I love Thursdays! Thursdays start off early, as I am getting up, getting ready for Community Bible Study. We start at 9:15 as we gather to pray together for the day, for our ladies who will be coming,pray for one another and for any prayer requests that are mentioned. Then the ladies start getting there and our opening begins at 9:30 .We have had some awesome speakers come to share with us during that time. I love to hear our own ladies share and today was special because it was one of “my girls” sharing. I say mine, because I feel like once these precious ladies are in my group, we are connected.
They are part mine from then on!! I still love to hear from them and to see them there or out in the community. It takes 9 months for the relationships to nuture and grow among the groups, but by the time May comes and our year of study is over, it is a bit sad to say good bye. We know we will not be seeing each other every week.. Sad to say good bye, in the halls of CBS. There are lots of hugs, and smiles shared within the walls of our CBS, lots of love. God uses us to love on each other, as we study our lessons and share in discussions.
So, back to the opening today, I indeed feel like Kristi is one of mine. She was in my group last year and we all grew together as we met each week and shared. She was a bit quiet at the first of the year, but as we got to know each other, she shared more, and by the end of the year, she had shared her story, her walk with us in our room. I was touched, as she spoke the words God gave her that day. Fast forward 5 months, and there she is. Giving our opening in front of all the ladies at CBS. I was so proud of her. She spoke like a pro. If she was nervous, you would never know it… She told of her growing up, getting married, having her first child, finding out she had breast cancer, losing her second child, doing chemo, doing radiation, then… the infertility, foster care and then adoption. Wow… but the common thread through her journey was the fact that God never left her, He never gave up on her, and in return, she hung to that hope that He offers, that He would make it alright. He turned her brokeness into beautiful!!
What a blessing we get each week to hear these openings, and to see what God is doing through these ladies in their lives. We talk a lot in class about not being too busy to miss out on God`s blessings, His presents to us. It is easy while we are there at CBS together to talk about it, but when we leave and get out in the real world that is where it is hard. Being in a small group is so important to see the scripture lived out in others as well as ourselves…
Today was such a picture, right in front of us in our class. We were studying Mark and in the section from Mark 6:7-13, it talks about being equipped for ministry and what the advantage is of sending disciples out in pairs… the obvious, accountability, support, like minded, credibility….. then… we mentioned two real life examples sitting right there in front of us… Two of “my ladies”, Lavinia and Cheryl! They have told us about them preparing to go to Africa with their church team in a few weeks THey have mentioned ways for us to pray for them and concerns they may have about being gone. Then we come to this question, and Bam…. our attention goes to them. Cheryl is telling us a story about how when she was young she would see pictures of children in Africa, and wonder if that was her calling… How could she go? could she go? would God call her to go? as she was talking, her voice broke and it became emotional for the words to come out…. Lavinia, immediately put her arm around her and smiled and said, “She has the sweetest, most tender heart”…. It brought tears to my heart, as God showed us this example of exactly what we were talking about. They didn`t miss a beat to speak for the other one, when the time was right. They would speak then turn to look as the other would nod in agreement. He sends disciples out in pairs… Yes!! We talked about how God equips us for His ministry. The disciples only had their sandals, a staff, and no food or money. We laughed as we compared what these ladies would be packing for their trip. Lavinia reminded us that she was a jewelry person and would need those prized possessions for sure to be with her! Yes, it was a great lesson. God showed us the importance of being ready to say yes, when He calls us. We all do not have the same gifts, but it is important to use what we do have…
After a quick drive thru to Zaxbys on my way to art, I get to spend the next two hours with another special group of ladies, my art girls. We have been together for many years. We laugh that we are more of a social group than art group, but we do manage to draw or paint some through all the laughter and stories and conversations. Next week, we get to go to the lake to enjoy the beauty of the leaves at Anna`s lake home. It is a soup day and we all look forward to going there as Anna opens her beautiful home. I drive home from art smiling and thinking what a great blessing it is to have good friends. Thursdays are a great day indeed!! I hope you have a great weekend,