I pulled up to the church building last night. It was nearly 6 PM, just a few minutes before our small group was going to meet. Emily and the kids were already there, thanks to the Walker family. I got out of the car, feeling the weariness in my bones.
I’d been up since 4 AM, and spent nearly half of my waking hours in the car, driving to and from Knoxville. I was tired, though not particularly cranky (which is a good thing). My kids ran over and attached themselves to my legs, which put a smile on my face. A short while later, we were all sitting around on a couch in the office, sharing our high and low points of the week, discussing a book we’re all reading, and more. Lots of laughter, a bit of friendly ribbing, and some serious discussion ensued.
It was a good night.
On the drive back to Franklin, I wasn’t sure I’d make it to group. The roads were not too hot for a good chunk of the drive, and at one point the Google Map was telling me I wouldn’t get home until well after 6. But I got there, and I’m glad I did, because I needed to be there.
One of the things I think I took for granted in Canada. was having a number of friends always available. Emily and I both had people we could call up and vent to. And because we had that, sometimes small groups felt like an extra (though they weren’t).
But not here. They’re essential for us, in a different way than they were back home.
What’s important for me right now is not a profound or deep discussion or Bible study (though I like both). That’s not why I needed to be there tonight. I needed to be there. I needed to be there keep getting to know the people God has brought into our lives. To continue to let friendly relationships develop into real friendships.
I was there because, despite my comfort with being by myself for extended periods of time, I need community. I want community. And I’m looking forward to seeing how this new community God has brought us into will strengthen and shape me and my family.