I reaaaaaaally want to write about prayer nights at my house, but it doesn't seem right. For one thing, 99% of prayer night is other people AT prayer night and I'm guessing writing about them would be an unpleasant invasion of privacy. But for another, I'm not even sure what I would SAY. I mean, even if I were just writing about me and my own experience, it feels so large and complicated and I don't even know where I would start.
That makes it sound like it's some amazing thing, doesn't it. It's not. I mean, it's amazing in that GOD IS THERE but otherwise it might be your ordinary faith-sharing group. Just not CALLED a faith-sharing group. And without a plan. And with a leader who does not have a single idea what she's doing.
And I guess that would be my story. What it's like to lead something, what it's like to even be able to use the word "lead". It's more comfortable to say that I organize it or "just provide the space" and while those things are certainly true, I also LEAD the stupid thing and that's a super huge deal for me.
Everyone told me I was a leader and I suppose I did act like one - until I went to college and joined the NDCF and found out quickly that I was not THEIR kind of leader material. Cue years upon years of Angst. It's become clear to me that a big part of how I dealt with that (not being good at something) was going the other direction. Accepting it. OWNING the not good. You know? "It's not my gift!" I would shout, gaily, sprinting off in the direction of the touchy feely experiential charismatics who spend all their time earnestly discussing what they're sensing rather than logically and Socratically unpacking a scripture passage. GOOD at sensing! BAD at being vocally curious about what the Greek really says!
But tonight? I freaking led a BIBLE STUDY.
I did not PLAN it that way, of course. I had this vague sense that I should pick out a couple of verses and have everyone sort of DWELL on them, you know, MEDITATE, and then we would talk about what we were thinking and feeling and that would inform what we would pray about. (So basically bible study. Except I would never lead a bible study. So not that. AS IF.)
But even though I didn't spend a bunch of time prepping the passage and coming up with questions and applications, even though I was prepared for no one to open their mouths, even though I myself did not quite understand the passage I picked, and even though I had no plan or direction for where it would go, it was a bible study. Apparently the kind of bible study I enjoy. We just TALKED. (People wanted to talk!) People had thoughts! *I* I had thoughts! And you guys, I NEVER have thoughts in bible study.
Up until now, like this very night, I've attributed that to being a slow internal processor sort of person. Ask me a few days later what I think about something, not right that second. Even though I can drum up an opinion or thought about anything else right that second, don't ask me to share what most impacted me from a couple of bible verses HEAVEN FORBID. Not my thing! Not my gift! LET'S GO PRAY ABOUT OUR FEEEEELINGS!!!
Tonight I realized - shockingly - no really - that I was able to participate because I was leading it. Because I had authority. Not authority in that I knew more or was holding the curriculum or anything like that, I think it might even only be that people EXPECTED me to say something. So I came up with something to say! I HAD THINGS TO SAY.
I am learning about authority this year. I just wrote a whole bunch about that, but deleted it because... WELL... I just don't KNOW yet. I'm not sure what it's about. And it feels really scary to write about it without feeling confident in what I'm learning. Without having AUTHORITY about my AUTHORITY, if you will. And perhaps you get the gist of my ISSUES. OH SO MANY ISSUES.
What seems to be the case is that God is doing exactly what he said he would. Which is reaching the people who attend, in the ways they need to be reached, and stretching and teaching me about what comes next. It's exhilarating AND freaky.
Last month I made everyone sit in small groups and pray for each other, even though I'm sure there were people there who had never ever done such a thing and possibly had no idea what I was talking about. The month before that - shoot, I forget. Some other touchy feely experiential thing again, I'm sure. But this time I [barely] led a [vaguely reminsicent of a] bible study and I am floored. I did not know that was in me. I did not expect to ENJOY it.
Well. I am not sure this is what Hillary wanted to know when she said she wanted to know how prayer nights are going. But this is what came out of me tonight! Sorry! I OWN THE NONSENSICALNESS!