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August 13, 2012

Community

Seven years ago I started attending Grace Church in Greenville, SC and it didn’t take long before I realized that I was supposed to be there, that this was supposed to be my church home.  And even though I’d only been there a few times, I wanted to get plugged in ASAP because even though I knew some people there from Clemson, I wanted to see more familiar faces when I came each Sunday!  So, I went through the classes and became a member and was placed in Stephen and Sara’s small group.

Yes, the cat is out of the bag… I was in their group for SEVEN years!  But, in my head, there’s a time lapse video running where Stephen, Sara and I are sitting in their living room and group is happening, but it’s going REALLY fast and people are coming and going and staying and going and coming and staying… and it eventually lands on this current group.  I don’t know how long this current group has been together, but it seems as though we’ve gelled really well over the last year or so and we’re all sad that we have to part ways.  Stephen and Sara are taking a year off (they’ve been leading for 9 years straight!) to BE in a community group instead of leading one.  So, last night, we all got together (and all of us were there!!) to tell them thank you and give them notes and pictures and gift cards to let them know how much we appreciate them and all they’ve done.

Ok Sabrina, what’s the big deal?  Yes, you were in the group for seven years but not everyone else was.

Well, that’s the amazing thing about community groups.  It’s not just a bible study that meets each week to talk about the sermon or to do a study.  Yes, we might do those things, but it’s about being IN community and living life together.  It’s about speaking truth into each others’ lives, it’s about reminding each other of the gospel, it’s about helping a family in the group when a family member has surgery, it’s about helping someone move, it’s about showers and celebrating when marriages happen (um, we had THREE of those this past year or so!), it’s about mourning together when someone loses a family member, it’s about getting together on a random night for dinner just to hang out, it’s about playing Dance Dance Revolution and laughing until our sides hurt, it’s about finding a pickle in a Christmas tree and so so so so so much more.

And I’ve been with Stephen and Sara for seven years.  I’d only been back from Belgium for less than a year when I joined Grace (and before that, I’d still been in college), so my adult life has been at Grace and with this incredible couple.  They’ve walked through so much of life with me that I’d never be able to recount it all.  They were giving me marriage advice long before Ben and I ever thought about meeting.  They’ve taught me what it looks like to follow Christ, even when it’s the most difficult.  They’ve taught me what it looks like to love others like Christ.  They’ve taught me what it looks like to love your children like Christ, even when you’re extremely frustrated with them.  They’ve taught me what it looks like to lead, which helped as I attempted to lead a group of high school girls.  They’ve taught me what it looks like to open your home and your lives to welcome in a group of sinners and walk through life with them.

We may have said goodbye to this group last night but it wasn’t goodbye to the individuals.  Whatever showers or babies or weddings have yet to happen, I have a feeling that all of us will be there again (and Sara pretty much threatened me if I didn’t invite her to my baby shower when that time rolled around ;-) ).

We gave them a scrapbook with notes and pictures and memories.

And there was a basket of giftcards to some of their favorite places (including some candy and popcorn to go with the movie tickets!).

Just so you know, I did NOT write the thing about Android. ;-)

Please let me introduce you to the cutest 4 1/2 year old ever, Brody.

Curtis and Brittany…

Greg and Stephanie…

Amy (she’s our very own body builder!)…

Drake (Curtis’s son)…

Meredith and Chas…

Brandon and Krista…

Abby, Macy, and Taylor…

Sydney and Emily…

And you know us :-)

 Gosh, I’m going to miss seeing this group every week (especially the amazingly hilarious 4 1/2 year old boy down front…)!

Thank you girls for being such a big part of my life!  Love you!

  1. Dayna says:

    I love this Sabrina. While it is hard to say goodbye it also means that God is about to start doing something new with each of you – and that is exciting! I praise God for this amazing group which supported you and loved you over the past seven years and pray that your next group continues to both build into you and help you to use your gifts.

  2. Sara says:

    We feel so blessed and privileged to have been a part of each of your lives. We have grown because of y’all, been loved and cared for, prayed for, wept with, fed, treated, and given much laughter.

    Sabrina, thank you for being faithful to God, and because of that, to the people in our group. Thank you for loving us for the last seven years. It has been so much fun to walk through the different seasons of your life and ours together. We love you and these photos are great! Thank you so much for putting this together.

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