OK so here’s the deal. God has been working on me. I have worth issues ( blah,blah, blah..no whining about them! Complain and remain-Praise and Raise! ( as Joyce Says)…so I have been kind of been “Avoiding” a bible study. I love women’s bible studies. I thrive in those types of studies. I wouldn’t be in this place without the help of older, wiser women helping to raise me up. I have been blessed to be a part of 2 really good Women’s bible studies in my life. I have learned much. This last year I have heard the whisper that I should start my own study.
I thought about it, prayed about it. Thought about it, prayed about it. avoided it.
Then I thought Ok Lord what will we study? More thinking.
What was my minor in college? Women’s studies. What is deep in my heart? Women’s issues. Family issues. What is this years focus for my ministry? Women’s issues and Family-community. I have now been dubbed the “Community” Pastor at church. So we will study the Women of the bible.
I went searching for a study guide that I wanted to work from and bought them.
I announced that I would be starting this study I chose a night ( well the only evening available at the church) booked it and put it in the bulletin at church. I gave a 6 week notice.
Easy enough for people to either plan for or forget.
Also long enough for the Devil to attack me.
There is a woman at church who has it out for me. I am not really sure why? I have had very few interactions with her. But I know she runs in circles with ladies from my last church. I am just stunned as to what happened. I did everything I was supposed to do when I left the last church. The I spoke with the people I was supposed to speak to…I did what I was supposed to do. I have never said a bad word. Yet I get negative feedback from some of the women ( very few) …I heard things were being said..in those instances I also said “I don’t want to know..it doesn’t matter”..God would protect me. I don’t need to defend myself because I did nothing wrong. But some women just quit talking to me. Some women were hurt and felt I had left them for no reason? I don’t know? However, each time I run into someone that isn’t in a certain circle..the women are always so kind to me and say “we learned so much from you”…”you really are an inspiration.” I even ran into one last week at the movie we talked at great length. The last church has lost a lot of people…and she was heartbroken. Told me how much she loved me and that she just may stop by and visit me at my church. I sincerely love my old church …but I a glad I am where I am. God planted me there. All of this not for some angry outburst or anything. No bad interactions. Not anything? Just a simple difference in belief. So I feel like it is just an attack. Now this woman is uninformed, and obviously passing judgement on me. I bring out the worse in her…and I am not sure I have ever truly experienced this ( other than in my family) and it’s difficult for me. I am not looking to be her friend. I realize not everyone has to be friends. I am nice to her, respect her and kill her with kindness. She is also involved with a group within our own church that is full of pot-stirrers. So I just hold my head high and do what God tells me to do.
What I do know is that it is exactly this type of behavior that satan loves. Divide and conquer right? So I refuse to let that happen. This woman had told me and several others in the church several times that I shouldn’t be starting this study. Why should I start one more thing? But then she berates me and tells me I am not involved enough in the church? What? I am there. It’s my second family. My family shows up to lots of activities every week. She has attacked my study on more than one occasion…..She said people wouldn’t show up because I am asking to much of the women that are involved in everything else. I just loved her. That’s what Jesus calls us to do with our enemies ( even our enemies in church). This is the type of behavior that also keeps people out of church. Honestly! Who wants to put up with that? Honestly, I don’t want to hold it against her because she is making me grow.
I would rather it be her than my own insecurities. Good news is that I don’t know if I am getting better as far as my self doubt? Or if her attack just took place of that so I didn’t have to? At the last minute I was having some doubt creep in because she kept telling me the same thing. I guess I should appreciate that she was so brutal and said it straight to me and in front of me several times..instead of just behind my back. So last week I thought maybe it will just be a few of us ( or none)..But God will lead and guide me. So I will just keep with the plan.
I prayed and asked God to anoint my study…and to bring whomever it will be intended for. Can I just say how AWESOME! GOD is?
I had 14 tonight…and a few more coming. I have to order more books. In my head I keep singing “Victory in Jesus! My Savior Forever! Do you know the tune/song? I teared up and told the ladies how they blessed me…just by showing up. NO matter what God calls us to do we will have strife. Even something seemingly easy as starting a bible study. I know GOD has called me because Women showed up! And guess what? HE showed up! So My cup runneth over. I am overwhelmed….I feel loved by God all over again and truly blessed.
Part of what I really want to do is memorize scripture with my ladies. So every week we have a scripture to memorize…and this week it is Philippians 4: 6-7
”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If you want to work on this as well I will share them with you. I have peace. He gave that to me. I love being on his side.
This weeks study was Eve. Next week is Rebekah. Eve was tempted by the devil the same three ways the devil tempted Jesus. Eve gave in Jesus didn’t. Satan still has the same tricks..he uses them over and over again because he knows our weakness’. Jesus tells him it is written…..what does this tell me? We need to be armed with scripture so we can protect ourselves. The great thing about Eve is that God is so beautiful and forgiving. Out of her sin came our redeemer…..Jesus. How did Jesus come into this world? Through a woman.
Now I must order more books for next weeks study. I just want to say Thank you for all of you who pray for me. I genuinely Appreciate it.