Friday night we had the second week of our girls' Bible study. Last week we read the first two chapters of Jeremiah, where we see how much God offered to His people, yet those chose to turn to other things -- and this is where their hurt came from. They only followed God when it seemed good to them. If we want to be healed and live in satisfaction instead of dwelling in our pain, we have to serve God with our whole hearts all the time instead of turning to other things.
This week we read and talked about how careless words and actions can cause a lot of regret down the road, both for ourselves and for others, and how we need to be careful because we never know what other people are going through -- we don't want to multiply the hurts they may already be dealing with. Then we read Jeremiah 17:14, "Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; Save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise."
At the end of the discussion, our book asked us to think about whether or not we believe there are some hurts that cannot be healed, and then to write down a hurt of our own or someone else's that we want to ask God to heal during this study. At first I thought, "Of course God can heal anything!" But honestly, do we really live like that's true? So often we sit around counting our scars and comparing stories, when we could allow God to heal us so that instead of reminding us of pain, those scars become reminders of His goodness and power. It seems obvious, but it takes a lot of time, grace, and repeatedly laying those burdens on Him before we come to the point where we no longer hold onto our hurts. This is a lesson I'm still learning -- I recently spent a little too long bending my roommate's ear with college dorm horror stories -- but I'm thankful that I get to keep learning it with this group of girls.
This week I also finally made good on my promise to bring a guitar, which had been loaned to me but needed strings. Thanks to my wonderful parents, I now have a full set of brand new strings, so we ended our night of Bible study with some music. I don't know any songs in Romanian, but since we have so many of the same tunes, it wasn't hard to find a few we could all sing together. Then they wanted me to sing something by myself, so I shared a song by JJ Heller. It's one of my favorites by her, and I thought it fit with the theme of our study. I explained to them that the song is about God being in control of our lives, and even though sometimes it doesn't seem like things are changing or like He hears our prayers, we can trust Him even when our circumstances are painful.
I have some more good stories from the last week, but for the time-being please pray that we will get everything resolved with my visa! More about this and other adventures soon...