Alixa loves Skyline. She loves the encouragement and acceptance she receives when she walks through the door. Love and encouragement that she has also experienced in Life Group.
Alixa’s first encounter with Life Group was about 2 years ago. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but was looking forward to the experience. She wanted to find a group that felt like the “right fit” so she allowed God to guide and give her courage to show up.
She tried one group for a semester and was able to grasp the value and impact of a Life Group. But just as a shiny new pair of shoes looks great on display but kills your pinky toe, not every group is a perfect fit for every person. So she decided to try another with great hope that she’d find the perfect fit.
The next semester she attended a group that from day one she knew she belonged. What stood out the most for her was that every woman of the group had a large binder filled with pages and pages of studies they’d completed over many years. “Everything was so organized,” Alixa says, “Prepared to the 10th power!” She felt a fire light up in her heart for the great things God would show her that semester and each one to come.
Fast forward 2 years as Alixa relates to the great advice someone once gave her - always have a good friend on speed dial. Alixa says with a big and beautiful smile, “I have 20 women on speed dial!” The women in her Life Group are her village. They are always there when she needs them. She loves how, some weeks, the conversations are guided by what happened during the week and they don’t get to the prepared material. So, she sees how those days are clearly guided by God, because as each woman pours out her heart, they hear exactly what God needed for them to hear.
Alixa says, “I compare Life Group to going to the sauna or spa; no expectations. My mind is stress free. I know there is no judgment or opinions. I’m completely free to love and be loved.”
Funny thing is that there’s an interesting twist to this happy-ending. One that, for Alixa, proved that God makes a way before we even know we need one. You remember that first group Alixa joined? Well, Alixa met a young lady named Dayana with whom she formed a great relationship. Dayana was pregnant at the time and going on maternity leave just as Alixa was retiring from 20 years as an Investigator with the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
Through their connection, Alixa accepted Dayana’s request to cover her at work during maternity leave; which she still works there to this day, alongside Dayana, who's back from maternity leave. Ready for the plot twist? Alixa didn’t know her retirement income plans would go south (as our plans often do) for a temporary period and that this part-time opportunity would bless her with the exact income needed to make up the difference.
You see, before she even knew she had a problem, God was working on the solution. And it took her saying “Yes” to God and counting on His faithfulness to lead her to walk right into the plans He’d already made.
Perhaps many of us hesitate when it comes to Life Group because we might be pondering the what ifs…
What if I don’t belong
What if I can’t connect
What if they are all Jesus freaks and they make me feel weird and awkward
I encourage you to consider this – what if God’s plans for you are better than any plan you can ever dream or image. Take a chance. Say Yes. Show up. And let God lead the way. You’ll find that you can trust him to take you exactly where you need to be.