by Karen B.
Where I come from, the saying goes that there is nothing more than corn in Indiana. And I can assure you that’s true.
Before moving to Georgia, our backyard offered a stunning view of an enormous cornfield. There were rows and rows of corn with houses in between. As far as activities went, there was little to choose from.
When we moved here in 2012, I was amazed at the endless playgroups, sports teams of every kind, neighbors, and people everywhere. There seemed to be no limit to the groups, churches and teams that we could participate in.
I realized I was going to have to be intentional in how I chose to spend my time. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many days in a week.
Amidst the backdrop of all the options for busyness, something a pastor once said was pressing hard upon my heart.
“Everyone needs a Peter, James, and John.”
We all need those like-minded people that we can share with. While it isn’t appropriate to share the intimate details of our life with everyone we meet, we do need people who are going to admonish and encourage us with the appropriate words because they are worshipping the same God we are.
Not long after arriving in Georgia, my family and I met with some hard times. I met with some women from our church–women who, like I do, believe in a God who is sovereign over even the hard times.
They didn’t tell me “look on the bright side” or “it could be worse.” They told me that God is wise, loving and sovereign. They told me He works all things for our good and His glory. They told me to stop trying to save up enough grace for the next year and accept the grace He has given me for this day, just as the people in the Old Testament had to gather manna each day and trust that more would be there for tomorrow.
They told me the truth I needed to hear.
They were my Peter, James and John.
This was the wisdom God was giving through the people of the local body that He had chosen for us. And by spending time with these women, God was caring for us through them. By my intentionally spending time with these women, God was able to nurture my soul.
In very much the same way, I knew I needed to be intentional with my children’s time. There are so many things–much more exciting than corn–that compete for their attention and pull away from the goals we have as a family. I decided to make the church playgroup a priority, because not only are we moms having fun and helping one another with the physical part of child rearing, we also have the same beliefs that we would like our children to embrace.
When we get together we can share with our children about the loving God who made them. We can tell them that the Bible is real and not just a bunch of stories. And we can spend time praying for one another about the burdens on our hearts. When we leave playgroup, I feel like my soul has been nurtured and I feel much more at peace.
We should reach out to the mission field God has placed us in, and as a body we can reach out to those around us through Vacation Bible School and by inviting our friends and neighbors to events and play dates. Once our own souls filled and fed, then we are equipped to go and reach out to others.
I am so thankful for our community at ECPC for pointing us to Christ, urging us onward, and loving us as we learn and grow.
The same pastor who encouraged me to find encouragement and fellowship with a Peter, James, and John also said that there is no such thing as “Lone Ranger Christianity.”
We need one another. We need friends who will come alongside of us and remind us of who we are.
And most importantly, we need friends who will remind us Whose we are.
…and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
(1 Corinthians 3:23)
Karen and her husband have been members of ECPC since 2012. A striving minimalist, she loves helping people part with their stuff so they can live simpler lives. She has been married for 16 years and has two sons.