seasons of study

Over the last couple of years God has been moving me through different seasons of bible study.

I’ve written many times before about my journey of coming to a place of enjoying being in the word, and being consistent! It used to be such a struggle, I didn’t really look forward to it, though I knew I NEEDED to do it and it was such a blessing when I did. It went from being a discipline, to a depending desire of reading more, to God blessing me with a season of delighting in his word.

Yet I still find that I go through dry spells where I start reading less and less, and get disconnected in my relationship with the Lord. But I keep my heart open and he is always faithful to inspire in me again the hunger for his truth.

HOW you study the bible doesn’t matter so much as that you DO study the bible. For a couple of years I was doing an accountability reading with 2 other women in our church (it was called 3 Cord and there were multiple groups of 3 women throughout the church doing this together). We had some thought provoking questions to answer on each chapter and were to e-mail each other daily our answers, as a way of keeping each other accountable to our reading and to pray for each other. I enjoyed this method of study for a while, but then felt like my quiet time was becoming stale (which is no fault of the program at all!). I felt guilty for feeling that way. Until I began to pray about it and talked with my husband, asking him what he thought about me not doing this particular study anymore. He said absolutely it was fine for me to move on to a different method of study, that God had used this way for a time in my life to stretch and change me, and now it was time to try something new.

in the morning when I rise

At the same time as I was doing 3 Cord, I was also participating in the Hello Mornings bible study with a twitter accountability group and was really enjoying the method of bible study and community and encouragement to get up EARLY and get into the Word! We went through a book of the bible or a topic of study broken down into 13 weeks. I learned how to look at the same portion of scripture from many different angles, reading passages I was quite “familiar” with and seeing them in a whole new light. I made some amazing, life-long, soul sister friends whom I still communicate with on an almost daily basis. And I felt God again growing me into a woman after his own heart.

For the winter and summer sessions of Hello Mornings, I have been so blessed to be leading a group of women on Facebook in our daily accountability. God knocked my socks off as my group filled up within hours the first day registration opened and the joy (and weight!) of the prospect of leading these women on a daily basis flowed over me. It has been a HUGE learning curve, very humbling as I have failed many times at keeping up with everyone, and fallen out of the habit and desire of reading every day. But it has also been a tremendous blessing to “meet” with these women on a daily basis, to pray, encourage and share what we are learning in God’s word (or our favourite colours and foods :D).

But now, once again, I feel the walls creeping in on me. The excuses mounting for why I am not getting the daily readings done. Because they have become just that – daily readings. Not digging into God’s word, discovering new truths and his desire for me. Again, it’s no fault of the program. But it is instead a signal of God moving me into yet another new stage of growth.

So it is with a heavy heart that I resign as a Hello Mornings accountability captain and participant. I have so loved being a part of the community that has grown from a handful of groups meeting on twitter, to thousands of women across the world digging into God’s word together. But I am realizing that God has blessed me with so many people in my life that I am responsible for and desiring to pray for, nurture and encourage, that I simply cannot stretch myself any thinner. I’m also REALLY weak when it comes to getting distracted online, and I need to cut off that arm (so to speak!) in order to keep my quiet time free from the temptation of wasting too much time on facebook. I need to not only quiet heart but also my brain!

quiet my heart

Where am I going from here? Well, for one thing, we have a small group that we lead each week in our home and there are 2 lovely ladies in that group I am close with and will look forward to spending more time praying for and holding each other accountable to our daily quiet times and prayer. I am also in a great group of moms who are currently reading through Desperate, and I’d love more time to encourage them. For my personal devotions I’m finishing up Colossians 3 Study for Busy Moms (heh, I’ve been to busy to do it, how bad is that?!) and after that I’m looking at reading through Psalms in a month (my hubby’s suggestion!) and picking different studies from #SheReadsTruth on YouVersion.

If you’re in a season of dryness in studying God’s word and finding it’s difficult to keep on going, reevaluate what you’re doing or how you’re studying God’s word. Maybe it’s time to change it up. Maybe you need to get people involved in helping you, or pare it back down to just you and God’s word. Pray and ask for wisdom, he will show you what to do! And don’t feel guilty if you have to “drop out” of a bible study group once a session is over because it isn’t working for you (just make sure you fulfill your commitment until the end!). Give space for God to work in you and allow him opportunites to grow you in new ways.

I’d love to hear how you study God’s word. What are your favourite tools or resources for digging deeper?