Next week, my Interface woman’s bible study/mentor program starts again for the year. I am very excited by this, as I really enjoyed the study last year. I’m also excited because we are studying three book, Nehemiah, Esther, and Ruth and Esther and Ruth are two of my favorites. I’ve never read Nehemiah before, but I can tell already that I think it’s going to be a great book for me and might start to really challenge me and the way I’m living my life.
The way Interface works (for the few of you who don’t know) is that we are given a chapter (sometimes half sometimes more) to read each week from a specific book of the Bible. Since we are starting in Nehemiah this semester, our first chapter is Nehemiah 1 then next week will be 2 then 3 etc. When we finished this we’ll move onto Esther then Ruth. As we focus on each chapter each week, we really dissect the text using homiletics and then answer 5 questions regarding lessons we learned, things that really struck us in the text, and the characteristics of God that we see in the passage. It really forces you to dive into the text and study it thoroughly. You also have to select a verse (or more) to memorize each week from the chapter, and an action to focus on changing as well.
Yesterday I received all my materials for the year, got my binder ready (I’m going to post on that over on my other blog later – I am in love with the way I decorated it) and started readying to prepare Nehemiah 1 for our first week next week. It usually takes me a couple times through to find a verse that I like enough to memorize, but right off the bat, I was struck by Nehemiah 1:4 “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned, and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven.”
When was the last time in my life I was honestly struck by something this hard. Struck in a way that caused me to stop in my tracks in earnestness. Caused me to weep, and pray, and cry out to God. When was the last time I let me myself be enveloped by raw emotions?
About a month and a half ago, my best fried Lexi’s Grandpa died. She called me at some unknown hour of the early morning (5 maybe) to tell me. I was struck with grief yes, but more for her and her family and the pain they were facing. I’d known Grandpa personally for years, yet I wasn’t overcome with emotions. My first actions were to call mom and get her, and her girls, and the Church praying, not bad actions, but not personal ones either.
This verse made me take pause, and realize, that after my initial grief in Toby, I seared my own heart, I didn’t ever want to feel like that again, so I’ve stopped letting myself feel. As a result, I’ve realized that not only do I not let myself feel the pain, but I often don’t let myself feel the joy in life either. I don’t live in the moment, I focus too much on “getting it done” on meeting the expectations or the milestones. I get more upset at Inara asking to play and read books for hours on end because it doesn’t let me clean, or do the laundry, or check my email. What are those things compared to my own Daughter? In trying to “find a balance”, I’ve lost site of the focus and the big picture.
In finding my memory verse, I also found my action.