Today's post was written by BH member, Tiffany Hailston.
I remember the first encounter I had with my Mom Time small group. It was actually not even on the church campus.
Mohana Shull, our leader, was having everyone over for dinner at her house. I was a little nervous walking in since I was the only new person, but I figured this would be a safe place to start. The fall small group semester hadn’t officially begun yet, so this would be more of a “hang-out and get-to-know-ya” setting. And it was…until dessert.
(Mohana Shull, Mom Time Small Group Leader)
That’s when I heard it for the first time - the statement that every lady in our group has come to both fear and love: “I have questions.” (I should mention that Mohana is Chilean, and while her beautifully accented English is fluent, American pop-culture and small talk are not her thing). She then proceeded to go around the table asking each person to share a little about herself and answer some heart-exposing question. I was going through a difficult season, and I knew she would eventually get to me. Surely I would get a pass since I didn’t know everyone yet, right? Nope. The next thing I knew I was blubbering my way through her question, exposing my brokenness to girls I had just met.
That was almost two years ago, but the strangers I met around the table that night are now close friends. We came together because we are in the same season of life – moms with young children, but God has knitted us together as we’ve walked through many different seasons of the soul.
We’ve rejoiced with one another over answered prayers, new babies, deepened faith, or a full night’s sleep. We’ve cried with one another through miscarriages, sickness, loss of a loved one, struggles in marriage and parenting, and on days when what we know about God doesn’t feel true. And through every season, we have seen God’s faithfulness in one another. I am encouraged to trust God more fully in my own life because I see my sisters trusting Him in theirs. And I get the blessing of spurring them on in their faith.
This is God’s design. The building up of our faith is not intended to take place in isolation. That’s why He gave us different spiritual gifts. Paul shows us this in Romans 1:11-12, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
There are so many verses about how brothers and sisters in Christ are called to relate to “one another.” Love one another, bear with one another, speak the truth to one another, forgive one another, build up one another, bear one another’s burdens, and the list goes on and on….
(Their Small Group Supporting One of Its Members at the Bell Center Walk)
These are commands. It’s hard to imagine living these out when you’re sitting in a sea of unfamiliar faces from one Sunday to the next, but I have seen these play out very practically in the context of our small group. It looks like anything from making meals for each other when we get sick, giving someone a ride, walking through forgiveness in conflict, addressing sin, building a garden for a recently widowed sister, to having an onslaught of Scripture texted to you and prayed over you at a moment’s notice. I’m pretty sure we’ve even fulfilled Romans 16:16, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” Did I mention our leader is Chilean?
I asked a few of the ladies in my group how small group has impacted them, and I loved what they had to say.
- This group isn’t just a Bible study. It’s my safe place. A place where there’s no judgment or hate, just support and love. I knew these ladies would eventually be my friends, but I had no idea the sisterhood we’d form. I live life with this group of women, and I see my faith grow more and more every day. This group is a huge part of that. – Yazmin Cavale
- I feel like I’ve found my tribe. We laugh, we cry, we share. We really do life alongside one another. It is amazing to see Christ at work in and through these women. – Liz Comeaux
- Mohana has a way of asking us questions that hit straight to the core and cause us to search our hearts. These girls are never scared of the messy. They point me to Christ and help in any way they can. This small group is more than just a group of moms, they are family who encourage me to follow God and not this world. My walk with the Lord has grown so much since becoming involved in this Mom Time small group four years ago. – Melanie Martin
One of the common threads we all share is a sense of authenticity and belonging, whether you call it a sisterhood, a tribe, or a family.
Remember that difficult season I brought to the table (literally) that first night? Well, it hasn’t changed as much as I would have hoped. But praise God, I have! I am not the same person that showed up to dinner that night. God has used His Word and His people walking with me to make me more like Him, and I have seen Him do mighty works in these sisters of mine. They are my “one-anothers.” And I am theirs. And this sense of belonging allows us to reach out to others in that big sea of people who may not have that yet.
If you’re a mom with young children, please consider this your personal invitation to any of our Mom Time small groups. If you think you don’t need it, think again. But either way, we want you!
Go to brookhills.org/momtime for more details on these groups and ways to connect to other Brook Hills moms.
(Their Small Group at a Serve Day)