For the past few years I have co-led and lead a small group of high school girls from church. It was incredibly scary for me. I felt felt as though I couldn't be a leader to them because I was young and honestly, they probably knew more about the bible then I did. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of doing this, but I agreed to do because, well.... I'm a people pleaser.
When I was co-leading, I really had no responsibilities... I just had to show up. I mainly listened to my friend and the leader of our group Carissa lead these girls, and teach them, and explain things, and pray for them. After two years of being sheltered under her wing, I was on my own. It was time for this baby bird to fly and if I wasn't ready I would have fallen straight to the ground.
I had three girls, Molly, Aryn, and Beth -- they were awesome young ladies! They knew I wasn't perfect and I knew they weren't either. I think we trusted each other because they knew my mess and I was there to help them walk through their own struggles of life. They trusted me with things because they knew I understood them. I tried in the beginning to have these elaborate "lesson plans" but eventually we would start talking about boys and their hot teachers and who I should date... (True story side note--I went on a blind date with one of their teachers they stalked. We really we're a team.) Ok, back to the point! So I had these lesson plans but honestly I didn't really understand them. It would be something I googled or tried to come up with but it's very hard for me to fake my way through the bible. Eventually, I gave up and realized that maybe I wasn't the best bible study teacher, however I knew I was good at art!
We started doing art projects and talked about Jesus while doing it. A couple of projects we did were prayer jars.
We would also paint canvases! This background is the outcome of one of those canvas adventures. Created by Beth and I.
Beth is a planner. She is organized, super smart and incredibly kind! She had such a difficult time creating anything because she didn't have a plan, she couldn't be free in the moment. Until I made her and reassured her that you can't mess up.... it's art!
I gave her some tips and she let go. She, for a second, came out of her shell and began to have fun with it! I got to watch something very exciting happen that night. I got to use my gifts of encouraging and art to help someone accomplish something they didn't think was possible. It was in this moment that I realized, me being the person I am, is way better than me trying to fake my way through a lesson.
That night taught me that Real, not all knowing Valerie, is better than a fake leader!
The bible tells us that we, as believers, all have a special gift to offer the world. Each one is different and when we come together and offer what we have we make an amazing, world changing, body of believers. "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us." 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLT)
I may not be the world would say is an "awesome bible teacher" but I am an awesome encourager and doodler and I've seen those two things come together with Gods power to do some pretty amazing things!
I'm learning who I really am and am very thankful for this in my life right now! I've learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of when people believe in me. Above all, I know I belong to God and that He is the only person who will ever make me feel whole. Every day I try my best to remember that and some days (most days honestly) I fall short just like you but I know whose I am and am constantly growing to know who I am!
I'm praying that even in your messy backgrounds of life and days that look like mass chaos, you will remember that you are HIS and fall back on the fact that the REAL you is better than anything else!
Today I'm releasing my newest Canvas Art Print titled "She Knew". From today until tomorrow night at 11:59 pm, this print will be on sale for $5 (5x7) & $10 (8x10) so go grab a few for yourself & your friends!
You are BEAUTIFUL, Believe It!
~ Valerie Wieners