Jesus had 12 disciples that He counted on, shared with, taught…and of that 12 He had a circle of three – James, John and Peter. His trusted 3.
I have had a lot to process upon coming home from Smithers and my last core. The teaching was so rich but also I’ve been in the process of mourning something I left there…my group of 5. When you share the deepest parts of your heart and soul in a group, when you know, without a shadow of a doubt that you are genuinely loved and covered in prayer -you become a band of brothers and sisters. You know one another in relationship, in my opinion, in the way God truly means for us to “do church”. It becomes all about love and relationship. The truth is we can’t be that to everyone in our church, nor can we expect that from every person there. But God longs for us to experience that depth of relationship with one another. His heart’s desire is for us to love like that – to truly glorify His law to love well. We all need a circle of three.
What does that look like?
It looks like having at least three others that you can call to mentor you, to challenge you in love, to hear the depth of your heart and truly love you anyway; to encourage you and inspire you to keep growing.
It’s a group of people you can be vulnerable with – be the true you God created you to be, with…and just as challenging, for you to be that for them.
I think about where I’ve been, and where I’m going and it’s nice to see movement! I think I can honestly say that I was once an island unto myself. For a long time, in my youth and spiritual immaturity, I could not keep my mouth closed about anything. If I felt it, you knew it! I knew that was wrong, even verging on gossip at times and I chose to change it. So I didn’t share anything, ever.
The worst part about it was that I called it faith.
Yes, I believed the lie that my faith was strong enough to just keep things between me and God…sometimes God does ask that of us – but from my experience, it’s quite rare. I believed that I was strong because I could take things to God and no one else. What a lie!
That was sin. No dancing around it. Yes we get hurt in relationships, but we also heal in relationship and
ALL GOD CARES ABOUT is the state of our hearts…and our ability to love well (and be loved).
He created us to be in relationship. He did not want man to be alone, without a counterpart. Since creation, God designed us to be in relationship.
I’m learning. I’m learning that my vulnerability draws out the vulnerability in others. Sometimes I have to offer it to receive it. It comes naturally to me to be a listening ear, a compassionate heart – not as naturally to seek a listening ear and trust someone to be a compassionate heart for me. Maybe it’s pride. It’s definitely fear. I’ve been hurt before. I’ve been broken to the core by someone I loved. Maybe you have too. But it’s the freedom to tell our stories that opens the door for others to tell theirs. Do you believe God is big enough to fight for you? To protect you? It’s the telling of our stories and the listening of others’ stories that brings light into darkness and begins to unlock healing.
I have a circle of three, maybe I’m even blessed with 4.
Do you? What would it mean to you if you did? I’m betting if you don’t you feel pretty lonely, isolated, tired to your core, and I know that you are longing for that kind of relationship. Just as I have. We’re hardwired to long for that.
As I do before I write every post – I’m praying for you, my dear friends and readers, that God puts someone in your life that you can begin to build on your circle of three. I’m praying that you’ll have to courage to receive that. Take down your walls and reach out – give someone the opportunity to reach back. God longs to bring light into your darkness, into your chaos and loneliness.
Stay tuned for my next posting on how to find Rest in God.