PWOC is an acronym for Protestant Women of the Chapel. I linked the PWOC International sight here if you want the official explanation of what it is. What I want to tell you in this blog entry is what PWOC has been to me.
I am a hermit by nature. Don't get me wrong... I like to socialize, and I love to talk, but I thoroughly enjoy staying at home and just spending time homeschooling and being a housewife. It takes a lot to get me to leave my nice, warm, safe house ESPECIALLY during the dark, cold, harsh Alaska winters!
I started going to go to PWOC when Darren deployed the last time. I needed to be in a Bible Study, and I didn't know where to look. We were attending Chapel at Northern Lights, on Fort Wainwright, and all these women were talking about these really neat Bible Studies on Thursday mornings. I decided to get my butt out of bed and drag my daughter to this thing... All I could think was, "Wow, these women must either be morning people, or they must seriously love these Bible studies to do this every week!"
So I spent my first year in Alaska going to PWOC on Thursday mornings, and I grew stronger in my faith because of the fellowship I experienced with the women there. BUT I am not going to say that I got along with EVERYONE, and I am not saying all the women there treated me like a Christian woman should treat someone. There were certainly personality conflicts that first year, and the year that followed.
The next year I volunteered to monitor the Homeschool room. It was supposed to be for a few weeks... just until someone else came to take over. I was told that I should go ahead and start a Bible study because I would not have to be there every week. That "someone else" never showed. I felt abandoned by these women. I was left without any fellowship, except for the kids. Darren was still gone, and I was so self centered, I couldn't see that God was trying to get me to use my gifts for His purpose. It wasn't that no one wanted to spend time in the homeschool room. It wasn't that the other women didn't care about me starving for fellowship. It wasn't that the homeschool room was such a horrible place to be. I was just fighting God. I wanted to be the kind of woman I saw instead of the kind of woman He wanted me to be.
I spent a lot, A LOT of time in prayer about why God was letting these Christian woman treat me like this before I got the answer that it wasn't them. It was me.
I was trying to be a "Beth," or a "Jenny," or a "Katie," but I wasn't being "Bridgit." I am blessed to think like a child, and I love learning and getting kids excited about learning. God was trying to get me to use that gift to teach these children. God wanted me to be the woman that gets excited about making slime to teach about polymers, and floating needles in pie pans to teach about magnets, and stuffing cotton balls in glasses of water to show how God designed EVERYTHING in this world to show us how AWEsome He is!
This year, I am monitoring the Homeschool Room, again, and we are doing Bible Science. We are going to be learning about salt, light, the body, astronomy, and a lot of other cool subjects! God is AWEsome, and He proves it again all the time in this wonderful world He created!
I would invite any military spouse to check out your local PWOC, especially if you have had a bad experience the last time. Remember, the ladies there are always changing. The PCS seasons send some women away to other posts, and brings in new faces around the beginning of the school year, and again around Christmas. Even if the woman or women that hurt you are still there, maybe this is your opportunity to pray and find out what lesson God really needs you to learn. Maybe you are being asked to grow or use a gift you didn't realize was just what someone at your local PWOC needed. Maybe you need a gift that one woman at PWOC is trying to use. Or maybe, just maybe, God just needs you to NOT be that woman that hurt you for another woman who is hurting.
I have the time & place of the Ft. Wainwright PWOC on my Google Calendar
I would love for you to stop by and say, "Hello," if you decide to try out our PWOC.
You can find me in the Homeschool Room.