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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Small group

Last night was my first time at the small group that I joined at the new (is it still "new" after 4 1/2 months? As compared to 35 years in the Catholic church...yes) church. I didn't know anyone in the group, though the friend who dragged me to the church assured me I'd like the leader.

It was very different. As I've mentioned here more than once, I'm not one who's really comfortable talking about God to other people except one or two certain people. In addition, the vocabulary/terminology in this church is very different from the way I grew up. I think everything in quotes still..."saved", "the enemy", etc. It's not a natural way of thinking or talking for me. And praying--or listening to--prayers that aren't rote prayers is a big change, too.

Don't get the idea that I don't like it. I do. I get much more out of the services and feel closer to God (or, at least, closer to being closer to God, if that makes any sense), but I'm definitely out of my zone of comfort. Add that to the fact that all of these people were strangers...well, it was a little unsettling.

The leader did some talking and we did some talking. I am really making an effort to listen to other people rather than always thinking about and jumping in with what I have to say, but I did have some things to contribute. One of the men talked about having been almost immediately delivered from some pretty big things and how his wife hadn't really liked it because he didn't want to watch the same types of movies and do the same types of things as before. I commented that the change is so hard for the people around us to deal with and shared how Jeff is less than thrilled with my new church attendance...and laughingly added that his name was Jeff, and there I was sitting between two men named Jeff!

The end is what really made an impression on me, though. The leader passed around a notebook for us to write our prayer intentions on. I wrote what was strongest in my heart, which was increase my faith. After the notebook got back to Marcy, she said that she was going to pray over each intention. She went around the room, did mine, continued through the circle. Then, at the end, she prayed for Jeff and for our marriage. I don't remember everything she said, but she talked about increasing the communication between us and him growing closer to God rather than this coming between us.

I hadn't talked about "problems" between us at all other than his discomfort with the change, but some do exist. Nothing earth-shattering, but the everyday cracks and crevices that seem to erode further every day. And everything she prayed about for us is something that we really need; it was much more than what I had mentioned to the group. I was in tears as she prayed. I just really felt like it was revealed to her what we needed. So, while I truly hope her second prayer for me is answered, my prayer to increase my faith was definitely heard.

In the end, I was SO glad I had gone. I just felt happy afterwards. I did feel a sense of community, one that has been somewhat lacking there for me. I've mostly gone with the friends who initially invited me, and I've met one other couple I've felt like have become at least friendly acquaintences, but that was it. I think, through this group, I will definitely become more a part of the church.

2 comments:

  1. Oh Kate...

    I just find more and more just how very much I like you! =) I hope that one day we have a chance to meet in person.

    I loved you D'oh story because that sounds like stuff that would happen to me!

    I love your heart... venturing out of your comfort zone into a new deal is always a challenge. I believe that God was blessed by your honesty and your intentions. He will increase your faith and answer your prayers in unexpected ways. I will keep praying for Jeff and for your relationship and the little cracks.

    Have a great day and a fabulous weekend! Please know that you have made me smile today!

    Love,
    Bonnelle

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  2. I was also raised Catholic (sorry if I already told you that--lol)--and I know exactly the way you feel when you describe how the language differs so much from what we were accustomed to in the Catholic church. Last year my husband and I also joined a small "family group" at our church. It made such an impact on our faith as we have made some very strong connections and friendships that we wouldn't have made otherwise. I treasure the people we've met and the lessons I've learned from their experiences and struggles in their own walks as Christians. So glad that you have found a place where you are made comfortable in sharing your faith and struggles with others who can inspire you!

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