After a bible study I was asked how I liked the small group I was in. I responded, “Great, but I feel so bad”. “No need to explain”, Bo replied. “It’s okay.”
“Where is your purse?” my husband asked. I was in a state of confusion. I wanted to explain why I didn’t want to be in Joan and Don’s small group and there were too many people around. Again I heard, “No need to explain, its okay”, as my husband pulled me with his eyes, stepping back towards the front door.
I asked by husband after we got in the car and several more times after we got home, “Am I wrong to feel the way I do about Joan”. “No” he would reply. But I felt bad inside, like I’ve done something wrong.
“God, have I done or said anything wrong?” “Have I hurt anyone feelings?” Please forgive me, please help me, I feel so horrible.
I tried to read in my bible, but no comfort could be found. I turned off the light and curled up in my bed and prayed for the sequence of events from the bible study to stop replaying in my mind.
When I woke up the next morning, again the words “No need to explain” tumbled in my head but this time I knew where they were coming from. They were coming from the Holy Spirit. So I asked, okay, do you need for me to journal. “No write a story”
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Title: No Need to Explain
Written by: Karen Story
Date: October 6, 2008
Thank you for those words, “No need to explain”. But, I want to explain. Or is it, “I need to explain”. “To whom” I ask myself: the group leader, the woman who saw the distress on my face, the small group leader. Is anyone curious as to why I didn’t want to be in that particular small group? God knows why. Something inside me just needs to put it all into words. So here I am typing and giving it as a story to the “only one” who really understands and really cares and will help me sort it all out – my Father God.
Father God, it is wrong for me to feel this way?
Joan and Don (names changed) are the couple who lead a small group after the bible study. You know how disappointed I am in her as a leader. You know someone that told me Joan was a gossiper. You know how important it is to me to not let people know “all my stuff”. You know I have trust issues that extend far back from my childhood.
Let me backup a year and share a situation I was involved in:
My ex-girlfriend, Tina (named changed) is a single woman that was drugging, drinking, and in a sexual relationship with an abusive man. I’ve been friends with Tina off and on for over 12 years. The last time we got close was during the summer of 2007. She and I were Tuesday Beach Buddies. We took turns driving out to Folly for a day of sun and a few drinks or more at the Tiki Bar. Our friendship came to an end when what she was doing could affect more than just me, but other Christian women in a small group that she was hosting in her home.
While driving back home from the beach, I overheard a conversation she was having on her cell phone with one of the women that attended the bible study she hosted. She told the woman to come early and have a glass of wine with her before the bible study leader, Joan, showed up. Joan was in the process of selling her home and moving, therefore she asked Tina, a long time close friend, if she could have her weekly bible study in her home.
I immediately expressed my opinion of encouraging drinking before a bible study. Tina responded, “It’s my house and I can do what I want in it”.
The Holy Spirit and my husband were both convicting me to end my friendship with Tina. I also needed to draw a line and step across to living right myself. Summer was coming to an end and it was time to let go of my friendship. The countless times of listening to Tina tell me how miserable she was got old. Of course I’d tell her she needed to make some changes in her life and get right with God. Then feeling like a hypocrite made me even sicker inside. It all had to stop and I confessed my own sins to my pastor.
My next step was to go to the bible study leader, Joan. I was appalled after I spoke with Joan. Her response was she had been aware of what was going on. The week before she noticed wine glasses out on the counter and a few of the girls were already there.
I felt that Joan was not taking the proper actions and was not acting quickly enough. Other women lives and views about living a Christian life were at stake. Several weeks had past and Joan had not moved the bible study from Tina’s home, so I went to Joan’s leader and informed her of what was going on. Not long after that, Joan spoke to Tina about why she had to move the bible study back to her own home. I got the expected angry phone call from Tina calling me some very choice names and that she never wanted to speak to me again.
I hated to lose a friend, but then she probably wasn’t the best friend to have. I knew that I needed to surround myself with healthier people. I gave Tina a few days to cool down and phoned to apologize for any grief that I had caused her. I wasn’t given a chance to speak before she hung up on me, but before she very determinedly stated for me to never ever speak to her or call her again after I said, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
Every time I see Joan, I ask her about Tina. From what little Joan tells me, I can only surmise that Tina hasn’t given up her lifestyle, if any change its worse. She now has a gay roommate, who is or was Tina’s cocaine connection. Joan told me after I cried to her about Tina hanging up on me that she knew she needed to talk to Tina about forgiveness. It’s been over a year now, and Joan still hasn’t had that talk yet as informed by herself not too recently. Joan says she waiting for the right time.
My conclusion is that I don’t need someone like Joan in my life that can’t speak truth to someone she also considers a close friend in a timely manner. Joan also did not take action quick enough about moving her bible study. It took me going over her head to get sometime done.
“Explanation given and understood my child,” say’s the Holy Spirit. “Listen to your heart and know I want only safe people around you.”
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Yes, you did express yourself very well. Many can relate with what you felt and did. This is the 2nd story of yours I read and I like it. I think I'm one of your new fans. Hope you continue to write more and more.
Your witness to your friend and your effort to live a life more consistent with Christian principles show clearly why you were right to take a stand against going to a Bible study in which you had no respect for the leader.