More than a couple of months ago, I joined a discipleship group for women. It was a step of faith, and a big step out of my comfort zone. You see, for the past years, I have been contented going to church services on my own. I do know a handful of people at church. Sometimes, I would meet friends and say hi and hello, maybe have lunch or snack together and talk after the service. But that was an occasional thing. Most times, I go to and leave the church building on my own.
Few years ago, in another church I attended, I did join a group of women who meet weekly. Back then however, I seem to stick out from the rest. Most of them are young adults just barely out of teens and I was in my early 30’s already that time. It was hard for me to relate to them. Not that it was their fault. They were very nice and friendly women of faith. I guess, they were too nice and good for someone like me with a lot of personal and family issues. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be in their group.
Well just recently, and in a new church setting, I tried to engage once again, saying to myself that I will be faithful to attend the group meetings no matter who they are this time and whether I could blend in or not. I was doing it out of obedience and to set a good example to my nephews for them to follow. I have to walk the talk, so to speak. I did pray to God to send me to a group where I would grow more in faith.
At the start, I don’t know if I was in the right group. I felt the usual awkwardness of a new comer, of trying to remember names and faces and interacting with everyone. Then there were the “difficulties” that I need to personally battle. One is sharing something personal in a group of women I barely know, and another is praying out loud. I was so used to being by my lonesome self that these things were difficult for me. It is easier for me to talk in writing rather than actually speaking out.
These women are single, young professionals, age ranging from early 20’s to mid 30’s, with only the group leader and myself in our early 40’s. I’m still advanced in years and yet strangely, the past two months, I have sort of forged a bond with them already. Somehow, I am blending in. I still feel awkward at times but I am interacting more with them.
What’s the difference with this group? Early on, I got to know more of them personally through their sharing. And I have seen that many of them share the same brokenness or have dysfunctional people in their families, not too different from my own experience. They were good people, but not projecting an air of perfection and spotlessness. They were normal women with real issues and are honest enough to tell their stories and to ask for prayers from everyone.
I also feel their authenticity, that when they talk with me or ask about me, it is not just to pass the time, but that they really show interest in getting to know me. Oh how I wish I could tell them my story, but we will come to that later on. One of them knows already, and I am so blessed by her, for being the one that I have to tell about my life.
These women have shown me what a small church community is like. They share the same faith and with an intensity that makes me want to be like them as well, strongly rooted in faith in Jesus Christ. As we do our weekly bible study, we learn from one another. And just as they show real concern for one another, I am also learning to pay attention and to pray for them as well. Their concerns have become mine as well.
Sometimes, I still get nervous or fidgety when it is my turn to speak or pray. But that has never been deterrent in my showing up every Tuesday to meet these wonderful ladies.
I thank God for my sisters in Christ Jesus. I am so blessed! I believe God put me in this group for a perfect reason and for His good purposes. And they are there to help me in my faith journey.
Somehow, I know I fit in there… because God made it so.