Monday, September 20, 2010

In the Beginning

From my perspective, it’s the love story of a lifetime; unexpected, overwhelming, amazing.  It’s a story about rising from the ashes of brokenness, of surrendering everything to God, then amazing blessings.  It’s hard to put into words a timely and descriptive account that does justice to the Author of it all.  Really, it’s two love stories intertwined.  God’s abundant redemptive love for us.  A love that fills us up and makes us whole.  It’s also a love that overflows from our own lives; spills over and becomes shared with others...and in this story, especially between two people.
It’s in a moment of full surrender and contentment that His best work is done.  “Lord, if it’s just you, me and the kids the rest of my’s blessings all the way!”  Sincere words spoken from my heart that I would soon hear echoed from a new friend.  This is where a new chapter, a new story begins.
God had put on my heart, at that time, to teach a Bible study class on a Beth Moore book of all things.  What guy does that?  More importantly, what person ignores God’s leading...only a fool.  Well, I didn’t want to be a fool, even if I might have looked silly teaching from material that had been branded for a “women’s study,”  but also it’s me...since when did I care?  I think God made me just a little bit quirky and with a touch of rebel.  Thank goodness because it led to a series of events only God could have orchestrated.
I went to talk to the minister in charge of Bible studies about teaching the class.  It had been years since I last taught and I was out of the loop.  As I pulled up to the church I had an overwhelming sensation that, for some reason, I would be discouraged to teach this material in a Sunday school setting....interesting, but silly.  It gets more bizarre though.  The thought that kept coming to mind was, “tell him this is from Me, God, and if you offer the class, the right people will show up.”  Ok, so I’m having some kind of a movie moment here, “if you build it they will come”.  Sounds familiar, but I’m not used to having God drop a message on me in this manner.  Perhaps it’s just my wild imagination!
Once in the his office, I spent a fair amount of time explaining how I came to the place where teaching a Beth Moore study in Sunday School was what I was prepared to do. “I’m not sure this is the right setting for you” I was told. It was said in a helpful sincere tone, but seriously? I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Could this really be playing out?  All I could do was smile and kind of chuckle.  Then I realized that wasn’t the appropriate response for what was being communicated to me, especially with the perplexed look on his face. So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of to do at this point.  I passed along the message from God.  
 “Who am I to mess with the leading of the Holy Spirit” he responds.  Huh, what do you know?!  With that, the class began.
Those who showed up for the study know as well as I do that God literally brought us together.  It was inspiring to see how God was moving through our little class and just down the road from my church was another church where a wonderful lady was looking for a Bible study to attend.  Through the social grapevine she heard about the class, didn’t have a clue who was teaching or what it was about, only that she should give it a try.  She showed up for class one Sunday morning and it was the beginning of what would become a truly amazing friendship.
(Next entry) Our stories were one and the same...