When I first started attending my current home church, I only went because it was blocks away from my house. To be brutally honest I only wanted to go and worship the Lord. Upon entering I made sure my face was as stoic and as uninviting as possible. Church family? No thanks, I wasn’t interested. Don’t ask me to share, don’t ask me to do anything, I hated potlucks and I didn’t want any new friends. Saying I kept the church at arm’s length is an understatement.

Life would soon begin to spiral much further south than I could even imagine. I was invited to a church event and due to the nature of a recent tragedy, I could not attend. Tear-filled and with a crack in my voice I told my Pastor that I couldn’t go, and he understood. Things continued to get worse and I began to find solace in my church. I would venture out and share small tidbits of information. The need to be understood outweighed my need to keep up the iron wall I had built. My small group became a place where people knew me and my children. As my family began to crumble, Jesus adopted me into another family. Even still, in my small group I felt a limit. How many times could I bring up the same problem before they got tired of me? Will they become bored with hearing the same problems that plague me in a new way every day? Later my pastor’s wife would suggest that there was another woman in our church who I needed to have coffee with. I would find that we were walking through almost the same struggle. Through the course of one meeting for coffee, I forged a friendship with someone who will never get tired of hearing about my pain because she is also experiencing it.

Hebrews 10:25 states “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near”.

I wouldn’t still be standing if it wasn’t for my church and the close relationships that I have built with fellow believers who are not afraid to get under the surface. So I would encourage you to find a church, then a small group and especially a God-fearing friend who will walk alongside you, so that you may see the goodness of God.

Sequaisa McPherson, Database Administrator