Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There's Beauty in the Breakdown

A little over 3 months ago, I had a coffee date at Starbucks after church one Sunday. So unusual for me, I know {hint: sarcasm}. I look back on that coffee date, and can't help but smile at how much beauty came out of it. 

I was meeting with the head of Reality's children's ministry. I was serving in the nursery at the time, and had been for just over a year. We were talking about some changes in the curriculum, as I was enjoying my favorite Starbucks salad. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, the words "women's ministry" came up. Two words that got my heart beating a little bit faster. I could tangibly feel the passion in each of the quickened beats. 

I knew we were here to talk about the babies, but I couldn't ignore the pulsing of my ignited heart. And so, I asked a simple question. "How can I get involved with women's ministry?"


I remember the first night of our study so vividly. I was so dang excited. Sure, I had never led a Bible study before. And no, I had never even done a Beth Moore study yet, but none of that mattered. I could sit there and list out my doubts as to why I should not be co-leading a study on arguably the most difficult-to-interpret book of the Bible, or, I could find my confidence in the Lord. 

I chose to do the second. 

And besides the confidence, I found humility. I was humbled within the first 15 minutes of our first week, realizing that no, I was not needed at the check in booth. My micromanaging tendencies were not necessary, and I felt the Lord pull me away from the logistics, and lead me straight to an empty chair beside a woman I had never met. We shared a conversation that was probably one of my most treasured moments through out the entire study. {And she turned out to be a fellow blogger's mother in law, how sweet is that?}

We broke into our small groups that evening, and I found myself staring into all new faces. Besides my co-lead, I hardly knew a single person in our group. One particular woman was very clearly hesitant about continuing the study. She made her feelings, frustrations, and concerns very known. I prayed for her that evening. I asked that if God wanted her to be in this study, that He would bring her back. And if I'm being honest, zero percent of me felt prepared for the challenge that she would bring with her. 

She did come back, every single week. And she is now a dearly treasured friend. 


The group was a quiet one. Week by week would come and go, and it was usually the same people speaking during our small group discussion time. Studying the book of Revelation is no easy task. There was little time for personal sharing when we were diving into homework questions that zoned straight into this deep and mysterious part of the Bible. 

I have no doubt that that was His intention, though. As I looked around the faces that were becoming more and more familiar each week, I could see God working. Even if I wasn't hearing about it, I knew He was up to something. Up to something good in each of these women staring back at me.


Yesterday was our last meeting. We got together for a giant potluck, and only really had a few final questions to cover as we enjoyed a feast with our small groups. It was casual, though. No agenda, just fellowship. 

We talked, and we laughed. We enjoyed way too many desserts, so I guess you could say we prepped our stomachs for Thanksgiving. 

The conversation was light, until it wasn't. Until one brave soul opened up her heart, and with it came the tears. {The same brave soul that almost didn't come back the first week.} It was clear that it was time to pray, so we left the casual setting of the potluck dinner, and found ourselves in the same room where we met each of the 11 prior weeks. 

We went around the circle sharing our prayer requests. Each woman shared a piece of her heart in that moment. There were tears, assuring glances from friends, and slow words piecing together rapid thoughts. 

In those moments, I felt Jesus. I felt the final pieces of any walls that we had up crumble down. I felt the beautiful confirmation that this group was every bit intentional in His plan. Each woman was brought here for a reason, and He intentionally left this sweet, raw, real moment for our final night. 

He is so kind, and so sweet, and so loving. I'm thankful for the way that He beautifully crafts each and every piece of our lives together for His glory. I just had to document the journey of this Bible study. Because as in every other story in life, He is in the details. His love is in the details. 

I hope you find Him in your details today. 


Kiki said...

This is such a beautiful story and life-changing experience! If this doesn't show that God changes our hearts, then I don't know what does. :)

Angela said...

What a gift! God equips us even if we don't feel prepared... You found your confidence in him--you are such an inspiration girl!

Leah said...

that's so beautiful amy. i love how each time you feel the Lord's calling and you obey, your heart is blessed. it's beautiful how He works. :)