How Do Small groups Grow in Friendship?
My team and I were putting on a retreat with the theme “Love One Another,” our theme about having strong friendships and being a good friend. The girls in my small group already knew each other but were able to open up more deeply about their friendships and feelings surrounding them during our time in the second small group. One girl, in particular, opened up about how she felt like she really didn’t have any good female friends and wanted more.
Interceding for Their Intentions
During our time of prayer later in the church, I leaned down to each of my girls before I prayed over them and asked if they had anything specific they would like me to pray for. When I got to this particular girl, she hesitated and then said no; I prayed over her and then continued praying over the other girls I had in small group.
Once I finished praying over my whole small group, the girl who initially told me no handed me a slip of paper she had written on saying that she had more friendship problems but had been too shy to speak in small group, and she wanted me to pray for that as well. I read this note, then sat back down next to her and asked if I could put my hand on her shoulder and pray over her again, to which she smiled and said yes.
The Gift of Seeing A Difference
After our time of prayer, she asked me for a piece of scrap paper, so I had my teammate go to the supplies closet and grab one for me to give to her, not knowing what it’d be for. Then, at the end of the retreat, she came up to me and handed me a letter she had written, saying she cried while writing it. She then thanked me abundantly, asked to hug me goodbye, and left the retreat.
I sat down to read the letter, and she’d written how being on this retreat and in my small group allowed her to feel loved and cared for in a way she’d never gotten. She said that, at school, teachers just love all the students in their class, and at home, parents just love all their children, and it didn’t feel like she ever received love individual to her. However, when we were in small group and when I prayed over her, she felt like she was loved not just as a girl in the group but that I loved her individually as a person. It brought tears to my eyes because that is the way Christ loves us.
God has shown me this individual love and allowed me to pass that love forward. It was the greatest gift I could receive to help one of God’s beloved daughters know His love in such a tangible way. His goodness truly has no end.
2022 – 2023 NET Team 8