Listening and Learning

Teaching the Bible seems to be a noble profession, at least that is how I think of it. For several years now I have aspired to be a teacher of the Word of God and to write books about finding our identity in Christ. This morning in my quiet time I read some passages that have caused me to stop and think about my desire in this and to really determine if I am ready for this calling. James 3:1 talks about teachers needing to feel a healthy caution and care if they are going to choose this line of work because we will be judged more strictly. Teaching and writing is a worthy calling but with it comes more responsibility.

Several years ago I was leading a women’s ministry I’d started. I wasn’t even close to ready to lead and my actions made that abundantly clear. I was still drinking rather consistently and on a night when my team and I were all together I drank too much and blacked out. It wasn’t good. Apparently I said and did some things that were not good. One of my team members took me to lunch, she had fasted and prayed about how to approach me with her thoughts on my actions. When we met, she brought a few pages printed out with verses from the Bible about what a leader looks like. She said that she wanted to follow me but that I had to be prepared to lead her and the other women I was responsible for. I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t ready to lead anyone, I couldn’t even lead myself. I knew that I would have to step down from my position but it was taken from me before I had the opportunity. I messed up so I took the consequences for my actions and was removed from the teaching team and leadership. The sad part is that the women cut me completely out of community and asked that I not reach out to any of the 14 women in leadership, so I didn’t until it was too late. Gossip had spread and determinations about my character decided so I quietly moved away and started over.

That was a very painful moment in my life. I’d let myself down, Hubby down, and several women who believed in me down. By far, the worst was letting me down. I spent the next several years working hard to become the kind of woman that I would want to follow. The time has finally come that I believe I have what it takes and I am ready for the fire that comes along with teaching. It has taken many hours in the Bible, lots of journaling time, writing stories about what I learn with Jesus on here, going through a lot of loss and pruning, and finally separating from Hubby to help me see that I have the strength and courage to follow Jesus into the calling He has on my life. The time and suffering have been worth it. I want to live my life in such a way that people see Jesus when they see me. I am going to make mistakes as a leader and teacher, we all do. I have considered the cost of going into this calling I feel so drawn to follow, it’s time and I am ready.

I want to live my life in a way that is transparent so that fellow Christians and those who are still questioning who Jesus really is know that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory. That is why He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that when we make mistakes we can choose to not condemn ourselves but instead let God use it to refine us. I am learning from my mistakes and for that I am grateful. I am tired of taking the same tests over and over again and I am ready to learn. I am listening and learning and it’s tough and good at the same time.

Hubby and I are separated and that isn’t fun. We are working on reconciliation and dating each other. We both love Jesus and we know that He is doing a work through this separation. We’ve had one another for 30 years and we have been best friends the entire time. Neither of us is willing to throw that away without a fight. We are both growing and maturing in this separation time. He is owning his part and I am owning my part. We know that to offer one another our best we have to know who we are in Christ and who He created us to be. From that place of rest we will be able to offer one another our best. Our homes have to be safe haven where Christ’s peace is flourishing. Once Hubby and I have the capacity to offer each other that gift, it will be time for us to unite again. Thank you for your prayers, they are being answered.

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