I originally signed up for the Study Together women’s Bible study because I was looking for a chance to spend more focused time in God’s Word. I also wanted to get to know other ladies in the church and enjoy meaningful fellowship with them. (It was also a bonus that they offered affordable childcare and coffee!) I enjoyed the first study so much that I continued signing up session after session.
My favorite part was always being with the other ladies in each group and having wonderful, wise, down-to-earth leaders. Every group was different, but I always felt a sense of camaraderie with each one, and I enjoyed the perspectives coming from a variety of ages, backgrounds, and seasons of life. It was nice to meet some women for the first time, grow closer to old friends, and get to know acquaintances on a deeper level. Sometimes I felt affirmed when others had similar thoughts as me, and other times I felt challenged or inspired by different perspectives, but every time I left feeling encouraged from the fellowship of being with other women pursuing Christ.
I also really enjoyed that the studies “forced” me to be in God’s word. As a mom with young kids, it can be hard to carve out time with the Lord amidst the busy schedule and urgent needs that always seem to need attention. With the women’s studies, I knew I would at least be spending time in the Bible to prepare for the meetings, and that even included the “book” studies because they were always biblically-based. I was also encouraged by others’ suggestions of how they spend or had spent time in the Word in this particular season.
There has been much good fruit in my life as a result of the studies. I have learned new things from familiar passages and have been reminded and convicted of simple yet powerful truths. One example is from the study on James. Verse 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” While doing this study, I was convicted by the Spirit on several occasions to “take action” and not merely be a listener, especially regarding the tongue. Words can be used to bless or curse (James 3), and I realized that for me, the biggest temptation is to stay silent at times when I should speak up.
One example of this was that I felt the Spirit prompt me to send an encouraging email to another member of the group telling her how I really appreciated and benefitted from her godly example and input. Normally I would have felt self-conscious or not bothered to take the time to compose an email, but my obedience was a blessing to the other woman, who said the encouragement felt like “a hug from God.” Another example is a time when the neighborhood moms were speaking unfavorably about one of the teachers at my son’s school. Normally I would have just remained silent and felt fine about not actively gossiping, but this time I felt prompted to speak up and say something positive on her behalf. The others didn’t join in with other positive comments as I had hoped, but it did end the gossip in the moment, and I believe it honored God.
Overall the women’s studies have been a real blessing to me. If you need more of God’s Word, desire deeper and broader fellowship with women, and want to grow in your faith, consider joining us for the next session!