Thursday, July 23, 2009

I have been trained

Walker and I met when we were leaders for a world-wide Bible study (which I adore and highly recommend) called BSF. Aside from thoroughly being trained in the Word, BSF has an objective that each of its leaders receive extensive training on how to lead a bible study. Their goal is that we could go anywhere, anytime, and given a few people, start up some serious Jesus lessons.

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."

Dang. It.

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 ~

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28 comments:

  1. Soooo understand where you're coming from. God is so wise in giving us husbands who can see through to the other side, isn't he? I have been praying, too. I'm helping with a Bible study this fall for the first time since my BSF days (5 years ago?). (Hope that's not too disappointing to R & B and D & D!) I am teaching 1 lesson out of the 6. One week of preparation. That's all I can do right now, and I only have 1 kid! And I'm praying that I don't flub it up!
    Take your time...God will bring just the right thing your way at just the right time. And you'll do an awesome job, and He will be greatly glorified, and you will probably learn more than the ones you lead. As usual (at least for me!) Love you! Jenn

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  2. I can promise you they are not disappointed. The one time I asked Barbara if I should start one, she said NO!

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  3. Oh sweet friend. I love this post. And let me tell you, the last couple of sentences wrapped it all up.

    Not the season. Not right now.

    Seems like I read somewhere in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time and a season for everything. And while you have these precious little ones is the time to pour into their hearts, not to worry about teaching the ladies. I know it's frustrating and hard to wait, but trust me, it will be gone IN A BLINK, and you will have lots of years to teach.

    Walker is a keeper. Not only for seeing the reality, but for saying he would support you if you determined to charge right in.

    Love ya!

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  4. what a great husband you have... it's nice to hear that you thought about it a bunch and then talked with him,such patience! WOW!
    I know a study will come to you when HE WILLS it..

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  5. I agree with Walker. Save your energy for a non-DVD-teaching Bible study. I like those better because there's more interaction, more discussion, more opportunities. Just keep waiting. The perfect one will come along where you will be labeled "The Best Bible Study Teacher Ever."

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  6. As a former BSF group leader, I know of this TRAINING of which you speak. And all the other emotions that accompany being in the thick of service.

    I cannot wait to read the end of this.

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  7. I really enjoy you. I think I got "the point", but I can't wait to see what the "real point" is.

    Also, thanks for commenting on my blog! You were my first commenter (-or?)! I haven't blogged about chapter 2 yet, as it was a bit heady and I need to re-read it. Soon, though.

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  8. Linda - He is a keeper. He is also very good at looking at me and going, "Are you on crack? NO!"

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  9. Ahh! I'm still kinda new to this whole "mom" deal, having only a single one year old. After becoming a SAHM, I started delving into EV-ER-Y-THING. I signed up to teach the girls' teenage class one quarter and the 4 and 5 year olds the next...oh and to be head over decorating for VBS, starting a church blog, and helping organize showers.

    WHEW.

    I wish I had read your post, say, 6 months ago! I really don't have the time/energy to put into cool crafts, etc for my kids on Wednesday nights...and I do feel like the crappiest teacher ever sometimes! Next quarter...I'm gonna pass!

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  10. Jamison says that he needs to learn that kind of Walker response! Don't send him over to give lessons...however, I am in a season of the big, fat NO as well. KNow though that you ARE using your training through this blog and your family.

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  11. I've been through some of that BSF training, sure, but I think what I REALLY need is some training from Walker! Let's see, the course title would be something like, "How to tell your wife yes and no at the same time, insult her, build her up, and affirm her all in one run-on-response. And have her love you all the more for it!" How did he do that?!

    I thought only women were capable of complimenting and insulting at the same time but somehow your husband has learned the dark art too. I need to be trained!

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  12. Good for you waiting on God and listening to your husband's advice! And what a wise husband you have.
    And I know your little people are little, but wait a few more years, and you have a teacher's dream: A Captive audiance! I am a born teacher, and we cannot have a short little devotional. Ever... I can't help it, I talk on and on. No matter the subject. And my kids ask questions to keep it going. We all love it! So, God has closed doors for me teaching women, which would be my first choice, and given me my children as my students, which is the best of all!

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  13. Funny, we just had the same conversation tonight: "Hon, next time you are asked to do anything, anything at all, will you please think about right now when you are hating everything you're doing, are convinced you're not putting enough time into teaching our three boys, and are dreading the next meeting at church? Will you do that please?"
    Um, yes. (Of course, I said that BEFORE I was elected (and said yes) to the church council and the pastor search committee. I like Walker's other response, "Are you on crack?" That's my usual thought, "Did I just say 'yes?' I coulda swore I was going to say 'no.' Hmm, I must be on crack!

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  14. Kyle is very good with the "NO! What are you thinking? NO!" honesty, too. Oh the messes I would get into if it weren't for his leadership!

    I can completely identify with the desire to teach. COMPLETELY. I am teaching a women's Sunday School class, but the curriculum is already pretty much prepared for me. I would love to teach something along the lines of BSF someday - but yeah, not the season.

