I have been trained, y'all.
And I am a teacher by nature, in other words, naturally bossy and love to be the center of attention. Put those two together and you have a girl who is just ITCHING, ACHING, CLENCHING MY TEETH WHILE I BALL MY FISTS AND WOBBLE MY HEAD to lead a bible study.
But for seven years I have only been a participant.
One thing I have learned about myself is for me to be out of a bible study is a dangerous thing, so any church offering a good study near me with free childcare, and I become Shameless Bible Study Crasher.
I have sat in some and absorbed the Word and the wisdom of the other ladies, glad that all I had to do was show up and drink coffee (or a smuggled Diet Coke on Tuesday nights) while precious, organized leaders did all the work.
Others, I spent a lot of time jiggling my leg and feeling my blood pressure rise while I resisted the urge to shout "COULD YOU PLEASE QUIT TALKING ABOUT YOUR VACATION AND ANSWER QUESTION NUMBER FOUR?!"
Those kinds are painful for me. If I were leading, we would finish the questions, I think. I know how to avert rabbit trails. I have been trained.
As soon as I traded my inner-loop life for the glory of the suburbs, I began begging God to give me a bible study. B e g g i n g. And the Lord's answer has always been, "Nah. Thanks though. We'll keep your resume on file."
One wise thing I have learned in the craziness of the past few years is to never volunteer for anything, even if I want so badly to do it. Especially if I want so badly to do it. I tell God my desires, and if trust that if he wants me to serve him, he will make it abundantly clear. So clear that even my fuzzy headed, sleep deprived self won't miss it. Until then, I must sit on my jiggling leg, keep my mouth shut, and - watch out, here comes a 4-letter word - wait.
I am sure this has saved me from starting up about 42 doomed-for-failure small group studies.
Finally, it happened. Someone approached me!! And asked me to lead a study! And it was Esther!! Could this be it? My chance? The chance I have been begging God for?
I pondered these things in my heart for several days before I mentioned it to Walker, aka, Mr. Reality Bites.
He was instructed to not speak until I had explained that all that would be required to me would be to show up, organize the lesson, and maybe make coffee in one of those big complicated church coffee pots. He sat very quietly on the bed and listened with a blank face while I washed my face and brushed my teeth. Finally, I took a deep breath and said, "Okay, tell me what you think." After being reassured twice that he had permission to talk, he told me.
"Sure, you can do it.
"But let me tell you what your Wednesdays are going to look like. Every night, you will be running out of here, late and freaking out. You won't have had time to prepare and you will be that much more behind on laundry. By halfway through the lessons, you will be dreading it, and every week you will ask me, 'Why did I say I would do this? Why?' You will be tired all day Thursday, and you will feel guilty all the time that you aren't doing enough.
"Basically, babe, you will be the suckiest bible study leader they ever had. And the worst part is, it won't even fulfill you, because your desire is to teach, not to pop in a DVD. But you can do it, go ahead, I will support you in whatever you decide."
He kinda had me at "Suckiest Bible Study Leader Ever." Cause that's not what I have been trained for.
Sniffling, I emailed Lisa a big sad no. Can't do it. Not the season. Not right now.
I'll continue this later. I really do have a point. Stick around.
~ Part 2 here ~