In early March of last year, I started staying at home full-time with our daughter. When fall rolled around, I knew that I needed to sign up for a Bible study because that’s what Christian stay-at-home moms do and it was important that I be the perfect Christian stay-at-home mom. Because after all, the role of staying at home with our daughter is all about me.
The church offers a drop in nursery on Wednesday mornings and it’s become my favorite day of the week because for 4 glorious hours I can run errands at a lightning fast pace, meet a friend for lunch without worries of where the nearest high chair is located, or enjoy a few quiet hours at home alone. I became aware of the Women’s Bible Study options available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In talking to my closest friends, I quickly learned that they were all planning to attend the Wednesday Bible study on parenting. While I desperately wanted to attend the same group as them, I could not give up my most sacred Wednesday mornings. Because of course, Wednesday mornings are all about me. So, I signed up for the Tuesday morning study thinking–I’ve been at this church 10 years… I’m sure I’ll have friends there and it will all be okay.
The first Tuesday I walked in and realized I recognized, yet barely knew, a total of two people in the entire group. I kept looking around for a familiar face, a buddy, a friend, a pal who I could chat with and none could be found. So, I sat down in a chair silently and stared at my phone like any good, insecure introvert would do. After the first lesson, we divided into groups and I looked around the circle and listened to the introductions and, again, realized I did not know a single woman. I briefly wondered if I was on Candid Camera. Did these women really attend church here? Why had I never seen them before? This can’t be happening. I’m all alone. I don’t like this. After all, it’s all about me.
Over the next few weeks I slowly began to learn the names of the women in our small group. More importantly, I learned their stories, their hearts, their life experiences, their hopes, their longings, and their walk with the Lord in the midst of suffering. Watching the bold transparency of this group of once-strangers was amazing. Masks came off, tears flowed, and friendships formed. I soon realized that there was more depth and truth and encouragement from this group of strangers than I had with women who I had been friends with for a much longer tenure. More importantly, I realized that a loving God ordained this season and this group and even my participating in the group. Out of His kindness, those few months might have looked differently than this type-A, planner, organizer, and self-professed “puppet master” could have ever imagined. And as the study drew to an end, I was humbled by a room full of now-familiar faces, new friendships, Godly women who I admire deeply, and–most importantly–a renewed trust in God’s perfect plan for my life that is, indeed, all about me.
Posted: 8.28.2014 in Women’s Ministry Share: