I want to start this post by declaring two things: First, I am so in love with Jesus! And second, I am so beyond thankful for the community of believers who make up my small group!
Recently, I met with one of my virtual small groups from Church, and when Scripture says that the body of believers is a powerful thing (check out 1 Corinthians 12:27-31), don’t doubt it. The time that we spent together was so intimate, and truly a breath of life-giving air in a season where it can be so easy to forget to stop and breath.
Our leader asked us to share how that week had gone by sharing something that was light in our life, and then something that was weighing heavily on us. As I was thinking about how I was going to approach my answer, I was a bit hesitant about if I wanted to pull back my mask (all my perfectionists out there know what I’m talking about) and honestly open up. If I was being brutally honest, the last few weeks had been very tough on my marriage. There were times that I felt alone (even though you can never truly be alone as a believer in Christ), and lost in a cycle of doubt.
By God’s grace I was not the first group member to answer our leader’s prompt–if I had been, I’m not completely sure if I would have shared how things were REALLY going. However, the two ladies who went before me did an amazing thing! The vulnerability and transparency that they showed tore down my walls and created an even safer place to open up. A common realization that began to unfold for me was that I was not the only one who was facing the normal difficulties of marriage, only to be amplified by what seems to be an unending quarantine. Screaming at husbands for the dumbest things, getting overly frustrated with children and every other little trigger possible, and overall being on a roller coaster of emotions only scratched the surface of some of the common struggles that were shared.
I bring all of this up to say that when you’re in the thick of something difficult, it’s easy to feel like you’re on an island; this is exactly what the Devil wants us to believe–we are in this alone, and that will never change. This, however, is the furthest thing from the Truth. We are not in this life alone, we are not the only ones with issues–I guarantee you that even those Pinterest-worthy families on social media are having some not so Pinterest-worthy moments.
“when you’re in the thick of something difficult, it’s easy to feel like you’re on an island”
After our call ended, I texted my husband. “First, I am so in love with Jesus! And second, I am so beyond thankful for the community of believers who make up my small group!” I then went on to apologize for some of my reactions that I’m not proud of, and for also believing the lie that we were the only newlyweds experiencing turmoil in the midst of an unexpected 2020.
A lot of relationships (marriages, friendships, parent-child bonds, co-worker collaboration, etc.) are struggling with showing up as their best selves right now; to that, I pray that extending grace is the normal approach, and not the exception. Nonetheless, that’s what’s so great about Jesus, and doing life in community with other believers. We can not only share our circumstances, but opening up is immediately greeted with reminders of the truth and power of Christ Jesus in our lives.
I have three challenges for you going into this week:
- Open Up. This can spark some beautiful conversations.
- Be a Grace Extender to Others.
- #quarantinelife is HARD, but remember that you are not in it alone. ⠀
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”