Monday, September 10, 2018

A Simple "Yes"

During my time off from work I had the privilege of being a part of a weekday bible study (Life Group). Approximately 12 women would get together Tuesday mornings after we dropped our little ones off at school and we would fellowship, study, and pray together. It was such a wonderful experience.

When I went back to work, my schedule wasn’t flexible enough to be a part of that weekday morning Life Group experience, and the way my evenings and weekends are set up, I already knew that I probably wouldn’t join another one right away.

Shortly after I started working I felt a strong prompting to facilitate a bible study group at my job. Let me admit, I’m working on my immediate obedience. My reasoning prevented me from doing anything right away. My reasoning reminded me that I was just a temporary employee and my assignment could end any day. My reasoning told me that my fellow co-workers might not want to use their lunch breaks in such a way. My reasoning told me that even if the women I asked agreed to participate, it would probably just be because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings—especially considering they were just as seasoned or more seasoned women of God than I am. My reasoning said it would be difficult to reserve space for our study since I work for a non-religious company.

But still I felt deeply that I should take steps to make it happen.

Early one morning when I couldn’t sleep for thinking about the study, I bought a 7-week video series (and leader’s guide) and then I bought the children’s version of the study as well. (One thing that often forces me to move is when I have a made a financial investment in something. Spending my money meant I would have to do something.) I figured if the women at work didn’t want to do the study with me, I would do the adult version myself and then do the children’s version with my girls.

That week, I reached out to a few ladies who had been on my heart to see if they would be interested in studying with me. Everyone I asked said yes. A couple of them even invited others to participate.

Reserving the space made me a little anxious, but with the help of my co-workers (and after quite a bit of trial and error), I figured out how to do it. I emailed the ladies with a link to purchase their study guides along with information about how often and where the studies would be held.

Let me say…During that 7-session study period, God moved in each of our lives. It was such a powerful study that even before it finished, one of the ladies (not pictured) said that she would love to do another one once it was over. She even volunteered to lead. (Praise God!)

When the second 7-session study (which we realized from the first study would be better if spread out over a 14-week period) neared an end, everyone agreed that we wanted to do another 7-session (14 week) study. This time I suggested one that I had done with my Life Group in the past and I volunteered to lead again. (We are 3 weeks into that study now.) J Iron sharpens iron. We also share situations we are facing in our professional and personal lives, and we pray for and with one another. It’s awesome.

One thing that is interesting is that I don’t think any of us have started the studies thinking, “This is just what I need for what I am going through right now,” but as we have studied each of us has seen that what we are studying is just what we need for what we are going through at the time. A couple ladies admitted that they originally said yes just because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but they ended up being so blessed because of that yes. One participant did our first study with the women in her family, and another is looking to start a study with her family as well.

I’m thankful for this group of women! I’m thankful that God put it on my heart to ask them if they wanted to study with me. I’m even more thankful that He was patient with me during the couple months it took to build up enough courage to do something about His prompting. (I can so relate to Gideon, who needed constant reassurance from God that everything would be alright.) I’m always amazed to see what God can do with a simple (often timid) yes. To God be the glory!

(Three ladies are not pictured. J)