It’s been a while since I wrote today’s meditation, and in reading it again I’m reminded of how much a church small group means to me. You see, I relocated from Tennessee to North Carolina in April 2018. From that April to today, my Wednesday nights have not been the same.
Wednesday night was when my Tennessee church’s small group would meet. When I first moved, it was strange not having a place to be with friends mid-week. Then over time, I just got used to it. But that acceptance of the void in my life just drove me further into an isolated existence. Sure, my acceptance was driven by external factors—like the demands of my new job that kept me working six and seven days a week for my first six months. Since I had such limited free time, all I wanted to do was unplug and not think in my time off.
But I’ve learned over time that when circumstances form barriers to living a healthy and full life, things gotta change! After eight months in my new home, and way too many hours in front of the television set, I knew I had to “get back into the game.” I needed fellowship. I needed to find my new church home. And I eventually landed in a great church where certain folks, like fishermen hauling in a prize catch, reeled me in and immediately connected me with their small group.
While my old small group will always be hard to match—it was just that special—my new group was a great experience. We would study, enjoy meals together, chat post-gathering, and participate in volunteer opportunities. We also had a wonderful picnic on Memorial Day 2019. We were by a lake, and we had kayaking, bean bag tossing, and grilled hot dogs the size of soft drink cans—or so it seemed. Oh! And my new small group had a men’s breakfast at a wonderful hole-in-the-wall family diner every Saturday. I enjoyed the men’s break-of-dawn food fests but I must say, getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning to shower and be in place by 6:30 became a little daunting. After a few weeks, I decided, This just ain’t gonna happen. But I did try something new! It was another baby step to getting me plugged in to a small group of believers and friends again.
So, here’s where you may begin thinking I’m crazy—I eventually left my new church and small group. I had been renting in the city at a hefty price. In February 2019, I began the huge task of buying a home, and I finally closed on a house in June. Problem is, it’s in the suburbs—35 miles one-way to my church. When I told my church friends that I had reservations about driving 70 miles round trip for church—I know many people do this each Sunday—they gave me the names of three awesome churches near my new home. I’m on the church hunt now and very pleased with what I’ve found, just miles from my front door. But I’m without a small group for now, and I’m in withdrawal. Please pray for me that I land where God wants me. And, if you reply to this blog post with your prayer requests, I’ll do the same for you!
Be blessed, my brothers and sisters. And if you’re not in community, I encourage you to take that first little step! In community, there’s the opportunity to learn, grow, and form meaningful relationships with those who just may become your armor bearers in your time of need. And sometimes there’s just as much drama as there is on TV (insert smile here)!
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what is it that you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s People and like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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