I was raised in a traditional Mexican and Catholic home. My parents baptized me at the age of two and I did First Communion and Confirmation in preparation for adulthood as the years passed. After graduating high school I moved churches and began helping the little ones who were preparing for their own sacraments. I would read the assigned workbook and study all week in order to be prepared for the kids. Come Sundays I would feel so good knowing that I was serving in God’s name but yet I felt like there was something missing.
During this time a coworker who had been raised in a similar home environment as me, invited me to do a bible study with her. We’d meet once a week over some cafecito and dive into the word. It was so fascinating to me and I wanted learn more. Each week I continued to attend and absorbed it all in. At the time this was all new to me. I was not attending any church and had no guidance on how to truly create a relationship with God.
After so many internal battles I decided to attend a Christian church. I kept it from my family and friends for as long as I could. For years I sat alone in the church pew behind the pastors and did not interact with anyone. I would say good morning and give a quick simile to anyone looking my way but as soon as service was over I would bolt to the car. Finally one Sunday things changed when I saw the flyer for Women’s Book Club. I hesitated at first knowing it was something that would make me step out of my comfort zone; but took the risk anyways. Words cannot explain the peace and understanding that came from that study.
Since then I’ve participated in multiple studies and the most current is based on Priscilla Shier’s Discerning the Voice of God. It was been such an amazing journey to be able to doodle in my workbook and jot down notes or prayers.
Each week as a group, the Women’s Book Club meets and watching the corresponding video for chapter. We then discuss as a group. This has really allowed me to listen to other’s perspectives on a specific topic and really connect with other women. Hearing their story and their challenges allows me to learn from their experience.
With life comes stresses and struggles. They don’t stop affecting you due to your age, gender, social or economic status, etc. In studying the word I have found peace and clarity beyond understanding. The challenges will always be present but I’ve been able to learn (not always apply it in my life but) to react to them differently.
This study has allowed me to realize that even when we are walking through the hottest of deserts God is always with us. We tend to focus on the negativity and push towards our desires and never look past our current situation. In the study Priscilla explains how our current circumstances are only equipping us for the the bigger plan. During hard times, our character is changed and we gain the strength necessary to accomplish the purpose beyond our own understanding.
Regardless on your believes being able to pray or meditate about a difficulty in your life can be helpful. Finding others who share certain values are interests as you to express your frustrations with, can be liberating. If you’ve never done a bible study or some type of personal soul-searching, I highly recommend trying one. Only thing you have to lose is stress, anger, frustrations and gain positivism and hope.
-xo Michelle ♥