I have been part of a women’s weekly bible study for the last two years and loved it. I loved getting to know several women who were in the same place in life as I was. We grew, connected and saw each other through life’s ups and downs. Sadly, this summer was our last summer together for this season of our life. Our two wonderful group leaders were lead to pursue other ventures in this season of their lives and the rest of us were committed to other things and so, for now, we are not meeting.
A couple weeks ago we attended a beautiful wedding among the country and hills of Wisconsin. There I reconnected with an old friend. While catching up she mentioned that in a couple weeks she was starting a bible study. My heart jumped in my chest and I asked if I could join. It felt like spirit-lead timing.
Last night we met for the first time. We are studying Strengthen Yourself in The Lord by Bill Johnson. Before this I had not heard of Bill Johnson, but after watching him speak last night, I’m excited to read and see more of his teaching. In preparation for this study, which is based on the trials and promotion of David, I have been reading 1 Samuel. Over the years I have become familiar with David’s life, but reading it all at once has been impactful. I’m excited to see the connections that Bill makes in this study and how I can better follow the Lord by examining David’s life.
After the initial excitement about finding a new small group wore off, I began to feel uncomfortable about the new experience. I’m a very outgoing person, but when faced with new situations and people I tend to withdraw. I feel self-conscious and awkward. I tend to listen and not speak much at first, as I absorb the tendencies and personalities of those around me. Feeling everyone out and finding my place in the group. Especially because I tend to be an outspoken, passionate leader; however, I never want to take over or seem overbearing when someone else has been placed in a role of leadership.
I felt myself silently engaging last night and was having a hard time coming up with anything significant to say, even though I have a lot of deep feelings about the topic of promotion and David’s life. I’m 32 years old and it still amazes me when this happens. But I gave myself grace and let myself sit on the couch nursing Joshua and listening intently to the other women speak. Not interrupting and simply observing. I spoke when I had something to say or when asked a question, but just gave myself the time to acclimate, even if it made me seem recluse to the other women. It’s just how I am and I’m ok with it.
Do you have personality traits that make you uncomfortable? How do you deal with these emotions when they come up?