Several years ago, I was asked to join a team of leaders to facilitate a women’s small group/Bible study at my church. I love studying and talking about the Bible, so I didn’t hesitate to agree. The event coordinator explained that each group would be assigned based on similarities such as age and marital status. I was excited to meet the women I’d be bonding with over the next few weeks.
Our first introduction took place at a “Meet and Greet”, where I soon learned that I’d been chosen to lead a group of (mostly) senior women. At the time, I was in my early 30’s, but most of the women in the group were old enough to be my mother and some were old enough to be my grandmother.
I felt insecure at the thought of leading these women who were not only seasoned in Christianity but also seasoned in life. They had been places I had yet to visit. They were mothers and grandmothers and I was childless. Some were married longer than I’d been alive and I had a failed marriage. The self-imposed pressure to perform was overwhelming.
As the days passed, my insecurities mounted and my usual boldness dwindled. I was convinced that the women were not going to respect me. Eventually, I regretted that I’d agreed to participate in the study and I blamed the event coordinator for assigning me to facilitate this particular group. In case you haven’t heard, insecurity and fear can cause us to wrongly accuse.
I have never been the type of person to shy away from a challenge, so quitting wasn’t an option. I just prepared for the long road ahead. My defenses were up and I was ready to prove myself to anyone who tried to disqualify me as the group leader.
A few days before the study began, I vented to a friend about the situation. He suggested something that I’d never considered, “God placed you there because He knows you’re qualified to lead the group.” I was silent as I processed his comment. It had never occurred to me that perhaps my Heavenly Father had placed me in the group. And, if He placed me there, He had prepared me to be there. And if He had prepared me to be there, I belonged there. I had nothing to prove to anyone!
I accepted my friend’s words as truth and over the subsequent weeks, I confidently led the group of seasoned women. We laughed, cried and prayed together. We bonded and learned from one another. Fear and insecurity had threatened to steal a divine opportunity, until I finally I got it: God qualifies me and I didn’t need anyone else’s approval.
He approved of those whom he had called…
Romans 8:30b God’s Word Translation