There are those times in life when God pieces together things and we cannot but stand in awe of His loving craftiness. I found myself standing in the midst of this last night. Last semester I felt the Lord tugging on me to lead a small group. I love to teach so I agreed hastily at this nudging. It was the next few steps that were taken slowly. Decisions such as having my roommate help teach, it being all girls, and the topic being "guarding your heart". My next statement will sound no less than pride in my heart... and it was... I didn't mind having my roommate helping out, but i didn't want it to be all girls, and if it must be all girls then i sure as heck didn't want it to be on "guarding your heart". I teach youth occasionally, i mentor girls, i don't mind talking about these sorts of things, in fact i'm passionate about teaching these things in a mentor type relationship, but I didn't want to spend an entire semester on this topic with the maybe 4 or 5 college girls that would show up on a wednesday afternoon. In fact, my mentor back home in Liberty had taught on it several times over the summer and beaten it into my head... I really didn't want more of it at all. As the time neared for the bible study I began to warm up to the idea as the Lord placed a passion in my heart for the topic, but i still had no clue His God sized planned for this. The first night we started out w/ ten girls and we discussed our expectations of a small group. A reoccurring theme among these women was that they have been let down my too many small groups and just didn't have high expectations. I love honesty. I took this and i began to lift it up before the Lord. I prayed over these girls, this study, but mainly i asked the Lord to bond us.
By the end of the semester we were running anywhere between 17-20 ish girls. Girls that "knew" each other, but never hung out. Freshmen to seniors, southern baptist to non-denominational, cowgirls to preps :). We had inside jokes that we would yell out in public places, scream at each other across campus, share our hearts as we laughed, cried, and learned together. Everyday of the week I would pass a girl in the group and she would exclaim "I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SMALL GROUP!!", it didn't even matter if it was thursday the day after we met. At the end of the semester when it was time for group to end, none of us could bare it. We couldn't stand to watch this sisterhood fall apart. We decided to continue group. This semester it's abiding in Christ and instead of Macy and I leading each week we're opening up to have guest speakers, or members of the group teach each week. We're going to be involved in community outreach and make a difference outside of our group. As we had our first meeting of the semester last night I sat back in awe as people came crowding into my living room. One senior graduated and moved... and new freshmen added. The bond was still the same. We chatted and talked, discussed how much we've missed each other, missed this group, and missed the accountability.
God did something big. It was supposed to be just another small group and now it's my sisters. I've opened my heart and i've learned so much from them. I graduate next December, I believe we'll continue this group on into the fall, and I will miss this group so desperately when i leave.
It's just another reminder for me that God's plans are always so much greater than mine. I'm reminded of Ephesians.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,21)
One day I'll stop thinking in my limited mindset, so boxed into the natural that hardly sees beyong my own desires and I'll let my faith take me on a journey with a greater vision and maybe just maybe then I won't be so surprised when God works in His special way to bring me such amazing gifts.
Be Blessed,
J. Tate