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This is a guest post by Linda Cox who lives in Texas. She is a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with and while I’m bragging, I’ll also let you know she is my sister.
She is the leader of one of the small group bible studies in her home as well as a discipleship mentor to new Christians. In her town, she is also known as a “prayer warrior“. The discipleship program meets with individuals one on one to help them understand daily living with Christ.
Today she is sharing her personal testimony of how she renewed her relationship with God at the age of 70. Enjoy!
I personally attend a women’s bible class every Wednesday night and it has brought me so many blessings. These same benefits are also seen in men’s classes as well.
First, I would like to share a brief testimony as to how I became involved with “A Walk Through The Word” bible class. In 2009, my hubby and I were living in Dallas and he became physically disabled. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2006 and by 2009, the disease had progressed so rapidly that he was no longer able to work. The company that I had worked for 13 years went out of business and so I decided to retire from corporate America that same year.
The Move That God Had Planned
In 2010 we decided to leave the big city and moved to a small East Texas town in the Piney Woods country. It’s beautiful here. We had no friends or family here. It was just me and him starting a new chapter in our lives. I won’t kid you, we were pretty scared, but not to worry, God moved here with us.
One of the first things we did in our new town was to find a church home. Before any meaningful relationships could be cultivated, we stopped going to church because hubby was too ill and I was his only caregiver. We felt stuck and lonely but we knew that God had led us to this area for a reason.
We began to realize that after 2 brain surgeries, and many other treatments and all kinds of therapy that the medical team here was far superior to those in North Texas. What a blessing from God!
The Long Wait and Loneliness Ends
After being here for five years, I realized one day that I had not made even one friend here in East Texas. When I prayed that Monday night at bedtime, I asked God for a “friend”. I had never prayed that before.
The next morning I decided to check my e-mails which I had not done in weeks. But, guess what? I had an e-mail from my church listing all the Bible Classes that were available at that time. Long story short, I was invited by phone and attended Bible Study Wednesday night.
But please understand my reluctance to go. I had never been to a bible study in my life. I grew up going to Sunday School and Training Union in a Baptist church. That was the vast extent of my studying the bible. Pretty sad huh? I didn’t see how I could possibly be of any benefit to the class because I didn’t know enough about the bible.
I felt uneducated and ashamed but God was urging me to go. So I took a great big leap of faith and decided to go. So here I go, Lord! I also thought to myself that if I don’t fit in or I don’t like it I just don’t have to go back. I’ll probably never see any of those women again anyway. Wow! What was I thinking?
Stepping Out In Faith
That first night my hubby was actually doing pretty well so I decided I could be gone for an hour to try out this bible study. As his disease progressed the Lord made a way for me to hire a sitter so I could attend bible study and church again. Praise God!
I’ll tell you – I was also thinking that when I tell them I belong to their church, they are going to wonder why they haven’t seen me there on Sunday. The devil was attacking me and giving me all kinds of reasons NOT to go. He is such a liar. Once again – here I go, Lord!
Well, Wednesday night came and suddenly, when I walked into that room I had at least 25 friends! Praise God for answering my prayer so quickly. They made me feel so welcome and so loved. I’ve been going to that class now for 5 years. I have learned so much and I love all of my sweet sisters in Christ. By the way, this was my first bible class and I was 70 years young at the time. Go figure!
Just a few weeks later, I accidentally ran into one of the ladies I had met in class at the grocery store. She spoke to me kindly, remembered my name, gave me a beautiful compliment, and gave me the sweetest hug. Wow! Right there on the chip and dip aisle.
Woo-hoo I was so excited, I hurried home and told my husband. Guess what Honey? I was out shopping today and I ran into one of my “friends”. I hadn’t said that in five years. It was amazing. Have you ever seen a 70-year-old woman turning cartwheels? (Sorry for that visual)
God Is The Mender of Broken Hearts
A few months later, my husband had a bad fall in the middle of the night. He had to go by ambulance to the emergency room. I cannot see to drive in the dark, so I wasn’t going to be able to go with him. But God told me to call a friend. She quickly jumped out of bed, got dressed, and was at my front door in minutes. She drove me to the hospital so that I could be by my husband’s bedside.
It still tugs at my heartstrings when I remember that night and how much she cared for me. And by the way, she had never met my husband. What a beautiful friend.
Then there is the day my daughter, Karen, age 48, unexpectedly passed away. My beloved bible class ladies were all there for me and I mean in a big way. They took care of food needs, helped me making final arrangements, contacted friends and family. They never left my side and their prayers were so comforting. I cherish these ladies so much. I honestly believe that they would do anything for me and I feel the same way about them.
There are many more stories and examples that I could share with you but I think you understand by now how important Christian relationships can be in our lives. I don’t know how I would have made it through some of these difficult times without them and God on my side.
Today I am proud to say that I am serving the Lord as a Group Leader, a Discipleship Mentor, and Prayer Warrior and loving it! I’ve come a long way in a short time and you can do the same. Just give a try. What have you got to lose?
And now let’s have some fun! You are about to be amazed. Keep reading. . . . . . .
Benefit #1 – LEARNING more about God’s word and how to apply it to our daily life. The study can also teach us how to become a good disciple and help others. God loves this because the more we learn about Him just magnifies our personal relationship with Him. Hallelujah!
Benefit #2 STRENGTHENING our walk with the Lord and our foundation of faith. We don’t want to be a baby Christian forever. We should always strive for spiritual maturity. God loves this because studying with others gives us new insights and can only strengthen our beliefs. Amen!
Benefit #3 – RECEIVING direction and spiritual guidance. It can also bring us instruction for everyday living. The Holy Bible is our “Owner’s Manual.” God loves this because this is just another way we can receive His blessings. Thank you Jesus!
Benefit #4 – EQUIPPING us to move in God’s wisdom, love, and power. This class can literally be a “training ground” to fulfill God’s plan for your life. God loves this because He wants us to be equipped to fight temptation and live a prosperous life of abundance. Oh happy day!
Benefit #5 – ESTABLISHING a genuine sense of community by hearing others. In these classes, sometimes lasting friendships develop and are nurtured. This happened to me. If you don’t already have one, you may just find a “best friend” in your Bible study. God loves this because He wants us to establish relationships with other Christians and that helps us all to stay firmly rooted in His word. Praise God!
In conclusion, don’t be shy about getting started. Time, nor age, nor status matters. Just start where you can, when you can, but most importantly, start now. Bible Classes are extremely fun and beneficial and easy to find. Just check with any of your local churches or the town library where you live. Someone will point you in the right direction and that someone is God. He is always holding your hand.
Bask in His light, bathe in His love, revel in His wisdom. And ENJOY your Bible Study.