Sep 23, 2008

satisfaction guaranteed

This year at church I have been asked to lead a women's bible study written by Linda Dillow entitled 'Satisfy My Thirsty Soul.' I would never have picked up the book to read it, much less lead a study on it. I'm glad I said I would, though. It's exactly what I need right now. There were several reasons I wanted to say no. I cried on my way to Thursday morning bible studies last year. Not every week, but many of them. We were new to town and to the church and I felt so lonely, so disconnected. We were going through some pretty rough stuff and I didn't feel like I was close enough to anyone to be able to share it. The worst feeling is feeling lonely in a crowded room. I guess I didn't think I should be a leader when I am still so new to the church and don't know many people--although now at least I have made some promising connections. I am very self conscious when I speak in front of people. I've been told I talk slow and deliberate. My voice doesn't carry well. I don't mind leading, and I think I have leadership ability, but it's the attention on me that I don't like. If I could be like the wizard behind the curtain and not have eyes on me, then I'd be happy. And besides, my neck gets splotchy when I get self conscious. Who wants that? But the biggest reason I hesitated to lead the study was when I found out which study it was: 'Satisfy My Thirsty Soul' by Linda Dillow. I like Linda Dillow. I think she's a fabulous author and person. But I have avoided reading any books by her because I dated her son in high school. Actually, I did read a book of hers years ago. After I got engaged to JD, my roommate, Brenda, gave me Linda's book 'How to Love Your Man.' I read it and I had a hard time processing the information because she kept using illustrations about her family. It was just a little weird for me. Her son and I had been just a high school thing, and we'd both moved on amicably, but at that time, it was only four years after high school. Since then I have avoided books by Linda. Consequently, even though the title expresses my heart cry, I would never have picked up 'Satisfy My Thirsty Soul.' As I prayed about my reasons for not leading, they became excuses. I held on to the last one, but ultimately I knew that the benefits of leading and the accountability that comes with it smashed any 'weirdness' of reading about Linda's family. As I read the first chapter (which opened with a description of my ex's fairytale wedding, by the way) my heart was so full of wonder at God's love for me that he would literally push me into leading this study of a book I would normally avoid because it is just what I need right now. My soul is thirsty for intimacy, and He wants to satisfy that thirst. I'm really looking forward to this study now and letting God speak to me through Linda.

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