Hello and Welcome to our first ever Online Bible Study!
I wish I could be sitting there with you – on your couch, at your kitchen table, or wherever your current perch may be. I wanted to make this introduction much more personal with some sort of video. But our recent sudden move combined with traveling prevented that from happening. So I hope you can hear my heart through these words, and we’ll try that for the next OBS!
The study you are about to begin is written from the most vulnerable parts of me. And is taken directly from my prayer journals. Every time someone tells me that the are doing the study, or just finished it, I feel humbled. And thankful. And a little exposed. Like they just dug up my diary from under the bed and took a quick read through its private pages.
Contrary to the somewhat heavy first glance of the title, this study isn’t all darkness. As a matter of fact, it shines a bright (albeit dust-filled) stream of light into the darkness. It’s one that not only helps to reveal what can be a hidden anchor that tethers you to Christ in the heaviest of storms, it also lends a small piece of understanding to encourage and support a friend, family member, or loved one that could be experiencing a difficult season even if you are not.
The words that you will be reading and studying over the next nine weeks were written right in the middle of my own dark season. Quite literally, actually – five years into ten year wait for our family and a long stretch of what I affectionately call “delayed fertility”. And halfway through my best friend’s very short 18-month battle with cancer that would usher her into heaven. I cried a lot during those years. And the Word of God was my lifeline. Suddenly, an hour-long quiet time was necessary just to get through the day. To feel around in the dark for the hidden treasures. To believe that, surely, I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land the living (Psalm 117).
And this whole study came about somewhat accidentally (although I know now that it was God’s perfect plan all along). My husband and I had recently taken over leading our small group of half a dozen other married couples. We split up the men and women for a short time. And one of the women wanted some accountability. She wanted to get back into the habit of a daily quiet time. And she wanted to do something with homework that would help her do that.
“Homework?” I said. “I can do homework.” And I sat down at my kitchen table the next morning and began to write.
And continued to write. Every weekday morning. For the next nine weeks. My morning quiet time became that day’s homework. And I printed out the pages, clipping them together with gold paperclips. And I gave them the next week’s homework the following week.
And then all those pages got put into a folder. And they were tucked away for almost two years. Gathering dust. Until a girlfriend asked me about it. And encouraged me to teach through it one more time – ten weeks before we moved to our new island home. And watching half-a-dozen new women going through those 45 days all over again triggered something in me to make this thing official and get it published.
And the rest is history.
Before We Begin
Please take some time to complete the “Before We Begin” section on page 7, and then read The Background and introduction to Week One before beginning today’s homework. You’re about to dive head-first into the deep end of the study-Scripture pool. Throughout this study, you will be using online resources to look up definitions for the original Greek and Hebrew words. Because my ultimate goal in all of this is to not only leave you more in love with God’s Word than you were when you began, but to also provide the tools and resources to continue the love affair on your own. Without the need for someone else to do the digging for you.
If you are still waiting for your book, click this link to download Week One as a FREE pdf!
Let’s Get Real
Where are you, right this moment, with God? What does your faith look like? What do you want Him to do in these next nine weeks? How do you want to leave this study changed?
Join the conversation by leaving a comment below and replying to other people’s thoughts. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
I’m resigned. I’ve been walking with the Lord for most of my life. I have enjoyed glorious intimate seasons with Him, times of him filling me up then emptying me out for service and filling me up again. I can truly say I love him with my whole heart. I believe I’m at a place where “whatever happens in my life hapoens” and not in a joyful way but almost in a shrug-my-shoulders kind of way. My faith is resigned, I’m resigned. I need recharged. I need to believe like I once did that “Blessed is she that believe that there will be a fulfilment of the things spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45). I want to believe again…
I love your honesty and vulnerability! Thanks so much for sharing! Praying that you will walk out of this study believing again, recharged, and overwhelmed by His Spirit!
Incredible excited to dig into this. I have been feeling very surface level in my study lately and I was excited to see you are going to really get us digging into the word. Thankful that you are willing to open your heart this way for others growth.
Yay!! Welcome, Shannon!! It’s so great to have you here!
Jane-Thank you! I am so excited. I was SO glad you shared the first week because it totally sealed the deal on me buying the book. This study is incredible and has been such a light for me!
