Looking back over my life, there is something that usually concerned me. Where do I fit in? Do I belong here? Will someone like me? You can sum all this up to acceptance. I just want to be accepted.
Before I continue, let me just admit that this is my problem. My fears usually have little merit, however there is a longing in my heart to know I belong.
“Jesus loves everyone Melissa, you belong to Jesus.”
Yes, I know that. I know Jesus likes me, but do you? I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.
I wonder why it really matters? Insecurity is rooted in my fear of what others think of me. Do any of you feel this way?
I remember the very first time I joined a Bible study. My friend, Denise invited me. We met in someone’s home early each Friday morning. Before that first meeting I was a nervous wreck. The day before I purchased new pens, a new Bible, and a pretty notebook. The day of, I got up extra early to shower, style my hair, apply my make up, and wear the perfect outfit. These were seasoned Christian ladies, and I was sure they had it going on. Even though I’m not sure I knew it then, I was worried they wouldn’t like me. Or maybe I wasn’t Christian enough. And, I had never prayed out loud before. I didn’t want to look clueless. So, I put on all my stuff, complete with a mask, hiding my insecurities and off to Bible study I went.
Knock, knock, knock I tapped on the front door. A young woman dressed in sweats, holding a crying baby answered the door. I was sure I had the wrong home, I mean we were doing Bible study, this woman looked like she was dressed for working in the yard or something. She spoke first. “Hi! You must be Melissa, I’m so happy you are joining our group!” And with that my fears disappeared. Well almost. Now I felt silly for being so over dressed and having every hair in place!
We can be so surface sometimes! Well, maybe not you, but I know I can over think and worry about things that really don’t matter. The ladies in that Bible study group did not care how I looked or what I was wearing. They didn’t care about the tone of my voice or the way I said my prayers (which is a good thing because I was fumbling all over my words trying to make them sound fancy…oh bless my heart). These ladies were just like me. Busy. Concerned. Insecure at times. Yes, they were just like me. Wanting a place to come together with other flawed individuals to learn more about God and having a personal relationship with Him through Jesus.
Each week, I uncovered a little more of who I was until finally it was just me. In my sweats. Holding a crying baby. And loving that I had this group of Jesus sisters who welcomed me unconditionally with open arms.
It is my prayer that you feel welcome here. It doesn’t matter where you are, where you’ve been, what you look like, how you talk (or pray~smiles), or what you know or don’t know about the Bible. You are welcome here. All are welcome here.
I used to think I needed to get myself all together before opening my Bible or joining a group. I’ve learned though, that if I wait for that to happen I may never be in a group.
How are you feeling? It is my prayer that you know in this Online Bible Study, you belong. The Online Bible Studies Team and I believe in you and to invite you to join our next study if you haven’t already. You can show up any way you like. You won’t find all the answers to life here, but you will find some crazy at times women who are glad to have you in our community. All we ask is that you believe in us too. We come as we are. And we believe that God has plans for us indeed. All of us.
Tomorrow, author, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Gather & Grow Leader, and Online Bible Studies Partipant, Jamy Whitaker will share with us how we can discover ways to take off our masks and break free. Jamy is a great friend who I met right here in these Online Bible Studies and I can’t wait for you to meet her too!
So ladies, tell me. Do you have any fears in joining this group of 13,000 + women? Do you feel free enough to be the real you? For a moment, take your mask off and share authentically how you feel about doing an Online Bible Study. An Unglued Online Bible Study. And for those of you who have been in groups before, I want to hear from you too. Share your experiences with us and let’s all get comfy together.
The Unglued Online Bible Study begins September 23rd. For more information, click here. Send questions to MelissaTaylorQuestions@gmail.com or call 877-731-4663.
All are Welcome Here.