In so many ways this chapter set the stage for all we are going to experience together during the course of this book study. As Ann mentions, it begins for her in a dark piece of her memories but this ache has given way to beautiful growth and a love for the Lord that transcends circumstance. In my own life I can think of many of these times, where I was pressed up against the fact that what I thought would be best wasn’t what God had in mind. There are so many questions that arise in this place; Who is He, really? Is He good? Does He really love me? Can I trust Him?
All questions that fork the road we long to be straight, and yet we know from experience that beautiful things await us in the distance. For me, at least, it doesn’t change the next turn, when I am wind-whipped and breathless from life. I am learning every day that this choice which Ann discusses in this Chapter is a disciplined lifestyle. It’s far less dependent on the road than I have long considered it to be, and I want to cultivate the seed that grows into a life of gratitude over resentment.
And so, we begin with the seed.
A small girl who watches her sister die in her front yard. Needlessly. Carelessly.
Who is He?
Where were you when the seed dropped deep into the ground and the questions swirled about God and His goodness? In your own life, what was the time period or circumstance that prompted the beginning of your “story” with God? I think for most of us it was a dark period, because as Ann said, this is when we really understand the light.
As we journey together throughout the coming weeks I want this to be not only a safe place to come, but also a place that can put “handles” on what we are reading. If we don’t encourage *(in)courage?* you to live it out, we are missing a fundamental aspect of Christian community. As a part of Bloom, this is our heart behind the books. We want women to feel inspired to take what we put in their hands and transform it into the fruit God has for their lives.
To that end, we are going to have a few key questions that we hit on in our posts, and I think it would be appropriate to stay in theme, don’t you?
Seed: What has been planted as you read this chapter? What has it stirred in you?
Water: How are you nurturing what God desires in you? Be intentional and obedient to what your responsibility is in growth.
Bloom: What is the fruit you are seeing from what you have learned?
For me, the seed for chapter 1 was the feeling that no matter how much I say yes, I often live the “no” as Ann says on pg. 16. It’s the thought that jumped out and asked me to grow it. So how do I nurture this? I need to be more conscientious of the times my words don’t match my actions and I am going to pray that that they will grow more aligned. I hope the fruit of that will be that I start to see my circumstances as opportunities and my knee-jerk reaction to something unexpected will develop into a time of trust instead of fear. The fruit I am seeing now is that I have claimed it as an obstacle, so I feel freed up from the lie that I’m the only one who doesn’t have dissonance in this area.
How about you? Did any parts of the chapter stand out as far as a seed you want to grow?
We are praying for you in love, asking the Lord to bless you as you go…