Last spring, I was approached by the leader of the large Bible study class that I attend. Over 200 of us meet together every week for worship, small group study, and teaching. For small group time, those 200 ladies are broken down into groups of 10-12 lead by a leader who is also responsible for shepherding them during the week. And as of... now... one of those leaders is me.
I got my group assignment last week and it took my breath away. Although I met with, and prayed with, the assignment team several times last spring, and have continued to pray/worry about it over the summer, I wasn't prepared once the envelope actually arrived. God's definately pushed me out of my comfort zone on this one.
You see, I've always been aware that I'm young for the groups I'm involved in. I married young (by today's standards at least), gave up on teen ministry and joined the adults when I was young, have friends with kids my age. I teach at my evening Bible study regularly, despite being years younger than the other members. But I've never been *responsible* for leading them before. In the group I've been assigned, the next youngest person is 16 years older than me. The oldest is literally 3 times my age.
God's good at stuff like this. He has a better grasp on the situation than I ever could. One thing I've learned very firmly this year is that I have NO real control. I may PRETEND I do sometimes... but it's an illusion. So while this isn't the group I would have chosen for myself (I was hoping for the young marrieds/moms group), this is exactly the group He wants me to have.
This is a big "hard thing" for me. I hate phone calls anyway. I hate calling strangers even more. Strangers many times my age, who I want to respect me? I'm shuddering.
But alas, God has proven himself, once again, to be good. I've reached half my group and most of them seem very excited to get started. The rest? They'll come around. Or leave. Or whatever it is that God wants to teach both of us.
The best thing I've found about doing hard things is that I can't do them. I can't -- it's beyond me. But God can -- and He will. This is another opportunity to revel in my own weakness because it is here, when I keep trying even without hope of success, that He can take over for me. Hard things teach me no my own abilities, but to rely on His strength.
What hard things do you have to do this week? I encourage you to give up early -- not to quit, but to quit trying to do it alone. It's a freeing experience.