for exactly 1/2 hour. Now the room is partially full, but the wheels are turning on the bus again (fresh underwear in your drawers will do that) so I'm taking this moment to blog.
As I said, TGCW12 was a fresh vision for me in a heart-stabbing way. See, I just left a successful (how do we define that?) Bible teaching career of 8 years. I know that I was supposed to leave. I went through all the "this is what you must do to leave a ministry" steps, and yet, I did not (and still do not) know exactly what I am supposed to do next.
I didn't leave teaching because it was too big of a commitment. That's the question I am asked most often. I didn't leave teaching because we are homeschooling two ninth graders this next year and a sixth grader. Although I can understand the pressure that would come with this challenge. I didn't leave teaching because I no longer believed in the ministry. Any ministry that is touched by the hands of men (and women) will not be perfect, but I thoroughly believe in the in-depth teaching of the ministry. I didn't leave teaching because I was burned out on teaching. Rather, my last year of teaching I was more energized for the work of Bible exposition than ever before.
I left teaching because the Lord confirmed to me in scripture, through godly counsel, and in prayer that I was to leave teaching. And honestly, since that confirmation I've been waiting for the "moment" of reading in His Word the next confirmation for what comes next.
Not entirely, but no great revelations have landed on my head. Going to the conference was an opportunity to receive some of the best reformed Bible teaching and training available. And I hoped that the Lord through the teaching and training would show me what it is I am to do next. I have a desire to teach and train women in the Bible, in how to study the Bible, in how to teach the Bible, in how to delight in His Word as not a pathway for life but as THE pathway for life.
It was humbling and convicting as I wrestled and worshiped and meditated on all that was poured out in the presentation of our God as awesome, holy, perfect, righteous, omniscient, and transcendent. I felt and knew myself to be oh so small in His presence. And I knew myself grateful to be there, in the presence of so many who delight in His Word and love to tell of Him.
I met yesterday with our church's women's ministry director and told her several of the highlights from the conference. I emailed her some of my notes from the various lectures and workshops. She asked me to teach the introductory lesson to next year's Bible study. Next is a meeting with our Christian education pastor to share with him some ideas I gained from the conference. The pressure to have a specific plan has been removed. Instead, I see these meetings and invitations to be faithful in the small things.
A big takeaway for me was to realize how vast the resources are and how much learning I still need to do. I'm learning to trust right now that perhaps the Lord's confirmation that I was to leave teaching for a time, or at least that intensity of that particular ministry, was for a time of "going back to school" so to say. To spend some concentrated study without the pressure of a weekly result.
My bags came home full of books, full of ideas, full of hope. The Lord will use me in His time, and until that time is revealed, I have a lot of sitting with Him to hear His Word, to be renewed in my thinking, to grow in personal training, and to serve as He gives the opportunities.