Welcome to week four of The Broken Way OBS! We’re at the half-way point of our study!
One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen while leading these Online Bible Studies is the community of sisters and brothers in Christ praying for one another. Many in our group are going through significant pain, deep grief, intense stress, terrible trauma, and you all have stepped up in prayer, in encouragement, in caring. Oh, how I know the Lord loves to see His people love on one another! Keep at it, friends!
Koinonia is always the miracle. — Ann
This week we’re in The Broken Way session four, “Real Koinonia”.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. — John 13:34
Scripture Readings This Week
This week for the study you will:
- Watch the video for session four – either on DVD or right here on FaithGateway and take notes in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 66-71).
- If you’re meeting with a small group, go through the “Talk About It” section (pages 71-76). These are also our questions for our Thursday online chats.
- For your personal study, go through the Between Sessions study questions in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 77-84). This week we’re going to write a To-Love List — how perfect for Valentines Week! Who are you planning to #bethegift to this week? Who are you going to surprise with love?
- Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: The companion reading for session four is chapters 9-12 in The Broken Way – the hardcover book, not study guide.
- Join us on Thursday, February 16th (optional) at 1p.m. or 9 p.m. EST for a live chat to discuss this week’s Session 4 question right here: http://www.faithgateway.com/broken-way-study/?live
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Embracing My Broken
I am not enough.
That’s not a falsely humble statement, it’s a true one.
I tried being enough, but couldn’t do it.
No mask. No fake, churchy smile. No covering up flaws, weaknesses, scars, stretch marks, or sins. I’m not enough. Particularly in this season of life when “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings)
Once upon a time I offered my brokenness vulnerably to my ex-husband hoping that what I feared wasn’t real, wasn’t the final word on me, “I feel like I’m both too much and not enough.” But, he agreed, “Yes, you are too much and not enough.” That confirmation cut straight to my heart because I knew that that was his final verdict about me.
If I told you all of the difficulty, suffering, spiritual attacks, financial stress, troubles, and utter craziness that this season has included, you would call me a liar. It’s a ridiculous lot. You know what I’m talking about — it’s just too much of too much. Maybe you’re there right now, too.
But, no matter how much strife and struggle is all around, “not enough” isn’t God’s verdict on me, nor on you. HE is enough. We don’t have to be. He is.
In the midst, I’m clinging to Jesus, asking Him to keep me held tight to Him, to soften my heart, to help me to become more like Him, to stay connected to the community of Christ (with those who are safe people, obviously. My friends, please guard your heart and only be vulnerable with safe people.). Because I don’t know about you, but when I get isolated and hunker down trying to ride a storm out by myself, I start to die, and not in the Christ-like way. I want to be broken in the right away, in the way that is poured out like an offering with an aroma that pleases Him (Ephesians 5:2). To love as He loves. The broken way.
Real living doesn’t always feel like living. It can feel like you’re dying, in fact. It can feel like you’re breaking apart and losing pieces of yourself… and you are. Because when you let yourself love, you let parts of you die, or you aren’t really loving at all. ~ Ann
I’m breaking apart and losing pieces of myself that I thought were supposed to stay attached in a very real and profound way. Are you there, too?
God says, “Look at My grace instead…” God’s enough = grace enough. ~ Ann
Could the very brokenness felt by the brokenhearted actually be paving the way to becoming real? ~ Ann
One of the most tender parts of this study has been digging into God’s love for me, for you, for us… even though we fail, and sin, and wander, and hurt others even unintentionally, and bust up relationships, and make messes only He can clean up.
Jesus is here. He hasn’t walked away. Even if I don’t hear His voice, even if you don’t hear His voice right now, we can trust that He is with us and He is good. We can be the Body together, being real, being open, helping one another, being poured out.
Being the beloved.
Your life is unwreckable… because Christ’s love is unstoppable. ~ Ann
That is God’s final verdict about His kids who love and follow Him —
I love you. I’m not going anywhere. Nothing can separate Me from you.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, thank You. I don’t have adequate words to say thank You, to say I love you. Thank You for koinonia, for the fellowship we share with others who call you Savior, too. Thank You that You will never leave us, never forsake us, never be separated from us. Thank You for loving us unstoppably! We love You, Jesus! Amen.
Are you being real in community and allowing your hurts to be poured out in love? Come share with us on our blog.
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