Eight years ago, I joined the volunteer team at Genesis and began leading small groups. I’ve been apart of many different types of groups: co-ed groups, women groups, young married groups, parenting groups. What can I say- I love small groups! Small groups changed my life- it’s where I met Filipe! Having encouragement and accountability built into my life has helped me grow and mature more spiritually than probably anything else in my relationship with God.
Small groups focused on girls are my favorite- girls in their late teens/early twenties. The ones trying to figure out life- school, career, marriage, etc. They encourage me, challenge me, and inspire me. For the past 2-3 years, my experience in leading small groups has changed dramatically. I began to see growth beyond what I ever expected. More girls and more lives changed. It’s been amazing!
Every August when groups start I share with the girls my heart and desire for them and the group- and every year it has been the same. My greatest desire is to see girls rise up above the drama and the “issues” they have with one another. For them to rid themselves of the jealousy, comparison, gossip, and “fakeness” that seems to infiltrate and destroy female relationships. I long to see girls who can love each other with the love of Christ, encourage each other, challenge each other, and be truly happy for one another. I will probably spend most of my life trying to do this and change the stereotype of female relationships. Maybe it isn’t possible, but maybe it is.
One of the saddest parts about leaving is that I’m leaving the girls I’ve been investing in, learning with and growing with. Every August a new school year begins which means small groups are restructured for the new year. This is the first year (in 8 years!) that I haven’t been involved in the coaching and plan for groups- and it’s kinda weird! This will likely be one the most emotionally difficult things for me during this process. I’ve spent so much time, energy, prayer, and thought trying to “figure” out what these girls need and how to help them see the incredible things God wants to do with their lives. I feel like I’m letting some down and abandoning others.
Over the past 2 years some amazing girls and amazing leaders have stepped up at Genesis. We built a great core team and had a lot of fun together. I loved just being around these girls- even though many of them were 8-9 years younger than me and I wasn’t the “coolest” one anymore! I am so excited for what the future holds for them. I know these girls will do even greater things than what we’ve already experienced. I couldn’t be more excited for them and proud of the growth I’ve seen in them already.
I will miss you all so very much! Thanks for allowing me into your life, for trusting me, and for your commitment to the small group. I love you all.