I was honored to lead a women’s Bible study recently. The night before, I sat with all my notes and I could hear the whisper of Holy Spirit telling me where to chop and cut. Originally, I was thinking and writing from a place above the experience of what I planned to share. But He wanted me to engage in the experience first, before anyone else.
Engagement made all the difference.
Soon, I knew exactly which points to include…and my tears suggested the direction for our discussion.
Once together, we recalled memories of some of the wonder and curiosity in the little girl God created and fell in love with before we grew up. We listed the ways in which she may have been suppressed, even unintentionally. We took those initial recollections and weighed them against who we are today to discuss what we may have put away, but should consider picking up again.
We agreed that some parts of who we were was tough for adults to fathom and explain, so they discouraged gifts they weren’t quite equipped to nurture. And finally, we walked through where God was in those early moments and stages of life.
While it was definitely something for which ‘you had to be there,’ I felt it worth mentioning here. It’s my hope that you’ll get a group of friends together and have similar discussions.
Think of a time in your childhood – even before you knew God – where you were footloose and carefree. Whether you were playing with dolls or running through the streets playing tag, see yourself. Then, looking back from where you sit now, perhaps discuss some of these questions or other thoughts that arise:
Can you find God in those moments and how much He loved you, even then?
Are you able to observe both the good and any painful moments and see where He fought for you?
Are you allowing Him to fight for you today, or are you accustomed to getting things done on your own?
Can you perceive how God covered you, shielding you from certain darts?
Do you recall ducking out from under His covering sometimes to do it your way?
Truth is, God loves us fiercely and has been fighting for and covering us, even before we knew or accepted Him. And despite learning about the depths of His love and acceptance, we often agree with a world that suggests that we aren’t enough just the way we are. We often allow others’ assessments of our accomplishments and mistakes to dictate our worth.
Let’s all endeavor to get back in touch with some of our childhood wonder and innocence to fuel our creativity and dreams. Need some help? We have access to so many old TV shows and cartoons, surely something can spark the nostalgia you need to revive the creative juices you enjoyed as a child. After all, we’ve only got one life to live! (Pun intended!)
Thoughts? Feel free to share in the comments.
Thank you Lisa. I enjoyed looking back over my life. It opened up an imagination that I had buried. Dreams that I put away and desires I forgot I had in me. It has allow me to have a revelation that God is not through with me yet. So with that, I’m going to keep on dreaming, knowing that with Christ all things are possible.
Indeed! That was such an enlightening experience for me as well. It reminded me of my acceptance in Him, which helps silence the voice of the critics, even that inner critic that creeps up!
“And despite learning about the depths of His love and acceptance, we often agree with a world that suggests that we aren’t enough just the way we are.” It has taken me a long time to accept that God set me apart from others for a reason; it resulted in low self-esteem, loneliness, & depression, especially in my formative/teenage years when we are all desperately trying to fit in. Honestly, I’m still learning to love myself just as GOD created me, and as my relationship with Him grows, I’m becoming more comfortable in my individuality. Right now, I’m working on being on who God called me to be IN the church – and that means overcoming fears of not praying, speaking, etc. like everyone else.
Love you, Lisa!
Amanda! You have said a mouthful and what kindred spirits yet remain between us, despite the miles! As I said in another comment, this exercise for me was about firmly and definitively embracing His acceptance and silencing the critics – even the inner critic. And that goes for every arena. 😉 And yes, maturity is what gives us the courage to appreciate that we’re different for a purpose. It took me so long that I endeavor to help others get to that place sooner, if I can. I so appreciate your candid response. Love you, too! xoxo
What a refreshing activity
Indeed it was!
To be reminded of who we are in Him- created differently for His purpose- yet fitly joined in His body.
So Lisa, I am singing the theme song, the Peabo Bryson version of OLTL. OLTL came on before General Hospital. My mom got off at 3:30p and got home by 4:30p so when General Hospital came on, my brother and I scrambled to get the house clean before she came home. We made a song and dance ” Fast Fast Boogie” where we would sing and dance and clean with our silly selves. There was a rush of fun and excitment cleaning at the last minute. It boggles my mind how “waiting until the last minute” brought joy to our pre-teen selves. Really we just loved to sing and dance and created a game to play that was timed down to that very moment when Mom walked into the door, and we laughed and laughed. Then I remember Peabo Bryson ballads, “Tonight, I celebrate my Love for you”, ” A Whole New World” which took me to Regina Belle which brings me to the song “Baby come to Me” ..not sure why this sparks a memory of training bras.. I remember hearing this play in the background at the 9.99 Stock Room where I got my first bras. I remember my Mom ,my brother and I walking 5 miles to the mall to shop for school, walking back with bags of clothes. We always saw someone we knew and caught a ride back home. Funny how that always happened. God was looking out for us. As these songs take me through memory lane, I have to stop for a moment while my heart processes. As I listen to Regina Belle’s “Make It Like It Was”. I wasn’t expecting to break out in tears. I am reminded of my parents divorce, the pain and the longing for it to go back to how it was, how everyday I long for my relationship with my husband to be like it was. I cried like a baby and the Holy Spirit reminded me to look forward to what it will be in Christ. So I am still singing “Make It Like It Was” but the way it used to be in the garden, before the fall, in the Kingdom with Jesus. My mom and dad are still in the land of the living and I realize it is far better to focus on loving them and showing them unconditional love, to let go of the past hurt. And as for Mike, he is singing by the way, I will love him the way it used to be, the way God intended in the beginning. Thank you for taking me on this journey.
Yes, Crystal! Memories can be so sweet. Revelation and insight concerning the future? Even better! It IS so!! Love, Lisa