God works in our lives in ways we never expect. We had the opportunity to interview Brandie Williams, a recently assessed Precept Upon Precept Bible study leader. Brandie lives in Pearland, Texas. We reflected on the impact of Precept on her life and advice she would give to new Precept students.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I have been a follower of Christ for almost 9 years. I did not grow up in a Christian home so I had no concept of God or Jesus. Of the little knowledge I did have, I thought they had nothing to do with me and I was just fine with my life as it was. I became pregnant at 19 and married my high school sweetheart at 20 years old. We had our little girl in November 2000. Life would get tough, and around 10 years of marriage, we began to have marital problems to the point that we considered divorce.
How did you come to know Christ?
Little did I know that a sweet lady who lived in Tennessee at the time that I had met a year before would lead my husband and myself to the Lord! But God has His own plans, right? Praise the Lord, we have been married for 18 years this past June and we serve together in our church and that they have become our family. We can definitely testify that God is a God of restoration and renewal despite what mess we have made for ourselves!
What role has Bible Study played in your life?
My first Bible study which was topical, with a friend of mine. I was a new believer and I remember telling my group once we had finished the study, I didn’t know any more about God than I did when I started the study and that was convicting and unsettling for me.
I didn’t want to wait until I was 75 years old to know who He is, I wanted to know now!
How did you first become involved in Precept Bible Study?
The same friend that invited me to my first Bible Study said “we have a class at church that I think you would like but it’s DEEP!” I remember thinking, “what does that even mean, DEEP?” I attended my first Precept class and they were going through the book of 1st Peter. That day my eyes were as big as saucers and these things they were talking about peaked my curiosity and I could not wait to come back the next week! The homework, I literally binged on and I had this fire that could not be quenched, nor did I want it to be.
They would say things like “we are saints” and how as believers we are a holy priesthood, etc and I could not get enough! I could see the excitement that my leader had for the Word of God and it made me so excited to learn more. Now I’m on my 9th Precept study and the growth that God has done in me through Precept has been life changing. I share how much Precept has helped me grow with anyone who will listen to me.
What made you want to lead your own study?
My Precept leader asked me for a few years to lead a class but I was always a little hesitant thinking “No way – I can’t do what they do.” I saw one of my classmates step up to become a Precept Upon Precept Bible study leader and the thought began to stir in me more. It’s funny how sometimes you may not see it, but others can see the gift God has given you and He uses those people to encourage you.
What is your biggest take-away from training?
The biggest take-away was that I don’t have to have an answer for every single question someone might have to be able to lead an effective discussion. I simply need to understand and be able to speak about the text I am studying well and be able to facilitate the discussion as we reason together what the Scriptures say. Pressure off, right? The nerves went down tremendously once I understood that.
Was there anything unexpected that you learned at Leader Training?
The most unexpected thing I realized from training was probably the support that Precept Ministries has for their leaders and their love for the Lord in such a way that they work tirelessly to get the Word out to not only believers in the United States but around the world! I can’t wait to meet these believers in Heaven one day!
Do you have any advice for new Precept students?
Don’t give up! Sometimes we think that if something is hard, just quit, but I would encourage you to stick with it. Wrestling with things that you don’t fully understand is completely okay. It is worth the effort and you will be changed in a way that you least expected. Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the markings. It’s not a test and you’re learning. That learning will continue to change you over time no matter how many times you do the same book. God will grow and stretch you in ways you haven’t imagined. His plans are good and He is faithful to His Word and to His people. Press on, there truly isn’t anything else more valuable in this life!