I’m so glad! You’re so welcome!
I’m so excited to begin this study! A friend had completed this study before, and suggested it to me. And what could be better than an online format! Looking forward to the next 9 weeks and the accountability for consistency with my quiet time.
It’s a little different, right? Way different than what I am used to at least! Can’t wait to see what happens over these next nine weeks! Xo!
Hello friends! First, I want to introduce myself! I’m madison, married to my highschool love. We live in a small town in Alabama and have been on the journey of trying to start a family now for just under two years. Jane, if your reading this, I cannot tell you how much you have stirred my hope. These two years have been without a doubt the most difficult time of my life and I am beyond encouraged by your story. As you know, the devil loves to tell me that I am alone in this, and i feel like because of the vulnerable and precious words that you are willing to share with me are giving me ground to stand on to fight against that dreaded thought of loneliness. I cannot wait to dive in and see more of our Creator’s heart, and dear friends if you will, please join me in believing for our God to give us the baby we have been so desperately waiting for.
Oh girl. I’m so sorry for the wait-pain. Two months, two years, or a decade – the pain is all the same! I’m so glad this miraculous story He has given to us has stirred your hope for a miraculous story of your own. Believing alongside you and praying for you!
excited to start this journey and grow deeper in my relationship with our Lord. I have always had a relationship with Him, but lately my time with the Lord has become a routine instead of purposeful worship with our Creator. As a child of God, wife, and mother to two, I am re-dedicating myself to spending time with him each day. my desire is to be completely consumed by his love and leading.
Yes! Amen!! I love it! So glad you’re here!
I am so excited and eager to begin the OBS! More importantly,to meet with Him daily and allow him to transform me, I pray that my faith deepens and my relationship with GOD magnifies.
And I’m praying that same thing alongside you and over you. So excited that you are here! Thanks for joining!
Right this very moment I am believing that the Lord led me here because of the questions that plague me, knowing that his purpose is always to give me light in the middle of my storms. I am not in a surface storm. My storm is raging beneath the surface and I very much need his guidance to make my way to the shore of healing those things we don’t talk about. I already made one step in the right direction, and this study will be step two. I am here to gain self-acceptance, and the certain knowledge that I am worthy of being loved, and to be able to invite that love in to my life. Yes, it is partly about wanting a relationship with a God-fearing “kinsman redeemer” but also in all relationships with people. I isolate. I eat. I binge eat. I feel lonely. I feel like a misfit. I feel there is something wrong with me. I don’t feel attractive, or wanted. This is all satan, and I want to TRUST in THE LORD to break that chain from my life. I hope to find joy in serving others through volunteering, presently thinking by working in an equine therapy atmosphere. I need to believe in myself enough to even do that. I believe that will be the beacon that directs my mission in life, and I need a purpose. I appreciate all the comments and am committed to walking this path with all of you.
Yes, and amen!
My answer to “what do you want Him to do the next 9 weeks?” was for Him to reveal Himself. To make me completely obvious of His presence in my life. I want to leave this study KNOWING about this Solid Rock which is Christ and stand on it confidently. 2015 coming into this year was a tough year for me. I had a JD but was/am working a minimum wage job and living with my parents. I questioned my faith, my worth and I had a lot to say to Christ about how unfair He has treated me and how I had nothing to show for being a Christian because even in my toughest times, I couldn’t be the “hopeful and cheerful christian.” I was embarrassed about my life and more ashamed of the fact that I speak about this solid rock and I couldn’t even find Him to cling to. anyways, I hesitated about joining the study but I can already see its going to change my outlook on God and life!! a toast to the next 9 weeks
Oh boy – I can’t wait to hear about the after. Cheers to stepping out in faith!!
I’m Katlyn (but my husband calls me Kate and after 25 years of life, much to my mother’s dismay, I like Kate better, ha!) I’m from smalltown Iowa – currently 7 months pregnant with our first – a little boy due in October. I’m a 1st grade school teacher, and looking for some accountability with my quite time! I did Jane’s June 30 day challenge and LOVED it. My summers are a whole lot less structured and have found my quiet time gets put off and often times doesn’t happen because my days quickly get filled up with frivolous activities and it takes a back seat. So looking forward to digging deeper – along side your “How to Study Scripture” ebook!