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  15. *hugs* I sooooo know where you are coming from.

    My small group is doing a bible study that Martin and I are jointly leading,but we do a relaxed schedule. One week of Patriarchs homework takes us two weeks to get through. it takes the stress off everyone.

    And good for you for listening to the wise council of your husband. Well done Missy. well done.

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  16. Wow, Missy, I can so relate to this post. I have learned - the HARD WAY - about the need to wait on God for his time in serving. I have said yes when I should have said no and it's turned out badly. My hubs now says exactly what Walker says every time an opportunity presents itself and I think it might be my time and it might be God speaking. God's good like that...he gives us our men to say it like it is because they love us so much and want the best for our experience (and their Wednesday nights;). Here's to patience! Thanks for sharing.

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  17. I'm just entering into this phase of life and I love your perspective on all things parenthood! You encourage me to remember that this is only a season and it's a season I will eventually miss. Thank you!

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  19. Amanda just posted something to the tune of this last week. I'm so encouraged that you also did, because I've been dealing with the frustrations of wanting to be super-involved, but having to sit on the sidelines because of motherhood. (Wow... run-on sentence.)

    You may not be teaching a Bible Study, but you are accomplishing so much in His name through this blog. I mean this in a completely un-stalkerish way, but you have become sort of an online mentour to me. I am so encouraged by the things you share!

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  20. Wow! I was hanging on every word, shaking my head with a resounding “YES” and then I came to the end and fell off the cliff! I’m in a season of being committed and it’s excruciating right now because I think it should have been a no. Way to use the wisdom God gave you to consider it, wait, listen to Him and discuss it with your husband. I loved his response!!! That was fantastic!

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  21. This was the same thing I went through just a couple months ago. I am a part of CBS (Community Bible Study) that's very similar to BSF. We also get awesome training to be leaders. This last year I was a Children's Teacher because that's where I thought God wanted me. I realized with 4 young kids (currently 7, 4, 2, 13 mo) I couldn't give enough to the kids so I decided I'd be a small group leader. Well, my husband said, "Go ahead but I don't think this is what you should be doing." My mom said, "This is not the time. You're too busy keeping house, homeschooling, church." I ignored them because I was SURE this is what God wanted. The next few weeks I was miserable. I felt God tugging at my heart telling me and reminding me I was disobeying. One week I told my prayer partner that I wanted someone to tell me what to do. So the next day the Teaching Director told me...this isn't my time or season. This is my season to rest and be refreshed.
    Love to you!
    Jen in Virginia

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  22. Now THAT'S a good husband! He waited until he was given the go-ahead to talk and then he laid the truth on you.

    I, too, am waiting on the Lord and it is HARD. HARD. HARD!

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  23. I agree with everyone else: Your Walker handled that exactly right. (And don't you hate it/love it when our husbands do that? What a blessing!)

    I know exactly you mean about jiggling your foot through other studies. I was a BSF small group leader, too, for almost six years and I absolutely loved it. I grew in my understanding, as anyone in BSF does. But I loved being a leader, the training, the being immersed in prayer for leadership and all the rest.

    Then we moved and things changed. I was "out of season" for that commitment.

    BSF set my standards high, too, for what a Bible study can be. After this long a time I think maybe you can't replicate it without the overall program, i.e., structure, which keeps everything going at once. (And without that big time commitment from leadership.)

    I so identify with what you're feeling and those yearnings. I think God just transferred you to a larger sphere, where you give out His truth to so many more people.

    Besides all that, you're rearing up new leaders in Christ in your home, living out what you've learned from the Bible and passing it on.

    That being said, I don't know of anything harder than waiting on the Lord. I guess we feel that because we see only this one day, this one season, and He sees all our lives. By now I've learned that He uses us--sometimes the most--when we feel we're not "accomplishing" much of anything. So be at peace, my friend.

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  24. hee hee - i remember my training for cbs (community bible study).
    seriously - getting the ladies off of rabbit trails is so hard!!!

    have fun!!

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  25. I could relate to the torn feeling of leading a bible study or not. Discerning whether it is the right season is key. When it is the right season don't worry about the leading. God will give you the guidance and that will make you sufficient to do the job.

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  26. can't wait for the rest of this one ... laughing at this because my hubby has helped me say NO many times ...

    to answer your question on my blog ... YES, the moment we say yes to the Lord for another adoption the warfare begins !!! the good thing is that we realize what it is and just tell Satan to get under foot !!!

    blessings to your day !!!

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  27. Ahh, I miss BSF!! Ever since we moved to the most remote county in the lower 48 states (no, I'm actually not exaggerating), we've been real short on good Bible studies. You'd think working at a Christian camp, we'd be full of formal Bible study opportunities, but amazingly it's not so. I wish you were teaching a Bible study and I could come to it, that'd be great!

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  28. You are smart to seek your husband's advice. Found you through Kimba. Keep blogging - that is one of the jobs God has for you right now. Aren't you amazed at how many people read your blog!? God is amazing.

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