Growing up, I always found my relationships through the things I did…the sports I played, the clubs I belonged to, the classes I attended. I never thought much about how those relationships were formed until adulthood, when most of the activities that I belonged to ended and real adult life began. As a teen, I was active in my church youth group, and participated in leading Bible studies and going on retreats and mission trips. But after leaving for college, I slowly realized that I developed more friendships than I did my relationship with Christ. Don’t get me wrong, my faith grew because of the environment I was a part of, but I didn’t know how to identify my relationship in Christ until many years later. As an adult, the activities transform to a career, and the extra activities are limited.
My relationships are still defined by the environments around me. But as an adult, I have more control over who I connect with, trust, and essentially do life with. When I started to focus on growing my relationship with Christ, all my relationships started to look different. I would gauge my behaviors toward them in a Christ-like way, and try to show how God created us to love and be loved. At this point, a good portion of my friends weren’t following a Christian lifestyle, so it became important for me to be purposed about getting into activities or environments that would help me develop as a better Christian. I attended church regularly and started forming acquaintances. Then I joined a Bible study group that eventually became a Connect Group. I absolutely LOVE Connect Groups! Over the last 16 years, I have been a part of several different groups. In each one, I grew relationally with Christ alongside others who were chasing after Him. A Connect Group is where life is real and God is bigger. My groups have walked with me through getting married, having children, losing a child, betrayal, and the list goes on. We hold each other accountable in prayer, devotion, parenting, marriage, and all things real life. We each want to experience the full life God has created for us, and we have each other’s backs to get us there.
We serve a relational God, and are meant to do life with others. Through seeking God daily and opening my heart to hear from Him, I will grow in relationship with Christ and hear from Him. When we surround ourselves with those pursuing God, we open up the possibility to hear God speak through them, too. How exciting is that?! That our God will not only be in relationship with us, but also those around us…AND join us relationally with each other! Surround yourself with those seeking the fullest life, form purposed relationships, and you will naturally love well.