Let's just start with a couple fun facts about me:
1. Almost every time we have something social to go to or people are coming over, or something of that sort, I tell Nick (or my mom for all the years I lived with her) that I don't want to go to said event or that I would rather just sit on my couch and chill.
2. I am not one to reach out and ask people to hangout. It is for sure one of my downfalls, and I wish I was better at it, but I'm just not. I think it comes with my love for all things comfy and homey. I like to sit with a candle burning, curled up in a blanket, wearing my stretchy pants.
3. I do not do it all right. Heck, I don't even do most of it right.
I always like movies, or books--eh, let's be honest, books aren't really my thing, so let's just stick to movies. I like movies that tell you the end of the story at the beginning, and then fill in the rest of the story after that, so, spoiler alert, here is the end of the story. These are the girls that filled my itty bitty house last night (a few aren't pictured), for our first bible study in HOUSTON.
When I lived in Austin, a group of about a dozen girls flooded my momma's house every Monday night. It was a fast, intense, raw kind of whirlwind, and while I started off being skeptical of the group, I ended up absolutely loving it. It was filled with girls from all different walks of life, and wisdom of all ages. We learned about the face of God while forming friendships to last a lifetime. It was what got us through the hard times, and it was filled with people we couldn't wait to share the good times with. I missed that, no, I mourned that loss when I moved to Houston.
It felt like day a million, although it was probably just like day 45 or something like that, in Houston, and it was bad. All the days were bad. I sobbed and begged Nick to take me home to Austin. I said I missed my people, and this place didn't have anything for me. I know, great wife things to tell your brand new husband who is getting up and going to work all day every day, and then coming home to do everything he can to make you feel loved and comfortable. Oops. I sat on my couch and called my mom bawling, but she didn't come to my rescue. Instead, she told me it was time to suck it up and find what I was looking for. It was time to make Houston MY home, not just the place I am living for now, until we can move back to Austin. That was not what I was expecting from my mom, but it was what I needed to hear. It was definitely a bitter pill to swallow, and it didn't happen right away, but eventually I woke up one morning and decided it was the day to find joy in this place, and to do that, I needed people. For that to happen, the best place I could think of was my church. Nick and I have a wonderful church that we love, but we were kind of just attending. Sneaking in on Sunday mornings and hurrying our way out after service. Nick was in a small group through our church that he really liked, but it felt like every time I tried to find something, anything, it fell flat. We tried a community group that I wasn't so fond of because it was a huge group of people that all knew each other, or at least it felt like they all knew each other, and I thought I didn't fit in. We signed up for a newlywed class that ended up not working with our schedule. I asked around about a girls' bible study but couldn't find one. That morning, I decided our best bet for finding people was to go back to the community group.
Nick got home from work that evening, and I said I wanted to give community group another try. He looked at me very puzzled, and said "really?" When I told him that I needed people and that community group was the only place I knew to go, he agreed to try it again with me, and I agreed to sincerely try to like it. So we went. It was awkward and uncomfortable the first time, but I was determined to make friends and determined to plug in. Every time there was a hangout, we went. Every time someone needed something, I was willing to do it. I would say we started making ourselves known and started plugging in, but then community group ended. For FIVE months. And I still missed having a small group of just girls, so I decided to make one.
I used my 20 seconds of insane courage (see Game Plan to know what I'm talking about) to make an announcement at our last community group about the bible study I was starting. I said, "Hey, I would love to have community, so I'm going to start a bible study at my house on Wednesday evenings. If you're interested, let me know and I will send you more information about it." That went against pretty much every part of my being. Inviting people makes me feel uncomfortable, and I like my quiet evenings at home. Wednesdays have been my evening at home all by myself since we got married. Nick has bible study on Wednesday, and I watch shows and eat snacks for dinner on Wednesday nights. I had established a routine that I thoroughly enjoyed. After I made my announcement at community group, I got WAY more responses than I was expecting. Girls emailed me saying they have been searching for this but just couldn't find it. They said they desperately wanted a group of just girls to grow with spiritually and to be in community. Last night, I had 8 girls fill my tiny house for some Mam-Maw's spaghetti (recipe coming NEXT WEEK), Nutella stuffed cookies, and a whole lot of Jesus. It was SO good y'all. It was exactly what my soul needed, what I've been looking for, and getting texts from girls last night after group saying things like "so great... needed that!" and "can't wait to see what God has in store for us!" told me that it was good for the souls of the girls I invited as well.
I did it, y'all! Yes, it is just the beginning, and yes, there is always the possibility that it will fizzle, but I believe that the Lord is gracious, and faithful, and good. SO good. I believe this group is going to be rich, and I can't wait to love these girls and to feel loved by them. #UnBreakThePeople sometimes means UnBreaking yourself first.