I share Sunday School teaching responsibilities with two God-gifted, God-fearing ladies who, I must say, inspire me tremendously to keep seeking God diligently in my daily walk. These two ladies love the Lord with all their heart, so much so that one can almost smell the sweet aroma of their burning desire for God! I am so blessed to be a part of Bonnie’s and Amanda’s lives, especially in this arena, as they encourage me in the Lord for such a time as this!!
On the flip side…Unlike Bonnie & Amanda, I am not a natural teacher. It is not a gift that comes naturally to me — I have to work hard at devising a ‘teaching plan’ that would flow and prick the hearts of our oh-so-special teenage girls. Mind you, I have PRAYED that God would speak to me like He does Beth Moore and give me the talent he has given her of story telling and writing in-depth Bible studies, etc. etc. Oh, to be as flamboyant and outgoing as she is so that I could just be interesting enough to REACH people! – but I am more of a ‘back row Baptist’ that likes to hide in the corner and speak only when spoken to. I am more of a mental processor, or ‘people watcher’ as my husband likes to call it, as I drink things in around me, process the situation and try to figure it out, whatever ‘it’ is.
I do, however, see God carving me and molding me differently more and more every day, especially as he urges me to leave my comfort zone of the ‘back row’. Leaving the comfort zone of the back row currently consists of my being a co-teacher to 7th/8th/9th grade young ladies. I have always been my husband’s helper as he was always the teacher. Teaching is definitely his God-given gift, so I have always been more than happy to encourage him and be his help mate and do whatever needed to be done to help him prepare for the lesson. Don’t get me wrong, I can interject all day long, and I love a small group discussion, and I absolutley love digging down deep into the Word, but to assign the label ‘teacher’ and put me in the front of a class just puts me in a tailspin!
I have, however, begun to realize this is a different season for me. As God takes me from one season to another, he prunes and promotes growth in many ways. Pruning is not easy, and it is not comfortable and can be painful at times, but the fruit that is produced is fruit that can only come from our Creator!
As I am being pruned of those areas that are dead or stagnant, I am growing at the same time. It may be a slow growth at times, but growth none-the-less. Growth is good!
When I teach, I have to TOTALLY submit to God as I rely on Him to direct me and use me as I try to glean and regurgitate those things He wants me to teach. I totally give myself to God, knowing that teaching is not a strength for me, and I have to submit Every. Single. Time.
Did I mention that I have to do this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME?
Yes, Every single time!
You know what happens when I submit? He totally takes over! Every single time I teach, God, in turn, teaches ME! I’m convinced that I am really not there for the girls….I am there to be taught myself! If only I would learn to submit like this in every aspect of my life, then my already rich life would be so much richer.
The more I study His word, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I do not know! Oh, but how RICH is His word and how much I want to drink it in, soak it up like a sponge and squeeze out his living water on everyone around me! I want to ‘water’ so I, myself, can be watered! (Proverbs 11:25)
I just pray that every word spoken that might be in error (because I am flesh and WILL mess up) would be erased from these precious young minds. I pray that any of GOD’S words spoken through me would be written on their hearts.
I am under God’s construction 24/7. I am aware that I am a complete mess. I mess up daily. I regret messing up daily. It is a constant battle. Oh, but what a forgiving God, and how great a grace is given!! God’s amazing grace continues to astound me!!
For such a time as this, I am learning that periods of discomfort, or pruning, can prove to be the richest, most special periods of one’s life. ‘Spiritual markers’ is what I like to call these pruning periods.
In the midst of the pruning, I thank God for His amazing, undeserved grace.