Last night, our weekly women’s Bible study group met for week two of our newest venture. You often hear me refer to them as Table 8. When I met most of these women a little over a year ago, I was a table leader at our church’s women’s Bible study. The names of the participants were prayed over and given seat assignments. While I’ve led Bible studies before, this was my first time leading a table at my new church in California, and I had no idea who or what to expect! We’ve since changed table numbers, grafted new women into our group, and even started meeting outside of church to go through different Bible studies together. But we’ve always been “Table 8.”
Table 8 has talked at length about being surrounded by a community of like-minded women to share life together. Sometimes they’re referred to as life groups. Others call them communities. Often, women struggle with finding women they can fellowship with in this way. We fear what the other people will think about our life and choices. We wonder if they’ll judge us for our past, look down on us for how our children behave, or shy away for the depression we’re currently sitting in.
I did this for a long time. I would get into a group only to find myself holding back. While my life is an open book which I believe God has called me to share with others, I could sense that I was keeping pieces of myself separate from the group for fear of judgment. Many times, those pieces were exactly what I needed to share to garner advice on the situation from others, to help me heal, and to help me grow closer to my Creator.
God encourages us to have the kinds of friends that we can find in these life groups. These groups can help hold us accountable to studying and learning God’s Word. They can lift us up in prayer, comfort us when we’re hurting, and celebrate with us in victories.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.—Proverbs 27:9
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you’re doing.—1 Thessalonians 5:11
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. –Proverbs 27:17
In the case of Table 8, each woman brings something different and unique to the table. We’re all at different points in our lives, yet we all lift each other up exactly where we are. With fresh perspective and God’s presence in our community, there isn’t anything we can’t handle!
My encouragement to you today is to find your community. Even if it’s scary, pray about it and then gather a group of women together to grow in Jesus together. Pick a Bible study that you can do. Grab some snacks and spend some time dissecting a passage of scripture together. Choose an evening to get together for a Prayer ‘N Praise hour, praying for intercession and praising for answered prayers.
Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to have grown up in church or know the Bible inside and out to get a group together. You simply need a desire to know Jesus and what He wants for us. He’ll take care of the rest for you.
God desires you to have your own Table 8. He knit our group together. He’ll do the same for you.