- Liz Vanegas
Life Group is an Investment in Your Tomorrow
Chuly is a veteran of Life Group. The first Life Group she attended was 7 years ago, and to know Chuly now, is to see real evidence of how God changes our hearts. She carries Jesus everywhere she goes and in all that she does.
Looking back at her heart posture when she started Life Group, she was cold, calculated and defensive. “At that time, I didn’t like commitment. I wasn’t the type to put my business out there or ask for help. And I didn’t trust people,” Chuly tells us.
Upon reflection, she realizes that she was afraid of judgment and vulnerability. But even in that season of doubt and trepidation, God still used all of her. For instance, from the first semester of Life Group, Chuly committed to praying for one specific person that she hoped would come to Jesus. She prayed for this person faithfully, without wavering, for 7 years.
Meanwhile, crazy growth happened in her heart and in her life. She learned how to open up, how to trust the women God placed in her life, and how to be authentic about her flaws. She allowed them to “see the ugliness” in her. She learned how to be ok with her imperfection and even felt a desire to be completely transparent with others. Talk about a change of heart!
Chuly compares her Life Group to the story of Moses and the Israelites when they defeated the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-15). Joshua led the Israelite army to fight the Amalekites as Moses and his buddies, Aaron and Hur, went to the top of a hill with God’s staff. What an interesting place to defeat a whole army!
At the top of the hill, Moses raised God’s staff, and while the staff was raised, Joshua defeated the Amalekites. But the minute the staff was lowered, the Amalekites were winning. Moses fought with all his strength to keep the staff raised but his arms grew tired. Seeing this, Aaron and Hur “…held his hands up – one on one side, and one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Exodus 17:12). Eventually, Joshua overcame the Amalekite army.
Chuly has a group of women that help her keep God’s staff raised during the fights with the enemy’s army. When she grows weary, she can always depend on her LifeGroup to give her strength, encouragement, and to hold her arms up sunset.
But it doesn’t stop there. The seed of prayer that Chuly sowed over 7 years finally sprouted. The person she’d prayed for, cried for, and hurt for decided to attend Life Group at just the right time. This person was in Life Group when a family member died tragically. She (too) was not the type to ask for help. But the women of the group showed up for her! They held her arms up in the battle, poured into her, made sacrifices for her and showed her who Jesus is. They showered her with the purest of love – the love of Jesus.
“God doesn’t just work on Sundays” as Chuly puts it. “Life Group to me is the best escape. Escaping the racket of the world and running towards truth. Truth is inevitable.” Chuly went from being self-defensive to complete surrender and realized that Life Group wasn’t even about her. It is about the women who she has the opportunity to love, to support and to show that she cares.
These things don’t happen by accident. It’s not a coincidence. As random as it may seem, in the end, it is all according to God’s plan. I wonder, what is God speaking to your heart about Life Group?
I encourage you to try it out. Not for who you have in your life today, or for the things you are facing at the moment, but for the places where God is leading you tomorrow and the people you can bless when you get there.