I’ve heard it said that sometimes, the very thing you’re looking for is right in front of you. This statement has recently been proven true for me. While all my questions aren’t yet answered, some very big ones are.
On my journey to find perfect faith and fellowship, I learned that I was already on the right path and didn’t need to take the path off to the side. You see, I decided to attend a bible study at the church of a childhood friend. She seemed happy there so it must be the right place for me as well. Besides, I needed to reach out and find like-minded acquaintances, so I thought. In the end I found that I was already in a fellowship with like-minded acquaintances. They are all around me and are as supportive to me as I am to them.
Upon attending this new place of fellowship I was looking forward to this new experience and perhaps bonding with my long-time friend again. I eagerly arrived as early as possible each week in a positive mindset and anxious to make new friends. As I approached people, stepping outside my comfort zone for sure, I found that they already had their friends and didn’t need more. I walked toward groups of women talking in order to introduce myself and become part of this body, but instead I was met with “excuse me” as they walked away. I clearly was ‘in the way’.
I figured it was all new and they would get to know me and accept me into their world. As the weeks passed, three women talked to me before study began, though it wasn’t every week, they asked curious questions and moved on. I felt like an outsider; I felt alone, still.
As time went on I still didn’t feel welcomed. I felt that everyone had their click and didn’t need newcomers. I continued to try to mix in and continued to feel ‘in the way’. I felt that there was a conditional fellowship there and I didn‘t meet the conditions. It weighed heavy on me. I began feeling further away from God than I was prior to attending this bible study. My hunger to get my close spiritual connection with God back was stronger than I’ve ever felt before! I had other issues that were gnawing at my heart too and I felt that if I didn’t find my way back spiritually I’d lose my mind and my heart was feeling broken already.
I prayed and meditated. I asked for answers. I asked, “what is going on Lord, where do I belong?”. I asked about forgiveness and how to forgive. I learned that I need to learn the full definition of forgiveness before I can truly forgive. I also learned that before straying to another place of fellowship, I was already in the right place of fellowship; the place where God put me-the place where I was led to follow through with the plan he has for me. I’m already in the community of fellowship that has a strong spiritual relationship with God and a strong faith. I’m in a community that is full of love and hope and I realized this when I reached out to my spiritual community. They were there for me even during the time that I explored the other path.
There are many paths that lead to the same destination. We’re to follow the path that God leads us to even when that path may be windy, uphill, down hill and has offshoots to explore.
That path that I explored is right for some, but it’s not the path for all of us, there’s not enough room for everyone in one place; not until we’re all in that one place with God.
Though I was hurting, feeling unloved and heartbroken, I thank everyone that I came to know at that study group because its through them that I found where I belong.
I was/am already in the place where my spiritual growth is strong and will continue to grow. For that short time I felt further from God, but through this journey I’ve become closer to and have gained a stronger spiritual connection with God.