I’ve been in Bible studies/small groups/prayer groups/discipleship groups/accountability groups since before middle school. I am only in my 20s, so I know I don’t know the half of it. or even the eighth of it, but I do feel like I know a little something. There are several reasons to join a group like this:
- To study and know the Bible (you think this is a given, but it isn’t always).
- To be in community and grow and learn from other women and men.
- To pray for one another and together.
- To challenge one another and hold one another accountable to the things we say we believe but don’t always put into practice.
- Other reasons I am sure I am forgetting in my pregnant stupor.
I have been in groups that have done some or one of these things above well, but the best groups have always done all of these things. Those groups are rare, but life changing.
A friend recently asked me what I loved most about the Bible study groups I was a part of in California (I mentioned them in the previous post). Honestly, God knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Below is what I wrote to her:
My Bible Study was amazing for several reasons. It was just the normal women’s study at our church in SF, but the first year (when I was pregnant with #cavebaby) I was in a group of young moms with kids ranging from just born to 9 or 10. WOW! What an incredible experience to learn with them and from them about the Lord and His word along with all the wisdom, prayer and support they showed for one another in all things parenting small children. The timing was just SO PERFECT. We studied the books of Nehemiah and Daniel and I learned not only about God, His Word, but also real life application. Just a great group.
Every year they switch up the groups which I was sad about but understood. Knowing I was just going to be living there for 2-3 years, I was really praying to stay in that group that seemed so perfect for 2 years to continue to deepen those relationships. Well, the second year starts and I am in a group where the person closest in age to me is probably in her late 40s/ early 50s. And she doesn’t come every week. The next youngest person has sons my age and the rest were all in their 70s/80s/90s.
“One of these things is not like the others…and it is the redhead with an infant”
I was totally skeptical and my small group leader told me that she almost came to me after the first week to let me know if I wanted to switch, that I could. She didn’t approach me about this and I am very thankful because the things I learned in that room from women who have seen it all (cancer, widowhood, children battling deadly addictions, cross country moves, etc…) will stick with me. I don’t mean this in a cocky way, but I am typically never (probably/actually never) the person in the room that knows the least about the Bible. This is for several reasons, but mostly because I have always been in a church, school setting or group that has studied the Bible. I know I don’t know much still, but I typically can hold my own in a room. Not this room. And I am so thankful for that.
These women’s dedication and love for God’s word and prayer was astounding. They weren’t just talking about it like so many people my age – they were doing it day in and day out. Praying for hours, giving so much of their time and resources to those in need, digging deeply into the Bible so they could truly test and approve their faith. And they LOVED me and #cavebaby SO much. He reminded almost all of them of their grand children. And great grandchildren. It was a time in which I knew that they were praying for me and I knew I felt so cared for. It was incredible. We loved our church in SF and we are definitely missing it. It was also incredible because of my small group leader. This woman oozed joy. I mean, if you could literally ooze joy, she would.
I am now back in DC and have joined the group that I was a part of three years ago. I LOVE THESE WOMEN and this is the kind of group in which you really dig deep and learn SO much about the Bible. And I know they are praying for me too. I am excited to dive into this next chapter.