Choose to Connect

I sat in my car for five minutes. Then ten. Then almost twenty. I can’t do this God. I cannot do this. They’ll see. They’ll see the real me and they’ll hate it. I scrolled through my Instagram as I tried to talk myself out of it. I have friends. I’m good. I don’t really have to do this. Right? I had led small groups before. Leading is easy for me. Leading gives me a sense of control. But this was different.

I made the decision earlier that year to get involved with a life coach to try to help me create a plan for some areas of my life I wanted to work on and grow in. Side note: a counselor helps you try to figure out what’s wrong with you. A life coach works with you to help figure out what’s right with you and how to expound on it. You should try it. It’s awesome.

Part of my homework from this life coach was to join a small group of ladies who were meeting in a home once a week. All different ages, from all different backgrounds, but with two things in common. They all loved Jesus, and they all had been through something they wanted to overcome. They were looking to take the next step and to grow spiritually. “It’s going to be a safe opportunity for you to really open up and be vulnerable and honest with others about how you feel and what you’ve been through.” Yikes. She might as well have offered an opportunity to swim with sharks or skydive without a parachute. I was terrified.

Even the greatest extrovert among us will agree that there are parts of ourselves that we never share with others. Vulnerability takes work. It takes guts. It can be rough to commit to meeting with a group of strangers and purpose to be honest and show your heart to them. Relationships can be scary in an age where we have allowed technology to replace them. Social media can be a powerful tool, but it’s also poisoned the well so to speak. The phrase “click to connect” can be misleading. There’s no substitute for face-to-face human interaction. The Bible says so in Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So I sat in my car and waited for the rapture. I literally prayed that Jesus would come back in a cloud of glory right then and there so I wouldn’t have to get out of the car. But I had said that I would join this group. I gave my word. So after 20 minutes I got out of the car, walked to the door, and knocked. And so began one of the greatest experiences of healing the Lord has ever lead me through.

Almost a year later, my Thursday night group still meets. We laugh together. We worship together. We pray together. We cry together. We study God’s Word together. These women have heard some of the darkest secrets of my heart. And they love me for it. They have helped to awaken dreams within me I thought had died. They are a life line. And I almost didn’t get out of the car. That’s the scariest part. What if I had never gone in the house that first night? What if I had missed this connection? I shudder to think of where I would be if that were the case.

The new semester of Connect Groups launches this Sunday, August 25th. It’s not too late for you to join a group! With 66 groups, there’s something for everyone. Sure, it can be nerve wracking to think of opening up to a group of people you may not know well. But it’s even scarier to think of all you might miss out on if you don’t put yourself out there. Sign up for a group today. Choose to connect. You might be surprised at what happens!

-Aly Croy