to church or even if they believed in God. I was after women who wanted to have an honest and authentic conversation about Jesus and where He fit in their life.
I was tempted to be discouraged when only two other women accepted my invitation. And yet, I had a very strong sense of purpose. If our group was meant to be three of us, learning and growing together, I was ok with that. Honestly? This is something that God is doing. I am just along for the ride.
We’ve had three group meetings so far, and each has been very special. I’m even starting to see why God put me in this position. You see, there’s a certain accountability that comes with leading a group. I can’t bail when things get hard or uncomfortable, because I have to be there.
This past Thursday, I was fresh off of a fight with my husband when I walked into our meeting. And that fight was the cherry on top of a day full of failures on my part. If I had merely been a participant in the group, I’m pretty sure I would’ve stayed home and eaten my feelings, as is my tendency. It wouldn’t be the first time I skipped out on God because I didn’t want to deal with painful emotions.
However, since I had to be there, I was there. And because I want us to be an honest and open group, I was honest and open about my struggles. When I shared, I received support, encouragement, empathy, accountability, and grace. Things that a milkshake can’t give me. Things that I would’ve missed if I had stayed home.
I am beginning to see why God put this burden on my heart in the first place. I thought I was going to be doing something for God. My initial reaction to the whole thing was, “I do not have the skill set to do this. I am not strong enough to lead a group of women through a study.” To which God replied, “I didn’t ask you to do this because you are strong. I asked you to do this because you are weak, and this will make you stronger.”
Or you know:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
I know there are many more things I am going to learn over the coming weeks, but I’m thankful that at only three weeks in He’s reminded me of something precious that I learned at a young age:
I am weak and He is strong.
Our group meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. on the northwest side of Indianapolis. If you want to join us, PLEASE contact me. We would love to have you.