Today I went to the first week of my church's fall women's Bible study. I've gone off and on for years, but usually make it through about half of the session before work or grad school or sick kids get in the way too often and I get out of the habit and stopped going.
But now I have free time. And I'm the type of person who can't have too much free time or else nothing gets accomplished in my life. And one of my priorities this new season of life is to spend much more time reading my Bible and praying.
So I went to Bible study today and my small group sat around at the beginning and introduced ourselves and mentioned our reasons for being there. Out of the 6 of us, I think I was the only one who wasn't partially motivated by the idea of not just studying the Bible, but connecting on a deeper level with other women in the church.
I REAAAAALLLLYYYY struggle with the idea of connecting with other people in the church. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm married to Mr. Outgoing Man and have gotten to know people through him, and also have met other parents while our kids were in their children's church classes, I'm pretty sure I would have made zero friends at church. And we're 8 1/2 years into attending there.
So I was thinking about that whole connecting thing and then went after Bible study and had lunch with Daniel. Because church is close to his work and the kids are already taken care of, so we're going to have cheap date lunches on Tuesdays as often as possible. But he and I were talking about some of the problems with people at church that we've both become aware of lately since Daniel is also getting more plugged in at church... family issues, sicknesses, sad times... all of the stuff that you can easily avoid getting engaged with if you are the type of church goer that I've become lately. I'm very good at serving and being friendly to the people I know through Daniel and the kids, but I have not let myself become intimately involved with the lives of my brothers and sisters at church.
And I sat there at lunch with Daniel and was thinking about all of this and pretty clearly heard God telling me that my time of avoiding and not engaging was done. I believe my first response was something along the lines of what my kids whine at me all the time "but I don't waaaaaannnnnnttt to!" I've used the excuse of having been a pastor's kid and having to know about people's problems and not wanting to know all that stuff anymore. But that's not the authentic, loving life that I want God to transform my life into.
In other news, swim lessons start tonight. They have got to learn to swim this time around!