The Story So Far – Chapter 15 – Connecting

CHAPTER 15 – CONNECTING

Come January I joined my first Connect Group at Church, I had been approached about joining one many times over the previous nine months, I hadn’t previously felt that ready to join groups or anything like that.  Maybe it was my shy nature, me the guy how can stand lonely in a crowded room, I’m not someone who can just go up to somebody I don’t know and start a conversation, that is well outside of my comfort zone.  The only time I am comfortable in this situation is when I’m in a karate suit and I can approach someone with confidence that comes from seniority, I could walk up to someone I didn’t know and offer them advice on what they were doing or start a conversation, but once more, when the suit came off that persona came off with it and I became the quiet awkward guy once more.

Maybe I was worried previously that I would be out of place in a group of people that had been Christians for so much longer than myself, maybe it was just that little bit of insecurity or fear of looking like I didn’t really know anything.  But by the time the New Year came around I felt it was at least time to give it a try, not that I knew that much more than before, but the timing felt right now.

To be fair I didn’t really know what a Connect Group did or what was expected.   I remembered Victoria used to attend one a few years back, but she never really explained what they did at these things and to be fair I never really asked.

I was placed in a group where I knew less than half of them and of those I I did know I didn’t know that well.  I had met and briefly chatted with some of them over the previous months, but I didn’t really know them and I guess they didn’t really know me either.  A couple had been present at the Unleash weekend a few months earlier where I shared my testimony, but other than that I felt a little awkward, even more so as I was really about the only one who was not part of a couple, other than a couple of younger teenagers that is.

But the thing was that once I got there, none of that mattered, not at all, I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome.  It was an interesting first meeting, which focused on just getting to know each other.  It was different and fun, they all turned out to be a great bunch of people.  That first meeting was on Wednesday 16th January 2013, initially we met every other Wednesday, then eventually every week.  But I have enjoyed them so much over the last few years, that to the point of writing this I have never missed a meeting.

If I previously felt that I wouldn’t really fit in or Connect at one of these meetings, that sort of went out of the window in the first few weeks.  I had no problem sharing my story or my feelings on the subjects we were discussing, on some occasions I felt like it was only me who had anything to say and other times I was content to just sit back and listen to the discussions.  In those times if I felt I didn’t really know that much about the topic of conversation, then I was more than happy to sit back and quietly listen and learn.

My Connect group has been so good for me over the last two years, as I say I have never missed a meeting.  There have been times when I have been shaken badly by what had been going on in my life, but that never stopped me from attending, I may have sat there quietly on those nights or on one occasion crying through pretty much all of the meeting, but I knew that that was the best place for me to be, the only place for me to be.

The group may have changed quite a bit over the last two years, but the nucleus of those that were there at that first meeting are still there and we still support each other and look out for each other.

I remember coming home after that very first meeting and writing this poem as soon as I got in…

Connecting

A small gathering
Of us only twelve
All sat closely together
Each knowing only a few

My shyness is rising
I fight to keep it in
Time now to open up
A moment to be me

Introductions are made
New friendships are born
Relaxed I am now open
It’s OK to be just me

We trade tiny moments
Sharing snippets of our past
Creating tiny pictures
Of who we have become

Our goodbyes are spoken
Each heads home to rest
Seven days will slowly pass
Until we gather once again

RIGHT BESIDE YOU by BUILDING 429
I’ve seen it and felt it
Hopelessness with no lifeline
The wicked are feeding on
Innocence and our decline

You and I we are the same
Torn apart by different things
All our faith is barely alive
But we’re going to make it through the night
I want you to know

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When you think there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you
I’ll be with you

We are precious
More than priceless is our worth
Loved by the Father
Heaven’s children here on earth
You and I we are the same
Lifted up above the pain
By it’s wounds we have been healed
And by our love it is revealed
I want you to know (I need you to know)

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you

Hold on, don’t you let go of me
I’ll be here through it all
Hold on, when you’re ready to fall
I will carry you
I will never leave you
I will lift you if you fall

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you
I’ll be with you
I’ll be right beside you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.