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The Company of Women/Beauty Forged In Suffering
Series: Becoming Myself - Embracing God’s Dream of You
This download include the session guide for participants and the chapters of the book the session guide corresponds with.
Session Five Study Guide: The Company of Women/Beauty Forged In Suffering
Before you begin responding to the questions in this session, please read chapters 8 and 9 in the book Becoming Myself.
I am not a cynic. Not really. Well, many mornings I do wake up cynical, but after I have invited the Holy Spirit to fill my heart and my mind, I’m not. Still, it wasn’t a difficult decision to group the two chapters “The Company of Women” and “Beauty Forged in Suffering” together. So much of the quality of our inner life is shaped through suffering, and so much suffering comes to us through our relationships.
When we love and care for someone or something, the potential for suffering is inherent. The choice is given to us many times a day to continue to care and love or to seal off sections of our hearts and shut down. God is always calling us both to love and to stay open to our own hearts—where he lives in us. Isolation, fear, anger, and self-justification do not lead us to the life Jesus wants for us. With wisdom, we must choose Love. Always.
Dear Jesus, please help me with these chapters. Please open my eyes to your heart for me and all that you want to reveal to me. I long to become the woman I am meant to be. Help me to be honest with these topics—including the places where I have been or am now so deeply hurt. Please come into the relationships with women that I cherish as well as the ones I ache over or long for. Revive my heart. Revive my hope. Hold me close and help me to understand and receive what you long to reveal to me. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.
1. Who are the women in your life? (A mom, sisters, coworkers, neighbors, friends?) In what capacities are you engaging with other women?
2. What are your friendships like? (Satisfying, enriching, disappointing, terrifying?) How often do you talk with or get together with women friends?
3. When have you been hurt by women friends? How old were you? What happened?
4. How have those experiences shaped your current relationships?
We are human beings, so we are bound to fail one another. Further, we get our feelings hurt by other people who willfully or unintentionally wound us. Either way, Jesus commands us to forgive them and to come out of the trap of harboring an offense.
5. Who do you need to forgive now? (Maybe it’s yourself.) Ask Jesus to help you forgive those offenses. Go ahead now and pray. Really. (Some places are so tender and wounded that it may take a while for us to feel like we have forgiven a person. It’s okay to simply pray ag ...
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