We’re so excited and encouraged by the feedback we’ve received on our latest Bible study, ‘The Birds & The Lilies’! On the blog this week, we thought you’d enjoy hearing from Collide friend and all-around awesome gal, Kara Eckardt, as she shares about her experience with the study. In this season of winter, our hope is that you would be encouraged to find freedom from your fears, worries, and anxieties…
If you had to describe the main message of this Bible study in a few sentences, what would you say?
We get to tell a story of hope, instead of fear. Although circumstances change, terrible things happen, we can’t ignore the hurt around us, we are still held by Jesus. He sees us, and our need, and our fears, and He is steadfast in all of it.
What is unique about this Bible study?
It has a unique marriage of challenge and grace. If you allow it, this study can be a platform for coming face-to-face with fears that Jesus wants to free you from. At the same time, this process is done with tenderness and kindness. You have the freedom to sit in your stuff, sit in your brokenness and wounds, and know that Jesus is with you in the sitting. Jesus doesn’t wait for you to clean yourself off, instead He delights in doing it for you. I think that is really well communicated in this study.
What is your one big takeaway from the Bible study, personally?
That I can choose to tell myself a different story. It’s not a quick change, but the more often I choose to claim my worthiness, the easier it gets to believe it over time. But it starts with changing the script in my head, it starts with changing the story.
Can you share a moment, while you were doing the study where something just clicked for you, or you learned something new that you can use in a practical way?
Something that was really powerful was being honest with myself. Sometimes I think the things I’m anxious about are too silly or embarrassing to even write out for no one to see. But I think we need to name it! Anytime I had the opportunity to be vulnerable in the study I just went for it. The moment when I wrote down ‘I get anxious about how my thighs look when I’m sitting down’ was when the power of naming it clicked for me. It felt like weight lifted off my shoulders to realize that there is no anxiety or insecurity that is too small for God. He’s in our big anxieties and our small ones.
Who do you think would benefit from going through this book?
If worry is in any way a part of your life, this Bible study is for you. If you feel trapped in shame, anxiety, depression, comparison, or fear, or all of the above, this Bible study is for you. If you just want to realign your heart with the hope of Jesus this Bible study is for you. But I also think that if anyone wants to benefit from this study, anyone can. You don’t have to be struggling with anxiety for this to be engaging.
This study prompts women to enter into what can be difficult work, that’s intended to bring about life change. Was the ‘hard’ worth entering into for you?
Yes! My work in this bible study has been supplemented by counseling, meeting with a mentor, and meds for anxiety and depression. My encouragement would be that the mess has to get worse before it gets better. In order to construct a foundation of hope we have to destroy what was previously there. We have to suck out the poison and that process will always be worth it. No matter how long it takes, no matter how many times you do it, no matter how many times it feels like you’ve failed or quit along the way. It is worth it.
For more information about this Bible study and to get yourself a copy, please visit our online store. Interested in joining us at our in-office Bible study, or forming your own small group to go through the Bible study? Contact as at firstname.lastname@example.org.