I walked into the room ready to share stories and reflections of my brave faith journey. I worked hard to prepare just the right words. Throughout the process, I prayed for God to encourage just the right women to join me for my sessions. As the day grew closer, I searched for peace in the final preparations. I let go of my tendency toward perfectionism and asked God to do the rest. Saturday dawned chilly and bright skies greeted me. I walked into the church and …
I’m pressing pause on the outcome to share the backstory. Several months ago, the women’s director of a local church asked me to speak at a one-day women’s conference. The person in charge knows me and asked that I do two sessions on Brave Faith. I agreed. Fast forward to this past Saturday and the conference.
Four women joined me for my first session. I sat down with the women and approached it more like a conversation. As I spoke I could visibly see the engagement and the willingness that these ladies brought to learn something about brave faith. One woman especially impacted me as she contributed a piece of her story.
I asked the women if they thought they were brave. It’s not a trick question but it is one that is hard to answer depending on life circumstances and life experience. This woman answered, without hesitation, “I am brave”. I still hesitate before I call myself brave. But at age eighty-seven, this woman who is now my new hero brought a glimpse of what faith looks like. She spoke without any doubt of how God is always with her. From deep inside she shared there is no fear because of that trust. I can’t stop thinking how beautiful faith is and how she embodied what that looks like.
Since Saturday, I realized that God listened and knew who needed to hear about brave faith. He also knew exactly what I needed. The chance to learn from someone else is a gift I don’t take lightly. When God opens doors, He provides the people to walk through them.
My time on Saturday was blessed because the right women walked in. I grew in my understanding of faith as a result. I am better off for having spent time with these women.
As I stepped away from the weekend and reflected on the sessions, I learned that a time of teaching is also a time of learning. Three stories in the Bible come to mind of the right women interacting with Jesus. They left the encounter profoundly changed.
- The Woman at the Well – In a short span of time, the woman meets Jesus, he promises her the gift of living water, is forgiven and known by the man who became our Savior. Think of all she would miss if she had not walked out to the well at the exact time Jesus was passing through her town. See John 4
- The Woman Who was Caught in Adultery – As this woman stands before the crowd, the Pharisees name her sin and ask Jesus what he thinks. The question is turned back to them. Then Jesus spoke these words, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone”. One moment death by stoning was imminent and the next Jesus forgave her. See John 8
- The Woman with the Alabaster Jar – A simple act of honoring Jesus by washing His feet with her tears and expensive perfume, turned into a Pharisee accusing her of being a sinner and Jesus modeling love and forgiveness. See Luke 7
I can’t help but think of all the things I miss because I call out the truth instead of tempering it with grace. Or I make a quick judgment about a person at the expense of just loving them. Jesus showed us over and over that when you open the door, the right person will walk in. The question is how will you respond when they do.
What might you miss by not walking through the door? How can you sit in an open posture for God to teach you while you teach others?
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