Ask me how my Women’s Bible study is going.
Watch me start bouncing on my toes. I am so excited.
Our core group, now expanded to twelve women, still meets Thursday afternoons. Another group of ten women meet Tuesday evenings. About eight women, what I call the “At Home” group, are studying along with us. For various reasons, they can’t come to the onsite studies, so they are catching the notes online or hand-delivered on Sundays.
Finally, we’ve started a private Facebook group. On this page, I post prompts, announcements and my notes from each week. If someone misses an on-site meeting,, they can easily access the notes online. Our “At home” group is plugged into the Facebook group. Twenty women (with overlap) are involved in this group, even including someone from out-of-state.
Thirty women involved in Bible study! We could not have predicted this a month ago. It just blows my mind. And I’m still reeling that God is using me to pull it together and be the leader of this. Not bragging, no not at all. I am stunned at the explosion of interest. Thrilled, yes. Stunned, oh definitely!
I don’t know! I’m sure the book, “Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs had something to do with it. Some women said they were just ready for a Bible study. Others say the fact that I made Bible study available in different formats helped.
But something niggled in the back of my brain. Didn’t you pray for this?
I have spent the last few days combing through my journals and logs, trying to figure out how this all started. When I finished my ladies bible study last May, someone made the suggestion to do a study of Liz Curtis Higgs book, “Bad Girls of the Bible.” Deep in my heart I have wanted to start an evening bible study but figured only two or three women would come. So I hesitated.
My journal during the month of June portrays a frustrated, despondent woman. I felt like my writing was going down a dark hole, I felt purposeless, hopeless, caught in a vicious cycle to mundane activities.
About that time, I was reading the book All In by Mark Batterson. In it, he says,
Later he says,
“Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Go all in with God. Go all out for God.”
I fully believe in the words in Ephesians 3:20,21 that express God’s power to do above what we can possibly hope or imagine. In my private prayer time, I was agonizing with God. I told Him I wanted to do something big with my life, something God sized. Yes, I wanted Him to get the credit. No, it wasn’t about me. I just wanted to do something productive with my life rather than the same old, same old. I don’t remember when I prayed this prayer, but searching back, I do remember that I prayed, “Lord, do something big in my life. Do something God sized for which I cannot take credit.”
Then, when God did the big, God-sized thing in my life by briniging the idea to diversify the Bible study, then brought so many women forward to fill both on-site sessions to overflowing, plus just as many to study in private, I wondered what was happening? Aren’t we human beings so funny? God must chuckle.Duh! <dumb look on my face> “Oh yeah!”
What did I do? Like Mark Batterson said one screen over on my Kindle, I stopped playing it safe and plugged in. And, ka-boom! I had so many women coming to me each Sunday to sign up that I quickly lost track of who I had talked to, how many books I had ordered and who had paid me. (Another God-moment: We have bought twenty-five books of a book published in 1999. Every single book was used and I was able to order every book from various used book dealers who offered free shipping.)
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the number of women involved that excites me. Every number represents a precious soul. Every precious soul represents someone who is growing closer to the likeness of Jesus Christ. Every woman growing in her discipleship is being strengthened to become a leader and influencer in her own right. THAT is what excites me. Just think of the God-sized events the Lord can bring about with thirty faithful women in a small town in Illinois!
A pastor at my daughter’s church said this on August 3rd: “God sometimes allows us to be uncomfortable so He can do bigger things.” I would definitely agree with that. I had to become uncomfortable with my current life status before I was ready to plug in to God’s big project. And I am as happy as I can be because, I love to facilitate others exploring the Word of God probably even more than I love to write.
What’s going to happen next with our women’s bible study? I have no clue. Like so many things, this beginning might only be a stepping stone to something even bigger. I’m letting God sit in the driver’s seat and I’m hanging on for the ride!Because if God is in it, it will be bigger and better than we can possibly hope or imagine.
It’s your turn. Are you ready for a bigger than you, God-sized project? Take a risk, get out of the way, and watch Him work.