I am beyond honored to lead the best small group of which I have ever been a part. Eleven ladies who come together on a weekly basis to share life, laugh, cry, pray, and dance. We are learning so much about ourselves and about our group, especially recently. We have walked through some hard things and are becoming better people and a better group because of it. I am confident that God brought us together with perfect timing and care. In our time together we have already experienced so much: new jobs, new relationships, family struggles, breakups, travels, birthdays (we LOVE birthdays), puppies, and more. The amount of life we have already walked through together is only a slight preview of what is to come.
We call ourselves the sunflowers. We talk about weddings. We watch youtube videos. We pray hard for each other and everyone else we know.
I wrote something for them this week and want to share it with everyone else. Because I saw how when things got hard, we responded with incredible love for one another. We decided this was something worth fighting for, not something we were willing to quit or give up. So this is for my sunflowers; how I love you.
We have developed a deep care and ferocious loyalty to one another. We have learned to hurt with each other, and to feel what the others are feeling. We are celebrators of all things good and supporters when things are bad. We would go to battle for each other, we want the best for each other, and that is a beautiful community. We want a place where people feel safe, welcome, cared for – a place where people know they belong.
We are each other’s people – we will sit with one another in the hard stuff and the mess, without trying to fix it or put a Bible-verse band aid over it. We will acknowledge the struggle, without judgment or shame.
We will be honest and vulnerable, free to be who we are and be where we are at. We give permission to speak truth to one another when we have earned the right to do so.
We will seek the LORD and His will for our lives together, walking side by side as we grow closer to Him. We will challenge, encourage, support, and love each other, gracefully and intentionally.
We will help each other know how LOVED and WHOLE and WORTHY we all are, and that even on our worst days, we are Image Bearers of the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We will remind each other of how God sees us when we cannot see it ourselves. We will hope, dream, pray, worship, cry, love, and belong – with each other.
We will believe, even when it’s hard, that God has brought us together and God does not make mistakes.
Psalm 18:30 “This God – His way is perfect.”
Find a group that can be this for you. Find community where you go from a birthday celebration to a deep heart to heart conversation to a Backstreet Boys dance party. Find community where you may not necessarily connect with every person perfectly, but where you will be challenged to love better and more fully. Learn to be vulnerable, open yourself up to love, trust that they will be with you no matter the ugly you are experiencing. Believe that this was Jesus’ model for us – a small group of people who will learn, grow, challenge, sometimes disappoint, but always offer grace to one another. It is hard, but it is worth it.
Love you lots, friends.