I have just spent the last hour with the bible teacher, Beth Moore teaching (via video) on Esther 2:1-7. I downloaded the video segment for Session One from Lifeway. To be honest, I didn’t plan to do this study. I purchased the workbook in October when I was at the filming of Breaking Free. I have NO idea WHY I bought it. The subtitle, “It’s Tough Being a Woman,” seems incredibly CHEEZY to me. Bleah.
So why did I take it off the shelf on Monday and start doing it? I guess I didn’t want the workbook to go to waste. I hate having empty workbook blanks…and an entire workbook left empty is almost sacrilege to me. :-/
The time I have spent during my quiet times lately has been good…but studying books like The Search for Significance or Get Thin Stay Thin or Walking with God. These are great…God has been using them to transform my life, but I have missed STUDYING the scriptures. I have been reading and looking verses up, certainly, but I have missed FOCUSING attention on the Word.
I typically like to be involved in a good bible study…actually, more inductive is my preference…more so than any Beth Moore study I have ever done (and I have about done them all), but that is another story. Even now, I am getting side-tracked from what God prompted me to write at the blog about today…
So as I was watching the video session of a bible study that I didn’t really feel excited about doing after a week of filling in my blanks (and I guess being somewhat disconnected emotionally as I did), something was stirred–something BIG.
Something that I don’t want to address.
Something I would rather not look at.
It all came to the surface when Beth began to mention “beauty.”
Oh yuck…puhleeze. I am NOT like that, am I? Do I really care about being thought of as beautiful? I would just rather not care. I think I don’t care. I am pretty sure of it, in fact. Gimme my baseball hat, t-shirt, jeans, and hiking boots, thank you very much. No, I don’t care about “beauty” at all. So THERE. In your face…
So why did the tears start streaming down my face at Beth’s mention of it? :-/
Let’s blame sleep deprivation…yeah, that’s it.
It certainly isn’t hormones. This should be my one good week out of the month. 😉
So, I think I will just blame my extreme emotional reaction (near convulsing sobs…) on the fact that I got 4 hours of sleep. That would be safe and also rescue me from a sense that I have to deal with something deeper than the need for a nap.
God isn’t letting me get off so easy. The Hound of Heaven is relentless…
Ok, so it is time to process something. Something that, apparently, was triggered by bible study. (Gah…I thought I was safe there…)
Why does the thought of “Do you think I am beautiful?” trigger something in ME. I mean, *I* am not into “girlie” things. I don’t do makeup…I cut my own hair once a year when it needs trimming…:-) I have only about 5 pairs of shoes in my closet: running shoes, hiking boots, two slip-ons (actually all-weather mocs from LL Bean)…and a friend’s sandals that I highjacked to wear on Easter…(On the back porch are my riding boots and mucking shoes for the pasture…) You get the drift. My finger nails are short because throwing hay, trimming horse feet and other things, cause my nails to be torn off…assuming they get long enough without me gnawing on them during an intense episode of an Andy Griffith Show rerun on DVD with my family. 😉
It began when Beth Moore said there are 5 kinds of women…the first wants everyone to think she is beautiful…that is a miserable woman, Beth said. I echoed a hearty “Amen!” to that one. (Ever-so-self-righteously…) The second type is the kind who just wants every MAN to think she is beautiful…that one is dangerous. “She sure is, Lord…they need to get a life and let you sanctify their need to be beautiful! Preach it sister!”
The third, Beth went on, is the one who doesn’t care if anyone thinks she is beautiful…that one hides…
Broad-sided…slapped upside the head with a two by four…The tears starting, welling up quickly in my eyes…and then by the time she mentioned something about her husband, Keith, thinking she is beautiful and longing for that, my tears were running…flowing…freely…but I don’t remember what the fourth and fifth are…I got lost…didn’t press pause in the video… Didn’t want to have the moment linger…
What kind of “bible study” is this???? I thought I was pretty emotionally safe…between taking a “scholarly” approach to the ancient book of Esther and maintaining that the subtitle was too “Cheezy” … well, I figured I could just study this book of the bible and stay safe from more of the processing and junk I have had to do lately. I was heading for the high ground, running for the hills. Who would have thought that God would cut me off at the pass…
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
I can’t hide from him…Like the “run away bunny” in the children’s classic story whose momma always became whatever the bunny was running TO to escape her…God wraps me in his arms…nuts. (What a strange reaction to the Lover of my soul…)
I have to deal with this.
More pain, more challenge.
I thought I would be able to run from it and just sit in the Word a bit…sort of massage myself with the comfort that I was studying God’s Word again…after all, isn’t that the godly thing to do instead of to keep studying books and focusing on ME so much…
I guess I forgot that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edge SWORD…dividing soul and spirit…joints and marrow, judging the thoughts and intentions of the heart…
So, ok. I know I have to give in. I will be miserable if I don’t.
What is this wound, Lord? What is its root? What do you want to do with it? What must I do?
Instead of going to eat breakfast right now…I am hungry…have been for an hour…I am going to sit here in my physical need and know that it is just a mirror of my very deep emotional need. I will embrace the emptiness right now…I will wait on God right now.
I know this pain is related to all the “stuff” I have been struggling with–some of which I have posted about at the blog…This pain that surprised me is DEFINITELY related to the weight, the food, the heart stuff…the shame, the Sunday morning freak outs…
Lord…what do you want me to do, be, say, think, feel in this? You have made it clear you want me to face this. Please be my Healer, my Balm of Gilead…the Physician for my sickness.