Have you ever gone through a period of time and experienced something so wonderful that you wonder how you made it before that? Something you didn’t even know was missing until you had it?
Earlier this year, our church featured a sermon series called Made to Connect. It featured sermons on connecting with God through prayer, worship, and finding your purpose, as well as connecting with people. For 21 days throughout the sermon series, different people from our church shared their testimonies on Facebook Live for everyone to see and hear.
The big idea was “You were created to connect. We were never meant to do life alone. People thrive when they connect with God, with one another, and with their purpose and mission in life.” While I loved the whole series, the connecting with people sermon stuck out to me the most. This particular Sunday’s sermon big idea was “God made us to connect with other people. Lasting life change, personal transformation and spiritual growth best occurs in the context of authentic, life-giving relationships.” It was on this day that our church introduced us to our new life groups leader, and as he spoke, it was as if God was speaking straight to me through him.
So I (somewhat reluctantly) signed up to lead a life group. I prayed about what God wanted me to do and He faithfully answered me when He showed me women who were all young mothers who needed a place to connect. When I prayed for a place to have my group, He provided it. When I prayed that ladies would sign up my email would go off with another alert that someone had. This was the easy part. The hard part was coming.
A couple weeks went by between sign ups and our first group. God laid on my heart some big, personal things that He wanted me to share. And in order for others to share and grow and heal, I would have to plant a seed. This was the hard part. Would people judge me? Would people relate? Would people open up after I did? I prayed over those women as their sign ups came in and started developing relationships that didn’t exist before this. I prayed for them to open up and heal too, because God promised me that once I did that they would too. And do you know what our wonderful father did? He gave me the strength to start opening up from day one and He gave those women the power to do the same! Things I’d prayed for and expected over the course of the semester began happening in the first weeks. God provided divine acceleration for cultivating the most beautiful relationships within our group within no time at all. My expectations clearly did not match up with God’s big plan. No one judged me. No one judged anyone and everyone grew closer.
God provided us a safe place to share. A safe place to connect. A place to be open about who we were and how we were struggling or had struggled in the past. I began to heal from my past the more I opened up, and God started using my story to show me His will for my life. But I’m not the only one who started to see God work. The women in my group also shared and found support, love, guidance, and strength. They found connections that I’m confident are both life giving and long lasting. We found our people.
But don’t take it from just me! Take it from these sweet ladies too:
“These ladies lift me up, encourage me to trust God, and love (my daughter) like their own. God is so good, always.”
“I never took getting involved in a life group seriously…until these ladies. I’m beyond thankful for all of them…”
“Sometimes God puts a group of people in your life right when you need it. These are my people…”
“Words cannot describe how much these mamas and their families…mean to me (and my son)! God has been so good to us in 2017…and we can’t wait for the years to come! Everyone has a tribe, these ladies are my tribe! We cry together, laugh together, and most importantly pray together! I can only hope that he grows up with his friends and develops the same relationships I have with their mamas! It takes a village to raise kids, and boy to we have quite a village!”
So like to say, when God asks us to jump, we don’t ask how high. We just dive head first with all our hearts and trust His will for our lives. You might not even know what you were missing until you do.
Love + Blessings,
January 12, 2018