Isn’t it crazy how God works the most amazing, unexpected blessings sometimes?
Can I tell you about the most wonderful thing that happened on Wednesday?
Almost three years ago now, I was struggling with loneliness, recent college graduation, and confusing life transition. Unbeknownst to me, she was too, my sweet friend. We met through a mutual friend, discovered our common love for the Lord, and instantly hit it off. Part of our common ground was our thirst for fellowship with girls who shared our passion and love for Jesus Christ.
SO we started a Bible Study, not having any idea what to expect, or what God would do.
That humble little Bible Study began with just the two of us, and exploded into about seven or so girls who come faithfully every Wednesday night. We rotate through studying books of the Bible, books authored by fabulous men and women, (like this one), and podcasts by this amazing woman–Kari Patterson (if you haven’t checked out her blog, you’re missing out–absolutely wonderful).
This past Wednesday, we were blessed, completely unexpectedly, to have Kari attend our Bible study.
What resulted from that visit, was an incredible time of tearful sharing, and healing, and community–fellowship in its most raw and beautiful form.
The joy and privilege of being wrapped in the arms of believers, or joining in wrapping arms around a sweet, struggling heart, is truly one of the most incredible sights.
There is abundant blessing.
There is transparency.
There is genuine love.
And there is safety, safety in those arms.
This, yes, this, is exactly what God intended for His church–for the family that is the body of Christ.
To not shirk back from the profound responsibility and privilege of delving, delving deep, into the lives of brothers and sisters.
To not be superficial in conversation. To not be too busy to take time to ask the tough, uncomfortable questions.
But Wednesday, I saw it. I saw what true fellowship–God-ordained, divinely designed fellowship–should look like.
It looked like eight tender hearts listening intently to eight emotion-filled, joy-filled testimonies. We laughed over the relateable moments, cried over the pain, and prayed through the power of Jesus Christ for hope and freedom.
And I was awed. The safety, the tenderness, the beauty of that room, it was humbling, as we sat at the feet of Jesus, and let His life and death bond us, and his pierced hands heal us.
The stories were hard. Life is hard. The Christian life is hard. The cost of discipleship is high. The enemy can wreak havoc. The pain can be immense.
But, with tears in my eyes, I walked out the door with an overwhelming sense of joy.
For the privilege of the family of Christ.
For these girls.
And for the gift of the safety of honesty among believers.
When was the last time you shared your testimony? When was the last time you asked someone to share their testimony, and together joined in worship? When was the last time you asked someone how they really are, and stopped long enough to really listen?
When was the last time you joined the Apostle Paul in “admonishing each one with tears”?
When did you last experience the beauty that is the body of Christ in its most raw form?
There is nothing like it.
Those relationships, those few moments of vulnerability, that one question can change a day, can change a life.
In fact, it may very well save a life.