My Bible study on Wednesdays isn’t ordinary. Sometimes it’s loud. It’s filled with tears or aha moments. The women around the table haven’t had it easy. Sometimes just getting by takes all that each one has.

We’re studying the book of John. Though these women love God fiercely, they are grasping the concepts.

One sang through the table of contents as she flipped through to find a particular book of the Bible.

Another flipped the Bible shut. “#&%*@,” she said. Then with a sheepish look. “Oops.”

I didn’t worry about the word. I was far more excited about the fact that she’s digging deep into the Word of God and it’s changing her, just like it continues to change me.

So we found the passage and dug in. We were in the book of John, chapter 1. We lingered over John 1:6a:

There was a man sent from God. His name was John. 

John was handpicked by God to tell others that Jesus was coming. People flocked to John because he had a story to tell. He was different. He was truthful. He didn’t seek the limelight. In fact, he went the opposite direction.

Verse 8 says:

He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

 As we dug deep into the story of John, we began to see that we are also witnesses to that Light.

Impacted by Jesus.

With a story to tell. 

So we did. One by one, we went around the table and shared our stories. At one point, one so excited that it felt like we’d slipped into an old-time revival.

Preach it, I said.

And she did.

We flipped back to John 1:6 and put our fingers over the words. And then we put our names in that passage.

There was a woman sent from God. Her name is Suzie.

I was once an angry girl who didn’t know Jesus. A neighbor pestered me until I went to church with her. That day nothing changed at home, but everything began to change inside of me.

My encounter with Jesus transformed not just me, but my children after me and one day, their children after them.

How can I not share such good news about God’s love?

There was a woman sent from God. Her name is Peggy.

There was a time when Peggy was an adult addict on the streets of Chicago. Today she’s a woman of faith who serves those who are sick or aged. She loves nothing more than telling others about Jesus as she rides the bus to work every day.

There was a woman sent from God. Her name is Angelita. 

Growing up as one of many, hurt by one who should have treasured her. Underestimated and identified by her past, until she threw the shackles off and ran after God with her entire being. I call her a Bible-study-teacher-in-the-making, because she has such a hunger for knowledge of the Word.

Others repeated the phrase. . .

There was a woman sent from God. Her name is {                          }. 

Filling in the blank. Telling the stories.

When I think about my Wednesdays around my kitchen table, I also see this community. You. Me. Others coming around the table. We are not face to face, you and I, but we meet, our hearts so hungry for God or change or a call pressing so hard on our hearts we can’t wait to run after it.

Maybe you’ve been wondering about #livefreeThursday.

Can I tell you what my prayer is? I am asking God that thousands of women will connect across the world every week and tell their stories around the table.

And that those who are seeking Christ will join us and we’ll grow together.

What about you? What is your story? Begin here.  .  .

There was a woman sent from God. Her name is ____________.

I’m listening. I’m excited that you’ve come to join us around the table.