Walking into a women's Bible study group as a first time visitor was downright scary. All eyes were on me which is never a comfortable feeling. Oy.
What I expected to happen was the sharing of stories by the other women. I wanted to hear how they survived loss or how they handled the dreaded "empty nest" syndrome. I wanted to hear from them. Instead, a video was shown, a workbook handed out and our time together was over. Connection was what I was hoping for.
It didn't happen.
I went back the next week and the next and the next…
It still didn't happen.
And it wasn't wanted, believe me.
But after I stopped focusing on myself, the Lord revealed that I wasn't the only one hurting, the only one facing grief and too much solitude. The room was jam packed with hurt. So, while the meeting didn't go according to my plan, it did go according to His.
Building connection takes time. And patience.
When we've been hurt or let down, trust doesn't come easy. It's such a slow process. And building a connection or a friendship can be a long journey. There's strength and freedom that comes with beginning to trust again. Beautiful things begin to happen. The fear of hurt diminishes, new friendships are formed and our spirit soars.
And what the Lord revealed next was maybe I needed to be open enough to listen instead of talking. Open enough to care for others.
Even perfect strangers.