August 06, 2013

The Bible Study That Became a Lifeline

(I'm linked up with Kelly's Korner blog today where it's all about women's groups and connecting with each other.)

A year and a half ago I walked out of a Bible study, trying desperately to be less of a distraction than I'd already been for the previous fifteen minutes. My carefully planned Thursday morning routine that had worked for the previous five months suddenly wasn't working.

I had a nearly-six month old that was no longer content to sit and stare at his mama while she soaked in time in the Word with other women. I was younger than every other woman in my group by a decade or more. I could tell they were trying to be sympathetic to my son's outbursts but you can only smile politely so many times while trying to hear the teacher on the screen.

So I walked out, found the leader of this inter-denominational, multi-group study, and asked her to tell me about the young mom's group. The one I told myself I wouldn't be interested in because I didn't do mom's groups.

Thankfully God saw what I couldn't and spared me from much foolishness. Just as I was asking her about it another girl walked by and she said, Oh, this is one of the leaders of that group! She can give you all the information you need!

That girl was Sarah. A girl that nearly two years later would walk closely with me through the terrifying diagnosis of our girl's congenital heart defect and subsequently her passing in my belly at 30 weeks. A girl that came to the hospital at a moment's notice to document the life and passing of our girl. A girl that would rally countless others to love our family so lavishly in our darkest times that it still blows my mind.

This is Sarah and I at Baby Grace's funeral.

Meeting Sarah was just the beginning. It was my introduction to this young mom's Bible study that has become a lifeline for me. A place where we come cloaked in authenticity, not masks. A safe place for sharing our best and our worst. A place where we can ask for prayer in our Facebook group and a dozen friends respond back that they're praying, asking how they can help.

These are the girls at the fundraiser they put together on behalf of Baby Grace.

We celebrate with each other. We cry with each other. We encourage. We exhort. We speak life and truth and grace. We choose to show up week after week, convinced that together is better than alone.

But it didn't happen overnight. I didn't have these friends and connection after the first week. Or even the first session. It took showing up every week. It took saying yes to that first play date invitation. And the next one. It took willingness to open up and be vulnerable, to admit I don't actually have it all together. And week after week, month after month, something happened. Relationship happened. Closeness happened.

At our Christmas party last year.

And it happens still. Week after week. Study after study.

So if you're that mom who feels more unknown than known, who wonders if you're the only one who struggles with her kids or her life, who wishes for that safe place to be honest and transparent, who wants to grow in knowledge and love of God and his Word, we'd love to have you.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 
Hebrews 10:24-25

3 comments:

  1. ok - this is officially my favorite one so far. such a BEAUTIFUL picture of the body of christ. thank you for sharing. love it.

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    1. Thank you, Courtney. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing. :)

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  2. I’m so sorry about what happened to Baby Grace, Sarah. The best thing you can get from attending bible study, aside from gaining knowledge with the Word, is the opportunity to meet new people and sympathize with them. It’s good to hear that they’re with you when you need each other the most.

    Ja @TheInstituteFW.org

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