I can count the places the group has been held: at the CSULB dorms, Alex' apartment, the Termino House, and Em's apartment. What's a bit more difficult to do is to look back and count how many people have actually come through the group. There have been some who have been there for the whole 5-year stint, and others who have just been a part of the group in the last 6 or so months. But regardless of whether one invested months or years, each person has marked a different layer of God's hand of faithfulness, grace, and provision--all illuminating His sovereignty and highlighting His beautiful orchestration of each life in the group (even some lives outside of the group!!).
We left tonight with mixed emotions--some filled with hopeful anticipation of what the future holds, some excited but still actively grieving something that's been very much a part of their lives, and others feeling a bit lost. But my prayer is that as each of us left Em's house, we would present the postures of our hearts as worship to a God who hears, who cares, and will give us clarity and give us more of Himself as we ask. Because our Maker exists in community and relationship, He will continue to provide community for His kids, and I look forward to seeing how that will manifest in each of our lives.
I mean--wow! What stories and testimonies of God's favor we get to share and bring into so many aspects of our lives. It's not just that we get to share, but that we must share. These stories all point to how amazing God is, and i'm floored to think that God would gift me with something so amazing to be a part of for 5 years of my life.
Being given the privilege of being both a member and a leader of this group, I've learned a myriad of things that are irreplaceable, and I praise God for allowing me to learn them in this environment. I've learned the value of being vulnerable, the beauty of being broken before the Body, the power of being honest, the weight of living in community, the humility of leadership, the strength of unity, and the healing power of prayer. Those are only some of the things that come to mind. This group has been and will continue to be family, and it makes me giddy to think that this will always be looked upon as such a sweet time in my life--so so dear to my heart.
For those of you who know what I mean, i'm sure there's an appreciation for this bit of reflection--an homage, if you will. Others might think that this is me being over-dramatic about something that seems to be nothing. Oh, let me tell ya...it isn't nothing. It was more than I could have ever asked for, and it excites me to know that God wants to keep surprising us with how he uses the Body to bless the Body.
I sit here like an overflowing cup--pouring over the brim with joy and love. Thank you (each of you) for how you've invested your lives into this group, how you've shaped it and each brought such a unique flare to its dynamic. The Lord has held this group in His hands for the last 5 years, and will continue to do so with each individual as we move forward. The Lord has been the bookends for this journey, and there's a beautiful story to prove it.
A glimpse of the last few years :)
Aaaa-mazing! My LBLG Fam, you've been a constant source of inspiration in my life. Thank you so much.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"