Last year, I took a huge step out of my comfort zone. I agreed to co-teach a Bible study for some of the women at my church.
I wasn't sure who was going to be a part of this six-week class, but when I got to the church for the first week, I felt scared. The majority of women in the class were older than me.
I immediately began thinking, "What am I going to be able to offer these women? They are older and smarter than me!They probably already know all this stuff! What if they think I am being presumptuous by agreeing to co-lead this class since I am so young?" My thoughts immediately went negative as I introduced myself as a teacher to the smiling faces in that class.
Later on, I talked to the Woman's Ministry Leader who recruited me to co-lead the study. (She happens to be older herself.) I told her how I was feeling. She replied, "Jenn, it is a breath of fresh air to us older ladies to see young women stepping up and leading studies! Don't feel like you are out of place! We don't feel that way about you at all!" Her reply gave me courage. I finished out co-leading the study, and it was a very positive experience for me.
The reason I tell this story not because of my willingness to lead, but because of what I learned from that class and from the Women's Ministry Leader. These older women were perfect examples of Titus 2:4-5 -
"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God." (Titus 2:4-5 NLT)
You see Friends, even though I was the one who technically taught that class of older women, I ended up learning more from those women than they probably learned from me.
At the end of the class, I gained new friends and new mentors who encouraged me to keep going with my Christian walk. I was moved by their lives and their stories. Their encouragement sometimes left me in tears. They showed me what true love and respect looks like. They prayed for me when I needed it. They gave me added courage to start writing. This blog, P40 Ministries, is spawned from some of these women! On top of all that, this was all while going through one of the toughest periods of my entire life. (And I might add, their homemade cookies were delicious.)