Monday, April 4, 2011

Refinement

Days ago I had an inkling ... a slightly uncomfortable inkling.

that I would be put on a spot ...

now, I knew this particular spot would be necessary and beneficial but alas, I did not relish the idea of it one little bit!

Months ago I accepted the call to leadership within a bible study I attend. Conditional to leading is attending Monday morning leaders meeting. This is when all the group leaders gather together for a time of training and refinement. I have come to look forward to these mornings as they are always filled with praise, prayer, and pointed discussion.

Every little thing is purposeful. All of it geared towards helping us to be better listeners, loving shepherds and effective communicators of God's word. Each week I am in awe as I have the privilege to sit among so many godly women and glean from their wisdom. Some are fairly new and some have been leading for years. One thing is certain, God has brought a wonderful array of personalities together within this group and I am blessed to be among them.

Remember how I said we meet for training and refinement?  Merriam - Webster defines refine as follows;

 "to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing" also, "to become pure or perfected"

Part of the refining process in our meetings requires one of us to lead the group in discussion of our lesson in the same way that we train to lead our individual groups each week. Our group leader will normally call upon one of us to lead the group for the first few questions. Before the discussion is handed back to her there is a time of encouragement and also refinement as the group members offer their praise for that which was done well and critiques for the areas in need of improvement.

I have gained valuable insight from these teaching times. I knew that eventually I would be called upon to do the same. Somehow I had convinced myself that it probably wouldn't happen until next year. I am after all, the group "rookie". Certainly our wonderful leader wouldn't put ME on the spot!

 At some point after last weeks meeting I began to have an inkling that I might be the one she would call upon at the next meeting. As soon as the thought came I met it with a loud whiney "I don't wanna!!"

I decided that I would either A: ask if I could have a "pass" or B: approach my group leader beforehand and plead with her not to call on me. The funny thing is that I normally sit right next to her in group. Wouldn't you know it, today a friend asked me to sit next to her and then I became engrossed in a conversation with another friend to the point that I ran out of time for option B.

Just when I had comforted myself thinking of how relieved I would be when she called on someone else I heard her call my name "Tina would you lead us this morning?"

The first thought that came to mind was something akin to GAAAA!! Option A didn't really seem viable, and having chatted option B away beforehand I was left with just gutting it out.

I wish I could say I flew through leading the group effortlessly but I didn't. I was like a deer caught in headlights! Thankfully that is not how I feel when I lead my group each week, I usually enjoy it very much. The ladies I have are full of grace and are eager to share each week. It is much easier to lead when one is relaxed and not "on the spot".

Well, I managed to get through it. I even received wonderful compliments on several things I happened to do well. We all had a good laugh as I shared afterwards how the pointers whispered to me by the sweet gals to my left and right had the opposite effect and ended up causing me to be just a tad more bewildered. All in all it was a nerve wracking time but also a precious time as well for I felt such love and encouragement from each and every woman in the group.

I could not help but think of the contrast between the family of God and the world. In the world similar situations all too often becomes times of harsh criticism and self promotion. The sinful nature of man pushes us to advocate self at the expense of others. Today arrogance and pride are looked upon as strength and confidence while sensitivity is frowned upon in most if not all professional circles. I do believe I would be eaten up in today's corporate world.


Refinement is a process, one that can be awkward at times, painful at others but one that is oh so necessary as we seek to become better servants to our King. What a blessing this morning was to me! This awkward, scary process was so much easier because I was enveloped in the love of God through my sisters in Christ.

2 comments:

Luana & Mark said...

Precious Tina, I was in the room with you so I know that you handled the situation with grace, humor and dignity. You are such a treasure to that leadership group. Know that you are a blessing and that you are deeply loved by the Lord and by so many wonderful women who love Him as well. Big hugs my friend.

Gail W. said...

Hello Tina! I found myself looking up old friends from Blogland and was pleased to find you are still here. I am wondering about Brett. Is he safe and well? I hope this finds you flourishing in His arms of grace.