I use to go to church alone with my 4 year old son.
I didn’t really know many people.
I started serving in the kids area because it looked fun.
But I still didn’t really KNOW anyone.
It reminds me of being a kid and seeing all those cool key-chains with names on them but I could never find my own name. Or seeing a cool board like this with names all over it, but I still can’t find my name:
I was terrified to get into a bible study because then people might see how messed up I really was. What if they found out I struggled with lying? What if they found out I used the f-bomb sometimes? What if they found out that my husband wasn’t a believer? What if they found out that I sometimes yelled at my kid because he got on my every last nerve? What if they found out that I didn’t know much about the bible at all?
I finally took the plunge after waiting a year to get signed up.
The first day I went I was terrified to walk into the worship center. I didn’t even know what my leaders looked like. What if I was the idiot walking around reading all the table signs and still couldn’t find my group? I would just leave, that’s what I would do — if I made one round and couldn’t find my table, I would just leave and use my handy bucket of lies to make up some fabulous excuse about why I couldn’t stay.
As “luck” (read: God’s grace) would have it, my table was the second one I saw when I walked in. The ladies quickly and eagerly welcomed me to their table. They all knew each other, and I knew none of them. We filled out that little “getting to know me” sheet and I made sure to make it look polished so the leaders wouldn’t have any inkling that by my standards, I was a fake Christian.
After the announcements were over, the leader let out a huge sigh and said something along the lines of, “Girls, I can’t tell you how glad I am that bible study has started up again – I thought I was going to lose my ever living mind being at home with my children this summer! I NEED you guys!”
(huh, maybe this group thing won’t be so bad after all)
As the weeks went by I learned that EVERYONE at the table had issues and that it wasn’t just me. (Thank you Jesus, I’m not the only one who is a mess!) My biggest awakening came when I finally learned what “the veil was torn” meant in one of my favorite songs and they celebrated with me! They didn’t say, “REALLY?!?!?! You didn’t know that?!?!?!”
I haven’t missed a semester since. I have been ill through several semesters but I did my very best to make it every time I was physically able. I carved out my Tuesdays to make sure nothing ever got in the way of my morning group time. Now I see familiar faces when I walk through the church and Lord have mercy that comforts me and brings me such peace! It slowly became my second home.
I will never stop being in groups. (Even though I have been known to pray that one would be canceled when I am overwhelmed with life — come on, you know you have too.) Processing scripture, God’s promises, and the grime of life with other REAL women (the ones who aren’t afraid to show up with no makeup and in flip flops — LOVE those girls!), is life changing.
Quit making excuses.
Because if you’re standing there looking at everyone else’s names on the board like they just belong there, but you can’t find your own … it’s because you haven’t written it yet. Get some chalk, I’ll wait….
If you’re in the Frisco/McKinney/Plano/Little Elm/Allen areas, come give Preston Trail a try. Our groups are FREE this semester! All you pay for is your book and childcare.