Not long ago, I was eagerly anticipating spring, and now, as the dog days of summer come to an end, I find myself anticipating yet another change. Not only in the seasons, but in the pace of life. Kids go back to school, routines return, and the opportunity for relationship grows. Something about the onset of fall encourages community. There is no better way to experience community than in a small group of people who meet weekly to love, laugh, pray, and live life together. It’s what we call Life Group.
My husband Danny and I have had the honor and privilege of leading a Life Group for almost 10 years and we have been blessed with a myriad of life-giving, spirit-filled relationships because of it. People come and go, but each person makes a lasting impact on my heart. Memories of shared experiences (both joyous and tragic), of laughter, of tears, of sweet fellowship, and great food will remain with me forever.
And yet, my natural tendency is still to withdraw to my safe place and live life from the confines of that space. Being what the professionals call an introvert has its challenges. BUT GOD, through His unending love and grace, has shown me the freedom that comes from stretching myself, opening myself up to others, and allowing myself to love and be loved. God created you for community, and if you don’t believe that, you are believing a lie. My prayer for us as women is that we will stop believing the lies and cling to God’s truth.
God’s truth about each one of us is that we are all He says we are and we can confidently put ourselves out there and find love, acceptance, and joy.
A friend told me recently, “Find joy today.” That made me realize that if we really look, we can always find joy—maybe even in a group full of people. So, if you have yet to find a Life Group, may I encourage you to visit one? If you already have one, I pray that you will find new and refreshing joy rising within you as you embrace your group and the people in it.
As we anticipate this new season, may we hold tight to God’s truth and begin to anticipate the abundant life that living in community brings. Romans 12 instructs us to live in harmony with one another and in Christ, each of us belongs to the other. I am needed, you are needed, and together we are all necessary, chosen members of God’s Kingdom. May He give each of us the grace and courage to step out of our safe place and into a place of belonging, relationship, and joy.
We’d like to thank Melissa Hooks for writing this blog!