Not to mention, I just realized this nine week study will take us up to about a month til our little man is here – insert slight freakout moment here, ha!
Girl! My full name is Janelle and my mom refuses still (after twenty years) to call me Jane!
I am really excited to start this bible study. I have been walking through a season of chronic pain for over 2 1/2 years now. It has been filled with fear and anxiety, despair and discouragement. I struggle with trying to figure out why this is happening and yet know in my heart that His ways are not my ways and His plans are not my plans. Thank you Jane for this study. I am so looking forward to it.
Cling to that truth!! Even when it’s hard to believe – make it your mantra!
Hi everyone! I purchased “Treasures of Darkness” after seeing Jane at a conference I attended last October. I’ve held onto it, promising myself “I’ll get started on this soon.” Not long after I purchased the book, my son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and we began a very intense and stressful 6 months as a family. My faith is the only thing that has seen me through this. Things are finally settling and it’s coincidentally the perfect time for me to dive into this study. I can’t wait to get started!!!
Girl! I’m so glad that timing worked out so perfectly! So great to “see” you here, and hoping that the next six months are much easier than the last!
I have struggling this season, trying to lean into God’s presence during a time of transition but still feeling lost. I spent the last week looking for a bible study to take part in online or locally when I caught wind of yours by way of Instagram. I hope to see/hear Him more clearly in the coming weeks and to leave this study strong and focused.
Oh yay! That’s perfect! Thanks so much for joining in!
For the last 6-8 months I have been a part of Good Morning Girls studies. This has helped me refocus and get back to God’s word daily. I feel at a point that I need more and more depth. I have enjoyed your blog Jane and your hunger for God. I look forward to learning to search the scriptures deeper and gleam wisdom from God’s word. I have found that I like sharing online as well.
That’s the best part of studying God’s Word: the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go further still. And He always meets you step for step, revealing His mysteries along the way!
Hello!! My name is Cara and I live in a tiny country called Wales which is part of the U.K. I’m slightly useless with technology, so doing this on-line is a massive step. I’m 41 and I gave my heart to Christ in February 2015; I got baptised in the sea with both my sisters and I am on fire for Jesus!! My flame dips now and then, so I just want to learn, love, learn and love some more. I’m highly emotional (in a good way!!) and I love to spread love and kindness, so I might get a bit gushy at times. Therefore because I can not physically give hugs and kisses I always like to send out virtual hugs and kisses, the kind when you get someone who hugs you tight and you feel energised by it!! I also waffle a lot so I’m sorry if I’ve bored anyone. Looking forward to getting my disciplined head in gear and I’ll try my best not to fall behind. Oh I have a husband and 2 daughters (13 and 8) and 2 cats Lion-o and Cheetara (yes, from the Thunder cats cartoon!!). I have been following Jane on Instagram and I think you are amazing and so blessed with the Lord. So, bring it on!! ❤️
Cara, Welcome!! Thanks for joining in from across the pond – I love your story!
Right now I’m hungry for intimate time with God. I recently got married and with that marriage came a child. So, my life has changed a lot in the past two months with getting married, moving, becoming a mom, along with he getting laid off. I’m missing my very quiet time with Jesus and the familiarity of my life. My faith has highs and lows these days. The lows come when i feel like I’ll never feel like I have a normal life or my space again. This morning it’s high in knowing I have all of you to study with and that I’ll be learning how to walk through dark times (or what seem to be dark to me) and finding joy in them. I hope to see some answer to prayer for my life and marriage throughout the next nine weeks and a routine of finding the space/making the space to be quiet with Him. I hope to walk away from this study with greater faith and hope as well as the ability to really let God fight my battles for me. I hope to have fallen more in love with the processes that He walks us through to know more about Him. I hope to be encouraged in this season and expectant of what He has planned for us.
Girl, that’s a lot of big changes in a very short amount of time! What a sweet time to cling to the anchor of His Word in the midst of the changing tides! Thanks for joining!
My name is Taylor and I am excited to dig deeper into the word. I completed the 30 day quiet time challenge and absolutely loved it. I pray my faith and understanding continue to grow and get deeper!
