My family is going through a rough time right now.
Not my immediate family - Dave and the kids and I - but my spiritually adopted family.
Our "small group" or "home group" as our church calls them, is finding itself under a lot of strain from many different areas.
We are not a typical "bible study" with a topic of study each week, though we have tried that. We can read a book and discuss it, sometimes. But that isn't our focus. Our focus is on relationship. With God, and with one another. The formality of a bible study isn't always a good fit for us.
The times when we really shine, are the times when we "do" life together. We help each other out with things, fixing computers or cars, bringing meals to one another, celebrating birthdays together, having "dinner and a movie" nights at someone's house.
Sometimes my kids are there, often Dave isn't because of his work schedule, but for the most part, the core of us has been together for a long time - maybe 5 years.
They have walked with me through depression, suicidal thoughts, emotional immaturity - and watched as I have learned and grown. We have walked together through someone's scare of prostate cancer. We have stood by as several have struggled deeply with relationships, friendships, and authority figures. We have come alongside those who have lost jobs. We have shared the burden of helping a dear friend struggle with colon cancer. We are starting the walk with that same friend as she struggles with her husband's diagnosis/surgery/treatment of colon cancer.
We have had many stresses on our group. We have had different people become part of the group for a while, and go away for a while, sometimes come back, sometimes not. Right now, one core couple, who used to be able to be another physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy couple to come alongside the couple leading us - well they are the ones struggling with the serious cancer diagnosis now.
Our leader and his wife are tired. They need to be filled and encouraged, and feel they are pouring out, but not receiving it in.
How can I help them? I so want to, but don't know that I am in the position to.
Our group has suddenly grown very needy and lopsided with this one couple being so wrapped up in what is going on with them. The wife still comes, but he is pretty much needing to stay at home right now, to get his strength back before chemo.
That leaves our leader as the only male in a sea of estrogen! A guy (from what I have heard) can only take so much of that for so long! :)
Please pray for us. As a family, we don't want to be "split up" or broken apart by these difficult times we are in. I know that if God wants us to stay together, we will come out on the other side of this so much stronger.
But if God wants us to stop meeting as a small group, then we are going to need to be prepared to do that. I know I am not prepared for that, for sure. We love each other and if God wants us to disband our small group and do something else, though we will make time for one another, it is still going to be different than what we have now.
I don't know what is going to happen.
But I fear there is going to be hurt involved, no matter what is down the road here, in the near future. We are going to be broken, no matter what happens. But God is in the business of healing all things broken.
We need to be clear on how God is directing us. We need clear communication. We need Spirit-led conversations and understanding and unity that only comes from God. Only with that clear communication, understanding, unity and love are we going to be able to minister to one another the way God intends us to.
We need protection from all attempts of the enemy to build on the struggles we are facing. He would love nothing better than to use the crisis of one couple in our group to implode the group as a whole, causing damage and wounds in every direction.
Please pray that each of us individually would be able to stand firm against the enemy's schemes. He is trying very hard to pull any of us down individually.
Please pray that as a family we will be able to unite and come against the attacks of the enemy.
Please pray that as individuals and together we will be able to meet the needs of those in our group who have them, but also to be able to take care of ourselves enough, and express when we have a need as well.
Please pray for me.
Pray that I am very clear on what my position is/should be, how I can help, and what my limitations are. If I am not aware of, or ignore, my personal boundaries, I will find myself exposed, over extended and exhausted.
I am so glad that God's love endures forever. I am so thankful that He never leaves us or forsakes us. I am so grateful that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Him, and that we are united in the Spirit.
I am praying that our small group can be an example of that love, the ever presence of God, the security of being in Him, and unity of the Body, the way God designed it.
I am praying most for this dear couple who have been married for only 47 years and are begging God for a miracle of more time together!
My heart is burdened by all needs in our family. I want to meet them all, and I know I can't. I keep praying, but I hardly know what to pray because it is all so overwhelming.
Please join me in prayer. I know that when we don't have the words, or knowledge of even what to pray, the Spirit does, and guides our prayers, and prays for us.
What gifts God has given us! May His strength be shown perfect in our weaknesses!