It's only been a week, but it's been one beautiful study.
There are a few things I would love to share about what God's been doing this week-- and I hope you'll share in the comment box below if you'd like to join us for this study!(So far it's myself and Lauren from the beautiful Beautiful Hope). If you can't join in-- don't worry. I hope you'll be encouraged along the way in any case!
So here's some prompts for you and for me...
1. Your thoughts after digging into the word.
2. Your thoughts on the reading of Anything and the Good Morning Girls discussions/videos.
3. The practical. How did the challenge go? The memorization of the verse? How has your studying impacted your life in a practical way?
1. The SOAPS were almost... difficult for me this week. This week we really dug into the depths of how hopeless we are without Jesus.
But I realized that the women who have impacted me most in this life, women like Katie Davis, and Ann Voskamp-- these women are those willing to wear the words messed up on their sleeve. And it's through their difficulties and weaknesses that I learn the extraordinary strength of my King!
The Word really struck me afresh with the fact that I bring nothing. I know it, but sometimes? You need to wallow in it for a bit. All there is now is what HE has done. I don't bring anything to the table. I don't do anything for Him. I walk with him because He saved and loves me-- wouldn't you want to live your life by the man who was the first to love you, who saved your life? Who paid the ultimate price to call you friend?
2. I knew that feeling of shame Jennie talked about, getting into trouble in the second grade. It's haunted me most of my life, that hot "feeling of being in trouble with the teacher". I realized that while we need to come face to face with how worthless we are-- wallowing in our shame and misery for too long disregards the work Christ has done. Repent doesn't only mean to be stricken with our nakedness, it means to turn around and keep walking.
3. Two things I had to let go of in the challenge to discover what was keeping me back, were two extreme opposites. I realized there was a desperate war in me. Secretly, I want to be loved by a man, desperately. It's been on my head and heart a lot these days, as I have had helpless and nightly dreams of being loved and being held. But then... there was also my extreme bitterness towards them.
I've been disrespected by a great deal of the men in my life-- the majority of them. I've never been enough for them. To the man that meant most in my life, I was not skinny enough, he told me this straight out and embarrassed me greatly over it in the name of wanting me to have a good life. To a guy who was like an older brother to me, I was not smart enough. Nothing I said could be met with acceptance-- only haughty scorning. To a guy that was my first and deepest affection, I was not cool enough, and he excluded me often in certain company. And those are only the three foremost examples in a lifetime of scorning.
It was one of those complex conflicts in the heart that you hardly understand, the sort that makes us the fearsome and intricate creatures called women.
I had both forgiving to do, and surrendering to do. God can handle how we think and feel, like Jennie said in her book. Like the Psalms are books of stark soul-bearing. He can lift the burden of loathing and loneliness, and turn this poison of both obsessive hatred and wanting, into a passion for living for Him-- trusting He'll do whatever brings the most love, joy, and peace out of my life. With a man's love or without. And today, that's without. And today, He is more than enough.
as I was listening to the video from Jennie, I realized that I too was holding back with my writing not necessarily because I was waiting on God anymore, but because I was terrified of criticism. Terrified. But if God wants to use my writing to encourage... shouldn't I trust that He can deal with the criticism?
I know this study is just starting out-- but whether you're taking part or not, what has got deepened or done in your life this week?
His Love is amazing!