I remember the day like it was yesterday…
I had spent hours fussing over my home ensuring it was just the right mix of clean, pampering, homey and presentable. I’d surprisingly won at baking the most labour intensive goodies I’d ever attempted. I had laid out everything for high tea worthy of my inner critic and most importantly, sat humbly for hours, begging him to simply show up and show off.
My stomach turned with the biggest case of nervousness meets excitement.
Because to be honest, I didn’t want to do this!
I’d never led a bible study and felt it perfectly humorous that he would even call me to do such a thing. Why? Because so many times in our lives, we try and call the qualified. But God alone qualifies the called and its undoubtably where the impossibilities of man leave room for possibilities only with God that he moves on it… and powerfully.
That evening, in an effort obey what I felt God was calling me to, I opened my home to perfect strangers.
Over the course of one year, my heart has been changed in ways my words will fail me.
As Abby shared last night,
“This past year, being a part of this group has wrecked me, challenged me, molded me, and reshaped me. I’ve never been more reliant on my faith, stronger in my convictions, more confident in my identity, or passionate in my devotion.”
He’s taught us what it looks like to live and love in community; something I am selfishly terrible at when it’s not convenient or it’s difficult.
…To accept both the person of today while simultaneously speaking over them in faith, the person God see for tomorrow.
…To humbly admonish and correct in love when necessary.
…To cheer on, pick up and have hope when another’s seems lost or broken.
…To speak truth, no matter how difficult and encourage each other to place God first and foremost in everything.
…To live outside our comfort zones and follow Jesus even when it’s hard.
…To give our lives away in time, money, talent and possessions.
…That our faith was meant for so much more than us, but for the lost and broken, the hurting and the scared.
We’ve wrestled together through the things that hold us back in bondage, walked hand and hand as we faced the things we idolize and chase in vain pursuit, bravely chose gratitude even when we didn’t want to and humbly submitted to marriages meant to make us Holy, not happy.
He’s taught me what it means to lead by humility. To be genuine with struggles and honest with my weaknesses; being quick to confess and desperate for his presence.
Because, if I’m honest with myself, it wasn’t until this year that I learnt my greatest strengths are also my greatest weaknesses when it comes to living out my faith.
… a will that wants to lead, is a heart that longs for power.
While God’s given me gifts of leadership, he’s called me simply to be a vessel for him to live in, speak through and direct my steps. There is simply no room for me, my plans, my ways or my desires.
All I need is less of me and more of him.
Over the past year, I’ve come to depend on not only our weekly gatherings, but on these women to not just show up but love me in return, even when it’s difficult and I’m completely undeserving. And to be able to say that, knowing in certainty they will do so, is the most beautiful and incredible gift from God.
Today, I give thanks for the ways in which God has made himself incredibly real to our wee woman’s group and taught us how to flourish in community.
The most grateful and joyful of Happy 1st Birthdays to our Seeking Grace Women’s Group.