So, I’ve been wanting and meaning to talk about the Character Development class that I’m taking at church just about forever. I know I’ve mentioned it in passing here and there, but I’ve never taken the time to really talk about the amazing, tough, bittersweet, and at times hair-pulling work that I’ve been doing.
Last summer, I had been doing some one-on-one counseling with one of the pastors at our church; our church has a pastor just for families and counseling, which is absolutely amazing! With Pastor Pat, I had been working my way through the book Boundaries (which is an absolutely fantastic read if you haven’t read it), and he suggested that the Character Development class might be for me. I have a naturally very reflective personality, and I spend a ton of time inwardly examining my own actions and those of the people around me. It took a little praying and convincing, but I decided to take the leap, and it’s one of the best decisions that I’ve made.
Faith Church’s website describes Character Development as a class that “will challenge you to examine your life from a biblical perspective and develop a deeper, more mature understanding of how God designed you and how sin impacts your style of relating to others. This class is for you if you are a growing follower of Christ, are willing to go in-depth in a small group, are open to receiving feedback from others and can commit to nine months.”
Yes, nine months. I committed to this nine-month, every other week course, in which we have in depth reading and writing assignments, share the deepest, ickiest parts of ourselves with others, and listen to them share theirs.
Each week, we come prepared with a reading and writing assignment already done, and then we spend roughly an hour watching a video lesson. The remaining two hours of each session are spent in our small groups. I have been blessed with truly the most amazing group of women to share this experience with; each time I leave them feeling blessed upon blessed that God has placed each of them in my life. Our group consists of four women (including me) who are going through the course, plus two women who have already gone through the course and facilitate our group time.
I remember on the first day of class, our group leader jumped right in by telling us that at times we were going to absolutely despise the class as we worked our way through our “ick” as she calls it. I very specifically remember thinking to myself, ‘I will never feel like that.” I was so excited about the class, and so very ready to expose myself and be transparent, and really find out what God has in store for me, that I truly believed I would not hit that low point. I was so very wrong!
This may be enough for now. I’ll be back in a couple days to share the incredible wealth of learning and growing that’s been going on within me.