You reach for the brass door handle and pull. The seal of the door is broken, and the vacuum-packed freshness envelops your senses. You step inside and the warmth wraps around your soul like a wool scarf. Your whole body is enveloped by the aroma. Hearing the familiar hissing of steam works on your stress level like a pressure valve. You’ve entered a coffee shop, and you’re helpless. You give yourself to it. Surrender.
~Fresh Brewed Life by Nichole Johnson
Years ago I used to meet every Saturday morning with a small group of women. There were four of us and we’d gather in the clubhouse of our leader’s housing complex. I say leader because she is the one who called three completely separate women together. We didn’t know each other and didn’t have any preconceived notions. We trusted her and we would wake earrrrly every single Saturday morning. I wish I could remember how early but I want to say around 6am-ish.
I remember bundling up and driving across town in a freezing little white car. We’d enter and sit on couches in front of a fireplace and speak of God. I was relatively young in my faith and loved the discussions. My friend would spend all week preparing papers for us to go over. She’d ask questions and help to build up our biblical foundation.
I can not tell you how incredibly thankful I am for those days. I am grieved to say that the enemy separated us. We parted ways in such a manner that my heart still mourns at the loss. I wonder what we could have been like had we fought for one another. We were all a mess. Four spirit filled messes. I don’t know what could have been but I’m thankful for what was.
It should say a lot if I’m still talking about our little discipleship group to this day. Nearly ten years later. I don’t converse with many people without bringing up this history.
It was beautiful.
We were tired. Had we been living in the flesh we wouldn’t have been so crazy to wake so early every week. Three of us had little babies. But this weekly routine was a must. It would rejuvenate our weary souls. We would encourage one another. We would pray for each other. It was a time of learning and a time of loving.
I long for women like that again. Being more mature I wonder what it could be like now. Not a fake small-group-from-church kind of meeting. I’ve been a part of those and have been burned too many times. I want a group of broken and messy women who long to have their lives look like Christ. To desire to wake at the crack of dawn without make-up on to get our souls fed. To make that sacrifice because we want to also spend time with our families that day. Not to sacrifice time with our family so we can have “girl time.” Do you understand what I’m talking about? Do you understand what a beautiful mess that can be?
So I’ll continue to pray and seek out broken women seeking after Him. You should to. Keep your group small so you can keep it intimate. Four seemed to be the perfect little number for us. Even if only one person showed up we could have private time with the Lord. But, for us, it was typically 3-4 weary ladies. Eager to share about our week. Eager to hear about the others. Seeking truths and prayers.
Find yourself a messy group of women and dedicate time to them.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
-Titus 2:11-14 ESV