She looks like Sandra Bullock. Dark hair, strong, pretty, intense.
I made a friend at church back in 2007 or so. She was a home school mom like me, but unlike me, her oldest three were adopted. We hit it off. We hung out. Her older kids were now in public school, but she still seemed like a homeschool mom to me. We enjoyed each other’s company and shared our lives, difficult as they were and still are. She unexpectedly became pregnant after years of trying, not once, but twice, when things in her life were precarious. Being the tough and faithful woman she was, she determined to make the best of things and did it with style. A foodie and traveler, maybe a hipster before her time, she liked the good things in life and taught her children the same. Her husband’s income as a coach and teacher was barely sufficient but they made it work.
She introduced me to Kay Arthur’s Precepts Bible study and invited me to go to Dallas to an all day event where we learned how to study in this particular method. This was pretty big for me at this time when I was still coming out of my fearful shell , to go out of town with someone and go to a conference. I had a lot of anxiety but something made me do it anyway. I learned a lot and had a good time, but I remember being so nervous.
Then , or maybe before, I can’t remember the timeline exactly, she suggested we go to go to a certain Bible study class that was not at our church, but a non-denominational, weekly , 2 hour class , with homework, that lasted the whole school year. I’d never heard of it, Community Bible Study. But she easily convinced me that it was a great organization and I finally said I’d go. This was also huge for me. A big commitment! My children were going to attend also, two in a nursery class and two in older kids’ classes, because they had classes for homeschooled children up to 12th grade. It makes me tear up just thinking about this. How terrified and full of fear I was! What was I afraid of? Not God . Not the Bible. People. I was afraid they wouldn’t like me, accept me, want me to be part of the group. And would my kids be okay? I was a very protective mother. So worried that my kids would 1)be unhappy and cry and 2) not behave and embarrass me. They did both, but I kept going. I missed some days. In fact I have missed a lot of days over the years due to my kids, but God keeps drawing me back.
My friend and her family moved away. Not too far, but far enough that we only communicate on social media. Her older kids and my oldest son spent some important years together growing up and are still friends. That story is still being written. Relationships have been formed and harmed, feelings hurt, confusion and chaos has reared it’s youthful head at times, babies have been born, people have gone into and out of jail, memories made, and life marches on. And my friend and I pray and trust God.
Now it is 2018. I was doing some estrogen-fueled cleaning today and decided to gather up the scattered workbooks from my years of Community Bible study. Sadly I think I may have thrown away a few books, but I found quite a collection. In the front of each one we write our names, our core group leader’s name and the school year. With a building wave of emotion I opened each books to check the dates. The oldest book I have is the year 2008-9. Ten years. Ten years of studying God’s word with wonderful godly women. It has made a huge impact on my life. I thank you, friend, for inviting me to Community Bible Study. God used you in a big and important way. You will always be special to me, you and your family. Storing up treasures in heaven. Bless you, sister.