HEATHER PATRIDGE ON DISCIPLESHIP

I joined my first discipleship group back in 2004, which was around 25 seconds after I came to Christ. I was a junior in college at the time and between my 12-15 hours of classes per week and my part time job as a tutor on campus, I was extremely busy. Just kidding. I only thought I was busy. In reality, I had loads of time to devote to these girls.

I literally did life with them. We were always together.We would wake up early to pray and read the Bible with one another. We met for lunch and hung out between classes and went to the same gatherings. We stayed up late prophesying our future lives. Hilarious, I know. I might add we were basically incorrect about every bit of our predictions. Anyway, these  girls were always with me. While am thankful for this experience as a brand new Christian, I now realize it gave me somewhat of a misconception of what discipleship would look like as an adult.

It just didn’t translate. I currently don’t have endless hours to devote to the women in my life. My time is limited, fragmented, and unpredictable at best, and because of this, these relationships develop much more slowly and take much more effort to nurture. Not only that, but it can be really hard to honor your commitment to your discipleship group when your time is scarce. For me personally, the end of the day is often my first moment alone. I look forward to walking out of my children’s rooms, grabbing my hidden stash of dark chocolate, and turning on my current Netflix binge. So, on discipleship group night, I look for any excuse to not get in my car and drive to our meeting. I don’t want to use my brain at this time of the day. I want comfortable and cozy. I want easy.

Yet, you know what? I have never once regretted choosing to go. Gathering with other ladies to dig into God’s word, pray for each other, and push one another along has been my lifeline during this stage of life. They help me keep me going. Now turning on Netflix and eating chocolate isn’t bad, but I can’t look to it to refuel me. It is nothing but a shallow well, and I will always come away empty. I have got to be in relationship with other believers. I need to see the body of Christ in action as we commit to stick it out with one another

Friends, I encourage you to do the same. Committing to a discipleship group is not the easy choice, but I promise you it is worth it. It is a decision you will most certainly not regret.


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