3.5 months ago I found myself tired. Tired of trying to be. Like one of those puzzle pieces you can’t find a spot for so you just shove into a spot it looks like it should fit into. But it just won’t fit no matter how hard you press it in or how much you bend it. It’s not meant to fit there because it has its own special place it belongs. A place where it doesn’t need to change itself, it just needs to be. We too don’t need to try to be anything, we need only be.
Of course there is a transformation process any believer must undergo if they are surrendered to God. But it is not our works that bring about genuine transformation, it is our faith in Christ activating an unraveling with in our hearts.
Following Jesus is an undoing, a metamorphosis that just happens organically when a person is submitted to the Holy Spirit within them.
I was kind of trying to help the Holy Spirit work in my life. Sacrificing this and that, without realizing that God just wanted me to simply be the sacrifice.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].”(ROMANS 12:1-2 AMP)
I had set myself apart from the world but was trying to force a budding to the next level in life without truly renewing my mind and therefore I was not really walking in the will of God.
God is after my heart not my list of good works.
What good is advancing in life if I am still shackled to my past strongholds? But I didn’t realize I was a prisoner, so God changed my circumstances so that I would wake up and see what He saw. And as always, it worked.
With the intimidating changes taking place in my life, my husband and I sought counsel and decided to take a break from ministry work. Amidst car trouble and my husband’s job situation I heard God tell me to start looking for a group to join through Gateway Church. Being the new girl, alone, with no friends to fill in the awkwardness was a humbling experience. My kids got to play with other kids and relationship. I got to put myself out there and meet other women who love Jesus! The initial group I attended just wasn’t for me, but I still left so filled up and refreshed that I knew God was up to something here. So i kept looking for the small group that I knew God was leading me to. After about a week of searching and attending different groups, I came across a women’s playgroup for mom’s and their kids. It was one of the less glamorized groups I came across. There was no huge description of what the group would include. No ‘todo list’, no requirements other than the fact that you might want to be a mom because who else would be crazy enough to attend a group full of moms chasing kids? So i embraced my crazy mom life and decided, “what do I have to lose?”.
Yes!!!! I love writing that out and revisiting that moment in my life! I had no idea then the incredible road that I was hesitantly putting a foot onto!
I got the kids dressed and we were on our way! I wasn’t even nervous because I had little hope that I would actually become a part of this group due to the many groups I had previously attended to no avail.
Pulling into the neighborhood I realized that it was the same neighborhood my husband and I took our engagement pictures in. That’s how beautiful of a home edition it is! So maybe there was a little intimidation began to roil in my stomach. Regardless, I showed up to the group leader’s house early, didn’t want to be that early lady and have to make awkward one-on-one conversation with a stranger, so I did what any normal person would do. I sat in my car. I began reading the next chapter I was on in my Bible. It was all about healing. Okay cool! Then it was time to start. So I unloaded the kids and we went in. That day changed the course of my journey with God.
I made quick friends with everyone. Conversations were as smooth as butter. My kids had a blast with all of the other kids. We talked about God in our lives and then we shared prayer requests. And you would never guess it, but the woman sitting beside me requested a serious healing. What are the odds that i had just received a word from God that He is the God who heals?!
“For I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26)
We laid hands on her and prayed that healing in. This entire first day in the group did not feel like work, every person I met loved on me as much as I loved on them. Did I mention Victoria really did get healed?Praise Jehovah Rapha-the Lord who heals!
Now 3.5 months later it has still been incredibly Christ-like and Spirit-filled. Through many laughs and tears, I believe that this group has shown me what the body of Christ was intended to look like.
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”(Acts 2:44-47 NKJV)
This description of the first church is a clear image of how these women and I relationship with each other and with our Heavenly Father.
These girls have poured out their hearts to me and I to them. Every relationship has been a two way road instead of the one way street relationships I had unintentionally pursued and burned out in. I’ve learned so much about true leadership in Christ through these sisters.
To be a leader is to be a servant to all and to genuinely love people.
I have submitted myself to doing both over the duration of this group and I have truly blossomed into a new person because of the work of Christ in me.
God has showed up every single time we have met up, whether it was an official group meeting or just 2 of us girls having lunch. The Lord has blessed our tribe and brought us all together, each woman bringing a different gifting and purpose to the group. I am so thankful for these ladies and all of my sisters in Christ (not excluding those of not in this group)! I am so thankful for God’s strength in me to take that leap of faith and join a small group!
I am so thankful for God humbling me to take a step back from trying to be a leader. All so in becoming a servant for His kingdom I would become a true leader, shining the unhindered light of Christ. God is so good. No one in this group of women is perfect, but we all cheer each other on and encourage one another to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
If you have not found your tribe, or feel like you don’t belong, please look into Gateway Church and their many small groups! If you aren’t in the DFW then look around at your local churches for a group to get plugged into. It’s never too late to just be yourself and let God lead you. Be intentional with your relationships and seek what God has for your life! We all need accountability partners, true friends to run beside us in this race of life to win!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)
Growing in Faith Playgroup 2017
5 thoughts on “Growing in Faith”
This is so beautiful and inspiring.
I absolutely love when you spoke about trying to help the Holy Spirit by sacrificing this and that, when He simply wants us to be the sacrifice… I can so totally relate… thanks so much for sharing.
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Thank you so much for that encouragement!! I needed it. Blessings!!!
Your story is such an encouragement to me in this season. I am a bit of a loner but God has been urging me to open my world to others.
So I have been challenged to make the first step….
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Thank you for those words of affirmation! I really was a loner too, I still enjoy my time alone with God but have definitely found joy and value in community. I will pray for your journey in this area!
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Thank you Lacey.
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