I met her for coffee late Thursday afternoon. She had been in my 12th grade Sunday school class over six years ago. We’ve been in touch, mostly through social media – if that counts, but hadn’t spent any real time together in way too long. She’s been busy graduating college, starting her career and getting engaged. I’ve been taking grad school classes, teaching middle school English and keeping up with my own growing/changing family. The time was sweet for my soul, as we easily picked up right where we’d left off.
Three hours slipped quickly by. As we each shared what God was teaching us, our 20 year age difference became inconsequential. Our situations and circumstances may be drastically different, but the sanctifying, life lessons we are are learning are strikingly similar: God faithfully provides, God hears our prayers, God makes His will known to us. Bible stories, scripture studies and Spirit whispers were swapped over iced coffee drinks as we sat outside, not noticing the heat or the rushing traffic 50 yards or so away.
As I drove home, I realized how much I had missed, not just my young friend, but even more so these spiritual conversations where we dig in God’s word and find fulfillment in Him. I also realized this is the longest I have gone since my high school years where I have not been actively involved mentoring, teaching or leading in some sort of spiritual capacity. I miss it.
My husband has suggested re-starting the ladies Bible study at church. I was leading a bi-monthly gathering of mostly senior citizens before the pandemic. I would love to, but –
Life for all of us has changed a lot since then, especially for me – I am no longer directing a church preschool. I am working full-time and going to graduate school part-time. My father-in-law has moved in with us. My oldest daughter has started college. My middle daughter is navigating middle school. My youngest daughter is growing up far too fast. I wrestle with guilt for not meeting my own expectations.
Yet – I know I am where God wants me to be. My faith is far from stagnate. Yes, He is stretching me, teaching me, and growing me. He is revealing sin to repent of and promises to lean on. Yes, I am mostly tired, often weary and frequently overwhelmed. But He is upholding, sustaining and lighting the way. As it says in Isaiah 58, where He leads, He provides.
Yet – this week, I am resting and rediscovering what it looks like to have a free evening – or the freedom to meet an old friend for coffee and sit with her for three hours without looking at the time. Summer has arrived and I am thankful for a one week break from my grad school classes. Decompressing from a stressful school year has begun.
Yet – I still have hoops to jump through and responsibilities that are weighing on my mind. There are obligations I need to fulfill for my licensure. There are TWO Praxis tests I need to schedule, study for and pass. There are 12+ hours of in-service orientations/trainings required for work. There is the commitment I made to teach Vacation Bible School. AND I have awakened the past two mornings from dreams in which I am setting up my first-ever, very-own, classroom.
Yet – the thought of resuming the ladies Bible study won’t go away. Is it something God is calling me to do? If so, what should we study? When should we meet? For how long? Is it something that could be sustained into the fall? — I love these ladies. I love studying God’s word to teach it. I love teaching God’s word. I know that doing all of these things also puts me in the center of God’s will for my life. It is how He made me, how He gifted me, and how He is glorified through me.
So, what should I do?
To begin with, I knew I needed to blog again. I needed to write this post. So, my obedience begins here.
Should I restart the ladies’ Bible study at church? Should I offer a summer Bible study for young adults? Maybe I shouldn’t lead one right now, but coordinate one? Letting someone else step in and lead? Who would that be? What exactly would we study? (Of course the Bible, but what about it? Which part? A certain book? A specific topic?)
It would be easy – maybe too easy – to answer all of these questions with my long list of obligations, responsibilities and already made commitments. After all, my next grad class starts in less than a week with all the assignments, readings and projects that go with it. Is the season just not right? Just not right for now?
Honestly, I was hoping that by sitting here, thinking through all this and taking the time to type it all out, I would know what I should do. So far, that isn’t the case. I do know that this something that I need God to reveal to me, and so I will continue to pray He makes His will known.
This is “My Present Tense;” I want to be obedient to whatever/wherever God leads. I don’t want to succumb to Satan’s temptations telling me I am too busy, or that no one would blame me if I didn’t. I want to teach spiritual things, have spiritual conversations and encourage others with what God is teaching me. I don’t want to do anything that feeds my own ego or forces something that isn’t His will for me right now.
The Older Man and The Younger Man
As I stood there, I watched the two men walk away down the path from the patio, pass the lilies, to the driveway. The older one being led by the younger one. I never had noticed that their heads were shaped similarly with the same balding spots on their respective crowns. The older one’s back […]
Operation Do It (O.D.I.)
Tomorrow starts the third week of the girls’ summer break from school. Over the years we have developed some structure for the girls’ free mornings so they wouldn’t spend all day every day glued to some screen or begin begging us for something to “do” at 10 am each day. I am not sure which […]
Where I Am Supposed To Be
During class last week, our professor sought to help us process the latest school shooting in Texas. Like all my instructors in the graduate school at Lipscomb’s College of Education, she was modeling for us how we could facilitate a similar discussion with our own students. She read a few texts, gave us a few […]