It starts with butterflies, it usually does. Any time I have to go somewhere new—in the evening especially—I get nervous, start second-guessing, and wondering if there’s a way I can get out of it.
I know these women, some better than others. They know my story—they’ve read my book—no need to pull on a mask before I head out into the chilly December evening. But still, those butterflies.
They’ve invited me to come and spend an evening with them to talk about writing, my story, and how the Creator forms something beautiful out of the messes we make. I’ve been a silent prayer partner with them, now I get to join them in body as well as in spirit.
Driving through the dark, I pray: less of me, more of You. I time my arrival carefully, so as not to be too early or too late, and kick off my shoes at the door of a home I haven’t been to before. I don’t realize I’m walking into the middle of something so beautiful.
It’s a small group women of varying ages and experiences, with diverse backgrounds and lives, who gather together week after week to grow in faith, get real, and help one another along through this messy life.
It’s just women sipping tea and munching cookies in an ordinary living room, but it’s church. It’s love and laughter and grace flowing. It’s prayers being offered, and hearts being opened in a safe and oh-so-very-sweet place. And they are blessed to do this together week after week.
I think this was what Jesus had in mind.
And so we talk about my story, and their stories, and we pray for one another like it’s as natural as breathing—like prayer is meant to be. The prayer I prayed as I drove here is answered beautifully, and grace falls like a soft blanket.
Before I know it, it’s time to go home and I leave carrying a glow, feeling like I’ve spent the evening on holy ground because, of course, I have.