For those of you who check in here from places other than Prince George, my beautiful friend Emily and I started a Bible study last week. Because I process through writing, and knowing that I need a prod to keep writing and a place to process what we study, I’m going to write along the progression of our study.
I first approached Emily about hosting this with me in response to learning a lot of hard lessons this spring. I found myself living in a safe, defeated place that I’ve spent the last couple of years building up. It was a really lonely place, and that loneliness and fear is really what finally helped me see. I started processing that earlier this spring (here), but there was much more to work through that I didn’t understand until I was invited to an individual session with our pre-marriage counsellors. The past two months have been a huge journey for Stephen and I, but I think maybe especially for me.
In high school, and even right after high school when I started this blog, and was working as the youth and worship intern, I was an active extrovert, organizing events, and trying to encourage and lead those around me, trying to be deliberate about using my gifts. When I got to university, I was hurting a little from different thought patterns and influences, and it became much easier to focus on school, and grades and Stephen than to put myself out there in this new place and find spaces where I could be the organizer and leader I was made to be. I didn’t create or build into many relationships, and didn’t realize that it would build to the state I found myself in this spring. I was blogging periodically, my relationship with Stephen was good, my relationship with God was pretty good (I thought). I didn’t realize that I was tucking a piece of myself away on the back shelf. After a lot of processing and hard conversations, I decided that it was time to work on living fully as the woman who God made me to be, the woman Stephen decided to marry three years ago, again. I had been buying into the lie that my way of processing and doing things had less eternal value than the way others did things. But, that was a lie, and I’ve been able to own that and move forward.
So I needed a place to build relationships with other young women, and I wanted a space where I could lead and encourage others tangibly, using my organizational skills and energy to create a community for those around me. I went for coffee with Emily, and she was totally on board. My love of teaching and her ability to host work together wonderfully!
So here we are. In our introductions last week, I was totally blown away that in nearly every introduction, the women around me were saying that God had told them it was time to find a community like this to build into, and to receive encouragement from. When everyone left, I cried with Emily, knowing that I am not the only one who needs this space, and that we can truly encourage one another.
We’re doing a study of the character of Jesus, as told through the four Gospels. We are trying to leave behind preconceived notions from what others have said, or what our experiences have taught us, and looking into the Word to discover his mission, his nature, and his character. As women who are coming to this text from a variety of spiritual backgrounds, and maturity of faith, we are trying to put ourselves on the same level, and discover Jesus together. We are heading Into the Word.
Just to keep length of post in mind, the next post will contain the summary of our discussion! If you are in the Prince George area and looking for a community to plug into beyond Sunday morning, send me a message! If you’re unable to come, we welcome your thoughts as you plunge into God’s Word from wherever you are, and discover Jesus with us!