I remember the nervousness like it was yesterday. I was sitting in someone’s living room with about 15 different people I barely knew. Would they still accept me if they knew my secret? I had to let it out. After all, I was definitely miserable, and tired from the weight I had been carrying. The shame was tremendous. I listened closely to everyone share their introduction and life struggles. It was time for a girl – about my age – to share. She spoke of the drug problem she had been dealing with. As tears rolled down her face I could see the release behind her eyes. The weight of her struggle was dissipating from her heart as she allowed others into her space.
Ironically, I had walked into the room with the same problem. Little did I know my soul was searching for this very opportunity – the opportunity to release my secret. I had always thought Christians were uptight and judgmental. Yet the acceptance these people showed the young girl began to soften my attitude toward them.
It was my turn. So I did it – I shared my secret.
I told everyone in the group I just couldn’t seem to stop using. Afterward, I felt a sweet release like a thousand weights had been lifted out of my soul. Everyone welcomed me in, accepted me, and encouraged me.
It was in this small group that the course of my life took a turn. It was in a small group that God gave me the opportunity to release my burdens in front of others. The Word says that if we confess our sins to God he will forgive us [1 John 1:9,] but if we confess our sins to each other we will be healed [James 5:16.] Small groups are about healing, and I experienced some healing that day. Healing in my heart.
Ever since that day, I have come to love and value small groups. At The Foundry, I have the opportunity to lead a small group for the Men’s Recovery Center. I love seeing men like me have the same moment I had. After all, true life change mostly happens in the context of relationships. Don’t do life alone.
Changed Lives Christian Center