This summer has found me in a bit of an odd place. In the midst of the utter chaos we call life, I found myself missing lots of church. Missed it, as in, I didn’t go much. No excuses worth hearing, just didn’t. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely not the best thing for me.
I have a dear friend who herself was in a bit of an odd place in life, coupled with a few other friends who love to study Scripture, a few others who have never really gotten into the whole capri-wearing, highlighter-toting, Beth Moore Bible study crowd, but figured, what the heck? I’ll do a Bible study. Somehow this mish-mash group of women decided to do a bible study but none of us had One.More.Day to commit to anything. So we decided to choose the most tech savvy of the group to organize us into a very loose network Facebook group. Each day or once a week, or whenever the Spirit moved, we would document things God was telling us. Eventually, over a series of 6 weeks, we began to see how God was actually doing more than talking to us, He was actually changing us.
It has been a beautiful thing.
It seems to me that God has been far more interested in redefining my thoughts of “church” and “ministry”. It seems that He has wanted to shake me up a little, clean me up a lot and share some things I was way to busy running around and fixing everything to hear. Until this summer. And it wasn’t just me. It was the sisterhood of hearing the others say, “Oh! I am hearing the same thing!” or, “I hear God saying this.” or “Pray for me, I’m scared but I want to obey” or even, “Stephanie, maybe you’ve looked at this the wrong way.”
It is true that God’s Word is alive. It cuts us until we bleed, then bathes and binds that very wound. It shines a bright light on us and brings us out of the shadows. It speaks truth when others around us speak what they think is best. The one can sometimes crowd out the other.
Friendships deepen, love for Scripture multiplies and I find myself smack dab in the middle of ministry. Ministering and being ministered to. Changing and seeing changes.
In the end, I’m a little sad to see it close. So many endings in my life lately. But as I change and grow I find that God has new doors and new plans that I wasn’t ready for before. As I sit and talk over coffee with an old friend this morning, she tells me of her trip to Uganda and I smile. Oh, there are many more adventures waiting for me and the Mister in places I cannot pronounce. But for today, I will go minister to the ones He puts in front of me, marginalized by other tragedies. I will share Scripture with a young woman and let her teach me about Gideon. Give and take. I will start my journal of God’s promises to me from a book in Judges during the summer of 2013. I will tuck away some of the promises I have found, others with greater wisdom have shared them and save them for a wintry morning in January. I will need them then and they will be just as precious as they are today.