When I started coming to Berean’s women’s bible studies 26 years ago, I knew I wanted to grow, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I couldn’t have imagined ALL I would need to be equipped for . . . but God certainly did.
One faith-growing practice I started was personal worship. Claudine Lehman was our teacher, and I’ve asked her to come share with us today.
Claudine, you were very clear in that class 26 years ago that your desire to know God better came from a very hard season as a young mom. You’d been raised in the faith, attended Bible college and married a handsome young pastor . . . but even a thriving ministry and a busy life with 5 young children in a small, western-Nebraska town couldn’t fulfill you.
Can you tell us what you struggled to understand about God during that time?
“My identity was all rolled up in my husband and children. I was a pastor’s wife . . . a mother . . . but without them, who would I be?
I am a very driven and ambitious person, but at that time I felt dead inside. I no longer had the drive, ambition or motivation to do anything. Oh, I went through all the right motions, even my husband was unaware of how I was feeling, but my heart wasn’t in it.
I remember one time in particular after Gracie was born when I was sitting in the little rocker while she nursed and crying. I wasn’t sure why I was crying, but I remember thinking, ‘God, who am I anyway?’”
How did God answer that honest question?
“Many years have passed since 1960, so things are in better perspective now. I can look back and see that God was trying to get my attention. He was telling me, ‘Claudine, I am all you really need.’
He wanted to be the center of my focus—not all my doing and going and being and having. It took months, even years, of struggling, before I slowly began to understand what He was saying.”
How did you begin to make God the center of your focus?
“My only focus was to KNOW GOD. I no longer read the Word to get information and solutions to my problems. I wanted to learn the heart of God. I began to ask these questions as I read:
- Who is God?
- What does He do?
- How does He do it?
- What is on His heart?
- What makes Him glad or sad?
- What are His values?
- Where is He going?
- What does He (not others) expect of me?
As I sought to know Him, He brought answers and slowly began to change my perspective.”
So, this truly is a practice rather than something we ever really complete. In learning who God is, we learn more about ourselves and how God might want to use us in the lives of others. It is learning to have a mindset that focuses on God, redirecting our thoughts away from our desires or worldly values.
Throughout this session, we’ll return to this theme of practicing personal worship. We featured this material in a summer online study a few years ago. If you’d like to go deeper, please feel free to access those posts here: Personal Worship Class.