We read this statement together before every group discussion. It helps transition the group to discussion time, it reaffirms our highest values, and sets a tone of trust, consistency, and safety for everyone in the group.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
Where do you go when you need to be alone with your thoughts?
Let’s summarize our reading in Genesis (chapters 37-46) so far. Joseph was his dad, Jacob’s favorite. He had a dream that his brothers would one day bow down to him. When Joseph shared the dream with his brothers, they faked his death to their father and sold him as a slave. Joseph was bought by one of Pharaoh's officials, Potiphar, and taken to Egypt where he prospered until Pharaoh's wife falsely accused him of making unwanted sexual advances towards her. He was thrown in prison, where God was with him, gave him favor in the eyes of the prison warden, and gave him success in whatever he did. Joseph interpreted dreams for his fellow inmates and was allowed out of jail to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. The dream predicted a famine and Joseph was able to help Egypt through it with his insight. His brothers came to him for food years later and didn’t recognize him. Joseph took pity on them, forgave them and told them to bring his father to him in Egypt.
What sticks out to you the most about Joseph’s story so far?
So far, can you relate to anything in Joseph’s story?
Looking over Chapters 17-22 of Restless, which sections were the most meaningful to you and why?
On page 159:
In what ways is it difficult for you to trust God?
Have you seen the Holy Spirit lead you in the past? Describe the situation and what it was like.
What are the biggest unknowns burdening you right now?
On pages 162 and 163, Jennie had us look back at our journal pages to narrow down our lists of gifts, people, suffering, passions and places. She also had us brainstorm connections and patterns and ask god for discernment as we dreamed.
Did God reveal anything new to you during this exercise? If so, what?
Did anything on your list surprise you? Excite you? Scare you?
In what ways can you see your lists coming together to define your purpose?
On page 164, Jennie instructs us to gather a few friends and lay out our lists of gifts, people, suffering, passions and places to see if they could help us see connections. If you did this, what did you learn? What connections have you seen? If not, who could you get together with this week to help you see the connections?
On page 189, Jennie lists some of the tensions women tend to feel:
“My husband feels threatened when I dream.”
“I feel like I am wasting an expensive education, but I feel called to stay at home to raise my kids.”
“My gifts are so strong that I am worried if I really succeed as a strong woman, no man will want to marry me.”
My kids are going to be wounded if I can’t be present at everything for them.”
“People don’t like strong women.”
“My husband has so many expectations of my role at home that there is no way I could do anything outside of that.”
“I want to go overseas, but I feel like I need to wait until I get married.”
“I have to provide for my kids as a single mom; there is no one else. Dreaming is not a luxury I can afford.”
“I have gifts of teaching or leadership that my church doesn’t encourage women to use.”
“My elderly parents need me or my grandkids need me. This isn’t my dream, but this is my reality and it is all I have time for.”
“I feel called to adopt and my husband doesn’t.”
“I can’t do it all.”
Which ones could you relate to?
What other tensions do you feel as a woman?
On page 191, Jennie notes, “Every calling has a cost.” What do you think your calling might cost? How does that cost make you feel?
Chapters 23, How To Find God, Leaving Behind & Moving Forward
Genesis Chapters 47-50