KYB Thank you for keeping my feet ‘on the rock’ for 30 years

As KYB celebrates 50 years, I look back and see that KYB has been a golden thread of love and faith, woven through the last 30 years of my own life.

Since I was 26, through rocky times and good, through many of the challenges of parenting in the early years, struggles in church fellowships and with faith, through times of loss and times of triumph, there has always been an amazing bunch of KYB ‘girls’ in my life.

We were (and are) academics, workers, homemakers, young and old, introverts and extroverts, some with multiple degrees, some struggling with literacy and others with English as a second language. We have such a vast array of life experiences, opinions, personalities, beliefs, health issues. Some of our beautiful KYB-ers grew up in church and Christian families. Others joined as they were released from prison.

It has always been a glorious, glorious mix.

And with God’s grace, lots of prayer, and humble and loving leaders, in my experience, over 30 years – it has worked. This big, sometimes messy, beautiful mix of women (and often many accompanying kids) just worked – and continues to work.

Over 30 years, the KYB ‘girls’ in my life helped anchor me to my faith and kept me looking to Jesus. They shared their own very real stories of struggle and heartbreak, asked tough questions, spoke of very real miracles – large and small. They went the ‘extra mile’ and many became dear friends.

There were some KYB times and groups where the laughter was so loud, neighbours would comment, and others where sceptical visiting friends felt such love, and God’s presence, they came to know Jesus.

And every single KYB study has been such an eye-opening and such a learning experience. I still marvel at the fact I can read a passage on my own, and then study it with a group and find so much new ‘gold’ – every time. KYB has opened God’s word and heart to me in so many ways. My life and faith have been incredibly enriched.

As I look back, I still remember the passion of KYB founding member Jean R who often spoke at
conferences. As I think of KYB, I feel enormous gratitude for the intelligence, care and pastoral heart of Maree S, my first KYB leader. She was followed by Sue G, who became a treasured and lifelong friend. After we moved interstate and as I was struggling to find my feet, I couldn’t believe I could be so blessed yet again, with another bright, Godly, caring KYB leader in Helen K.

Eventually, Helen and the wonderful local Salvos minister Pauline, organised a KYB outreach to my township of Myrtleford, and a new KYB group was born. At that point, I could not imagine I would be so blessed to have yet another incredibly wise and loving and Godly KYB leader in my life, but then the most wonderful Val B moved into town and into our lives and community. (Val, we absolutely love you!)

We moved from home to home, and for some time, until COVID, we were actually doing KYB in our local aged care facility (invited in by the staff, as one of our ‘girls’ was in there.)

So how to finish?

Sometimes my husband smiles and asks me ‘how are the girls’ after KYB and I always say ‘great’. It is such an ordinary part of my life, but also quite extraordinary.

To me the ‘girls’ are sisters, and our humble, beautiful leader now (and leaders past) are spiritual giants. The hour or two a week, delving into the Bible collectively, is rich beyond description.

So this was a long-winded way to thank God and thank you CWCI, thank you KYB study writers, thank you editors, administrators, area leaders, pray-ers, local leaders. Please think in your tough times, your tired times and in the midst of spiritual battles, of the lives you have impacted and the ripple effect out from that to families, communities, generations. You have given so many, many women all around Australia and the world, an incredibly precious gift.

Naomi, Myrtleford VIC