Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When God Takes your Yes and Turns it into a Community

Yesterday, I wrapped up my 8-week Bible Study that I wrote and have been teaching on Tuesday mornings called Road Signs.  I selfishly asked the Women's Ministry at our church if I could lead this study as a way to force myself to finally write out the words and messages that have been in my head and heart for over 3 years.  If I'm honest, I was hoping to connect and share with women, but mostly I was stepping out with a personal motive - looking for a catalyst to light a fire under my tush so that I could say Yes to the Lord and remove the gnawing pressure that seemed to always hang above my head.

I was told that typical morning studies usually bring 20 ladies and that by the end of a study there are around 12 who remain and walk across the finish line.  Now, I'm no Beth Moore so I was praying and expecting 10 or so women to show up, and I selfishly hoped that half of those 10 would finish just so I could gauge whether or not what I had to share was valid.

So, 8 weeks ago I walked into that classroom with a lighter heart - because I had finally said yes, but guarded expectations not wanting to hope for too much.  I had to blink my eyes several times on that first morning as almost 50 ladies sat in that room expectant and ready for what this study would bring.  I remember holding back tears as I opened that first morning in prayer - realizing in my heart that perhaps God was up to something...

8 weeks later as I surveyed the room yesterday, it was crystal clear that God had much more in store for those Tuesday mornings than just a platform for me to try out some material.  You see, over the last 8 weeks we've had over 75 women walk through the doors and slowly open their hearts.  EVERY week I have watched as women have not just taken notes on what I had to share, but also stepped out in vulnerability to share their own stories and minister to one another.

Yesterday I sat in awe as I watched women in their 60's loving on young mothers.  I watched as women of every race cried together and opened the Word together and prophesied life and truth over one another's lives.  Yesterday, I watched as 4 women who now take on the roles of grandmother provided lunch for over 30 women who could stay afterwards to eat...they provided not because I asked but because they have connected and want to pour out their wisdom...and listening ears...and love on those younger. 

I ate lasagna and the most divine homemade coconut cake as kids played and mothers talked and grandmothers held babies and women shared their stories...and I realized - THIS - this is what God was up to...

I came with my feeble words and a desire simply to say yes to Him...and as I obeyed...as I brought my loaves and fish...God had taken my obedience - my offering - and had multiplied it far beyond what I could have ever imagined.  He took my gift and multiplied it into a community - a community of women who were learning to love one another.  

And now we were breaking bread and deciding we shouldn't stop meeting...because although it started as a catalyst to get my words out...God created a safe place where their words mattered too.

Road Signs is finished (I'll be teaching it again starting April 24th in the evening - lots of Lubbock ladies were upset it was just in the morning)...but Tuesday mornings are not finished - we are taking March off but will resume meeting in April - allowing our community to continue to flourish and inviting God to multiply and transform as only He can do.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Of COURSE this made me teary.
Love this! Love what God did..and is going to continue to do!
And I'm so glad you stepped out...for you AND for them...
Well done.

Sarah Bessey said...

Love this, Paige. You are doing such important work. eshet chayil!

Jennifer Camp said...

I am so so, encouraged, Paige. Thank you!

Wendy said...

What an encouragement to hear how God is working. I too lead a Bible study at our church and had no idea all God had in store for us. This is my first experience leading and I have to admit that I was scared to death. I totally second guessed saying "yes." I have served in children's ministry for several years, but women's ministry is a new place for me.

diana said...

This is how God starts with us, you know? I did this EXACT same thing about 35 years ago (although I didn't write my own material then). . . and then went to seminary midlife and pastored for 17 years. You just never know where that stick-your-neck-out-obedience will lead. This is just lovely. Thank you so much.

natrietia said...

Thank you Paige for sharing. I have followed your blog since the first time I randomly clicked on next blog. God is divine and He does exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or think. I am reminded of his first miracle, turning water to wine. He saves the best for last. Recently, I stepped out to write a book, named after my blog The Lady's Rage. I would love for you to read it and offer your true and honest feedback. It is available at amazon.com . Thank you for your transparency and love for God.

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