I started in a new Bible Study tonight. It's a Bible Study for women, held in a home, that had you asked me a year ago, I would have sworn I'd never enter again. I was harbouring hostility and bitterness and heart-muck. Praise God that's been put aside, and I have been given enough grace to cover the wounds and cross the threshold with a smile as a hot cup of tea is made in hospitality. But that's a story for another day.
We're studying Jennifer Rothschild's Walking by Faith. It looks to be a good study, and judging by the ladies who showed up this evening, I think it'll be a good group of people, too. I'm looking forward to spending time with these women - getting to know them beyond their positions in the church, or their roles as mothers. The group will be comprised of women past and present from the church I attend, women from the community, and women from other nearby churches. A beautiful mix of ideas, opinions, situations, passions, fears and triumphs. I am excited to see what the next seven weeks will bring.
Getting ready this evening, though, I found myself working through a deluge of self-doubt. I knew that there might be women present with whom wounds had not healed without scars, and was worried about what they would think of me. I took extra time to make sure that my clothes reflected what I wanted them to - comfortable, casual, but still pretty. I took time to reveal the legs beneath all that hair, for fear that one stray unsightly leg hair would proclaim its presence loudly to all who came near, revealing a particular laziness in my life. (I definately shave my legs for other women and what they might think.) I re-re-redid my hair. I chose not to wear makeup in an effort to look like I hadn't tried too hard.
And all the while I thought about why I was doing these things. Is it really so important what these women might think if they knew I don't regularly shave my legs or that I'm not really very good at putting together an outfit? Why do we care so much, we women?
I still have a lot of thinking to do on this one.