I stopped off for lunch one day at a place near my office, and got seated in a corner table. The tables were close together, so I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the table of older women seated next to me. I smiled as I listened to them follow-up with each other on grandchildren’s first steps, someone’s health, and how the school year was going for one of their sons. They seemed to be old friends, invested in each other’s lives and I envisioned a group of my friends, with silver hair doing the same thing. After they finished their meals, they each pulled out a bible and started their study. 2 Samuel 11, the story of David and Bathsheba. This is a story that I am familiar with, and by this point, I was practically sitting with them, listening as they discussed. (This is not my first time hijacking someone’s lunch)These 3 women met at their job, and have been meeting once a week for 10 years. It took them 7 years to go through the bible. These women sit in a circle each week, sharing in their lives, their faith, and in the word.
My preacher often talks about the importance of sitting in circles as opposed to rows at church. What I’m finding is that circles come in different sizes. Circles can overlap. Circles evolve.
I have been lucky enough to be a part of many circles in the past few years. I walked away from my first circle having met one of my dearest friends…Kristen Woodburn, I’m looking at you! Another circle focused on the basics of the bible, and it was there that I recognized just how much of my life was lived in this world, and not His world. Because of the foundation of this group, I now crave, with all of my heart, a relationship with God. I recognize the importance of quiet time, and although I fall short, am trying to make it a habit. I owe so much to those women.
My current circle formed out of established close friendships. We met at our first job after college. We led flashy lives and called the nightlife of Atlanta our second home. Somehow, after 7 years, we all made it through and found our way back to a life that revolved around family, faith and fellowship. One conversation about missing the accountability that comes from a small group led to us discussing how we all were missing the part of a growing relationship that you can only get from digging into the word. And thus, one evening, we decided to pick a book and meet. No pressure. No commitment. Just friends, gathering in a living room for a few hours every other week. We have been meeting, without commitment or pressure, for 9 months now. It’s been a really wonderful experience to be surrounded by these women, these friends, as we stumble through understanding the bible, stumble through life changes, and stumble through disappointments.
I was talking with my mom about bible studies, because she and dad were in one growing up. They are still friends, good friends, with the couples that they walked through life with in their study. Mom’s takeaway from that time together is that they all were able to encourage and support each other during a time when they had teenagers. I am unsure exactly what she’s talking about because my brother wasn’t any trouble as a teenager, and I have always been a delight for my parents, even as a teenage girl. But, suffice to say, the bible study provided them a support group, to go alongside the Word. And couldn’t we all use a powerful group of prayer warriors to walk alongside us during this life?
Each of these groups was something that I just felt led to do. An opportunity presented itself, and I just said “yes”. “Yes” to the initial grouplink at Buckhead Church where I went alone. “Yes” to BLC the women’s group who pushed my faith. “Yes” to the wayward email that I received about a leadership meeting. “Yes” to a mission trip. “Yes” to a women’s leadership group. Each has been a scary step because I’ve gone alone, but in retrospect, I find that each of those steps has been a great step. A step in faith.
So, I guess I just say all this to show my thankfulness to those women who have come in to my life. I am a better person for having known you.
Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
Amanda, I have never met you but I happened along your blog by way of Allison Rizk’s blog. I enjoy reading your blog very much. Your stories touch me and give me encouragement. Keep up the good work, you have fans that enjoy reading your stories.
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