But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1:7
Seven years ago, we moved to Forest City. We were transitioning from a place we knew well and were comfortable. We had a solid church family, close friends and mentors from college. I didn’t know what Forest City had to offer or why God purposed to bring us here. I did know I wanted to keep growing in a community that I could trust.
But it wasn’t as easy as I thought. We were starting over. I began to feel upset at myself and disappointed toward God. Why wasn’t I growing like I thought I would? Why was I still wrestling with the same sins? It appeared I was going backwards, not forwards.
Yet God is a good, faithful and loving Father. He was humbly showing me that growth doesn’t always come about as I would like it to. I was trying to take shortcuts. I was expecting trusting friendships and accountability, without risking to be vulnerable myself. I thought my past sins would slowly disappear, when I was keeping them hidden.
God is still reminding me today that growth most often takes time, trust, transparency and confession.
One of the biggest ways I’ve seen growth in the past few years is taking the risk to invite a few others into my life. Sharing 1-on-1 fellowship regularly in the mornings. Meeting my mentor over a lunch hour. Gathering with the same 4 men again and again at Cabin Coffee for breakfast. Slowly growth begins to happen. Not right away like I first expected, but we build trust, share prayer requests, confess where we’ve fallen short, and continue to invite one another into our lives. We step into the light together, trusting the blood of Jesus to continue to cleanse and renew us.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the fellowship we can experience with you and others as we walk in the light. We pray for humility and courage to invite others into our lives, and into our mess. May we trust your timing to grow us, one day at a time, into your likeness.