We will be here for two years, we said. Then we’ll go home to Alabama, we said. But that was before we met them. The ones we would spend Wednesday evenings with.
We have spent Wednesday nights laughing and eating and talking. Growing and searching and praying. Wednesday nights turned into Saturday hikes and snow day sledding and back yard barbeques. It has looked like birthday parties and babies being born and people to sit with at church. Our small group has become our people. We love our church as a whole and our small group has become the window through which we experience it.
It all started as a risk we had to take. The risk of signing up and showing up. We had no idea who we would meet or how we would be challenged to grow through this group, but we signed up and committed to be there and God has blessed that. You see, He knew who we would meet and the ways in which He would challenge us through the content we studied and the discussions we had in the group. He knew our hearts and the ways in which they needed to grow. He asked us simply to obey. To commit to a small group of Christians, to be vulnerable with them about what is going on in our lives. In being vulnerable and honest- we have been prayed for and encouraged, advocated for and emboldened.
God intends for us to live in community with one another and we are experiencing the joys of carrying out this intention He has for our lives. Now it is time for graduation, and our Blacksburg season is expiring. We are met with grief as we release these relationships God has provided for us to steward. We say “see you soon” to the soul-level friends we will surely take with us into future seasons of life. I can’t help but think of the first-century church, as I reflect on our time in this small group:
“All the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had…..They worshipped together at the temple, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity- all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:44-47)