Yes!! The Challenge worked!! I love it! Thanks for being here!
I’m so grateful to be here. I had thought to myself about a week ago that I really wanted to do an online bible study..and there was your email announcing it! Because it seemed like a God thing I purchased the study instantly without reading up on it at all. I had no idea what it was about. When I opened it up I saw that I needed this more than I could have expected. The last couple weeks have been very difficult for me spiritually and emotionally with all that is going on in our country and our world. I was beginning to find myself being negative and feeling powerless. I’m ready to take ahold of His promises and be reminded of my identity in Christ. Thank you Jane for blessing us with this space. I’m expectant!
Gosh, I love that. Perfect timing. Welcome!!
hi again…y’all I just need to say that it has been so encouraging to see everyone’s comments. To come to a place where we, as women, can be honest and transparent but also bold and courageous- it’s awesome! I have loved each morning of this devotion so far and it has really touched me. I pray over y’all daily and will continue to do so. Thank you Jane for answering Gods call on your life- you are gifted.
It’s so great, right? I’ve never been one to “hang out online” and interact actively with strangers so this is all new to me as well. But I’m loving it! Thanks for being a part of the journey!
Hi Everyone! I’m Anna – your average girl from Oregon, married to my Hawaiian born best friend Isaac. Right now I feel somewhat lost (we’re about 2yrs into our wait for a family) – I know deep down inside God is watching over, but I feel like I’m swimming in circles, walking the same path & feeling a bit lost/forgotten. I’m praying this study reignites my trust, and most importantly an unwavering hope knowing that God is actively weaving our story, even if/when I can’t see the results or changes. Nervous for the challenge of this study but know that this is so aptly timed!!
Oregon girls represent!! Girl, this study is right up your alley then. Can’t wait for you to read it all. xo!
Howdy! from the great State of Texas. I am 32 years old and will be tying the knot this upcoming October (10.15.16). I happen to come across Jane from Audrey Roloff’s IG. First, I scrolled through your IG and something inside me told me to click the link in your bio & Viola! Here I am…. I am so stoked that you provided the 1st week study as I am eagerly awaiting for my book to arrive in the mail. I am familiar with online Bible Study as I am currently apart of another online Bible study group called Girls of Royalty. I am EXCITED to go DEEPER in the Word of God with you all and look forward to our Hearts & Lives being 4ever Changed!
Congrats on your upcoming wedding! So exciting!! Glad to have you here!
It took me about a week, but I’m finally checking in. I’m Leslie (or les), wife of ten years, mom to two children, preschool teacher, artist, singer, gardener and lover of the outdoors.
I’m from Portland, Oregon and currently living the suburban soccer-mom dream. I have a wonderful faith community and just finished a nine month long inductive women’s bible study on the life of Jesus.
I’ve really missed the fellowship that comes with being involved with other women, studying the bible. I NEVER thought I would say that! I felt I could be truly authentic with them, and they were too. It’s hard to not have that time together each week, keeping each other accountable.
This is my first online study, and although my sister is doing the study as well, I feel a little lonely in it. I want to ask questions, share my thoughts and be praying together, but we are on totally different schedules, so it’s just me, and I get easily discouraged and often wonder if I’m really getting at the heart of what God is saying.
Awww – my home town! I love that you’re a gardener! My husband makes fun of my black thumb and rolls his eyes whenever I try to buy a potted plant. You need to teach me your secrets! 🙂 And girl, put all your thoughts, questions and prayers here! We’ll join in on the conversation! xo!!
Hi, I’m a 38 years old, live in Orlando, Fl, married to my husband for 15 years, and mother to two sons. My first son R just turned 5 and my second son T passed away as a stillborn (unknown reasons) and was born at 29 weeks on January 8, 2016. We have journeyed through secondary, delayed fertility and now find ourselves on the other side with more layers of grief and ongoing delayed fertility. We are praying for a sibling with all our hearts. My faith and hope is so high in what God is going to do in our family and yet I continually NEED Him every moment and hour to lift me up to see that He is enough. No matter what happens. I hope this study reinforces that and continues to give me hope that I will see his goodness in the land of the LIVING.