Before you start to get your hopes up and let your mind wander as to what type of JOURNEY we are on.... I'll just clear the air right now. It's not another adoption journey (not as of yet anyway.... :)
I wanted to share with you all (the few faithful followers that I have) the new JOURNEY we are on. It's a Christ-centered, relationship-building, experience-sharing, unity-forming, friendship-developing, family-resembling, wisdom-seeking, growth-encouraging group of people, assembled together, each Wednesday night - to JOURNEY through life together - with a few simple goals in mind... focusing on Christ, ministering to each other and ministering to our community. It's a new group and I'm so excited that Tim and I are a part of it.
We joined this "small group" or "Journey group" through our church. We have been in and out of this church for quite some time, but have not found ourselves "planted" there. It is a big church and it's easy to get in and get out - unless you have a reason to stick around. I've developed a relationship outside of the church with a mom of one of Cameron's friends. Her husband leads our Journey group. We decided on the Journey group as a way to be "planted".
The Journey Group is a new concept to this church. Basically, it's this. It's seven defined couples, who meet together weekly (the couples never change), hopefully develop trust and friendships amongst one another and we meet each Wednesday to discuss the message from the previous Sunday, touch base mid-week, do some application, and finally for fellowship (and of-course, some good food). Besides growing in God's word, the goal of these groups is to really develop a "family" within the church... a small group of people who you can really get to know, share with and rely on.
How many people can you call at 3:00 in the morning, because you have a prayer need that is really bothering you and you need someone to talk to, or to just pray with/for you? Maybe you find yourself in the midst of some temptation that is going to take you off of that straight and narrow road, and you need someone you can trust to talk to... someone who has taken the time to get to know you, who you know CARES about you, and who you know will pray for you. Your Journey family is that group of people who you know you can call in the middle of the night. Sure, in a real emergency, I guess you can talk to the pastor, give him a call - but maybe you want to call a FRIEND... or maybe your concern is not "pastor-necessary" just "faithful friend" necessary. You call your Journey family.
It was day 1 of our Journey group today and I really don't think I've ever felt more at home. Now, mind you - there were five at least partial couples (some "better halves" were missing from a few groups due to illness) that I had never met before in my life. I've probably never even seen them at church - and somehow, instantly, I felt comfortable in this group of people. They are all distinctly different people. Some have small children, some have grown children, some have grandchildren - but they were all there for one purpose and one purpose only - to meet, and to establish relationships to unify the body of Christ.
I personally have a hard time establishing relationships in a large, group setting. Having this small group meeting, at someone's house, with seven couples that NEVER change, is perfect for me. When I was first learning about these Journey groups, they were described to me as "life groups"... a group of people you journey through life with - people you can share the ups and downs with, people who you will be comfortable when they, as Christians, walk through the valley with you in times of need, and who stand on the mountain top with you when you celebrate life's victories! I'm really looking forward to learning more about each of the couples in our group, getting to know their families, ministering to each of them and sharing God's Word with them!
If I've learned one thing recently, it's that God speaks to people differently through His Word, and that you can learn something from each application that someone shares with you. Something you never thought of, becomes clear through sharing God's Word with a friend. With 14 friends, the applications are endless!
I'm really looking forward to what God is going to reveal to me through this group! Looking forward to all 2012 has to offer and seeing where this "Journey" will take us!