So because of that, I have passed on many things that I think would be great, but I simply could not justify being away from my kids any longer than I already am, because I know that they won't be little forever. One of those things is doing any sort of Bible study type group with other women. But as our church has gotten larger and I have had the opportunity to gain more leadership and responsibility, I have also noticed my list of friends (not acquaintences but real friends) has gotten shorter and shorter.
Then I started to believe the lie. The lie that is simply this - "My job is to help cultivate community for others and in doing so, community is something I will have to sacrifice for myself." And I was ok believing this because at the time of the origination of this lie, I worked with many of my best friends everyday.
*Side-note: For those of you on church staffs - Yes, you can be best friends with the other pastors on your church staff. I know it sounds like utopia to some of you other pastors out there, but I have been living it for the past 7 years, it is possible. I am working a on a future blog post about this, STAY TUNED!
But then just a couple weeks ago, many of my best friends relocated offices across town. In February, we opened a new multi-site location about 20 minutes away and in order to be more engaged in the community they were reaching, the staff of that campus relocated offices to that side of town.
After they were gone and the offices were emptied, the loneliness and isolation set in. I wish I could say that I got past myself and began building community with the many people that I had so rudely made no real effort to get to know over the past 7 years, but I did not. Instead I began to isolate, put up a wall, shut off and believe whole heartedly, "My job is to help cultivate community for others and in doing so, community is something I will have to sacrifice for myself."
At the same time I began reading Restless by Jennie Allen. And, throughout the entire book she encourages the reader to read the book with a small group of people to help work through some of the concepts or "threads" as she calls it. I, of course, thought, "Ehhh…I am fine. I can do it on my own. And, when would I have that time to do that anyway?"
(Cue the Holy Spirit) - "You need to do this in a group."
Me: "I would love too (insert sarcasm), but with work and family when will I have time? I mean if you just show me when, then I am there!"
HS: "Why don't you get a group of ladies at your office together to do the study?"
Me: "Because, I don't really know most of the ladies at my office anymore. That sounds a little too vulnerable for my taste."
Me: "Dang. Ok."
So, this Tuesday, May 20th there is a group of 8 ladies at my office starting the study Restless and we would love for you to join us! We are planning on meeting every Tuesday with the exception of a week or two here and there. On Tuesday evenings I will blog a recap, a few highlights, some discussion questions/topics from that weeks reading and give the reading assignment for the next week. I would love to invite you to be a a part of our group via the blog. In fact, the first 3 people to comment with the phrase "I am in" on this post and then share this blog post via Facebook or Twitter will get away a free Restless book and study guide!
Here is the assignment for this week (completed by Tuesday, May 20th):
Read Ch. 1 - 6 of Restless and complete getting started of the study guide
If you join in late, that is not problem. But do make sure to catch up, this isn't really a jump in halfway through kind of study, it really builds week to week. I can't wait to go through this journey with you! Talk to you Tuesday!