Faith · Five Minute Friday

Open My Heart {Five Minute Friday}

Today’s prompt is: Open.

Go.

I didn’t know that serving would break my heart open wide.

(No, I’m not talking about when I lived abroad and faced poverty on a daily basis. That broke me in a different way.)

I’m talking about saying “yes” to a challenge at church, one which scared me a little. I always try to keep an open mind, and keep an eye for new adventures. But I was still apprehensive of this “yes”.

I didn’t know that serving as a small group leader for a group of girls would open my eyes to something entirely different. How it would bring me great joy each week as I head off to church. Just a few hours that were already open in my schedule, a couple of hours that were easy to commit each week.

And so I said yes. And I went to my first small group session with these girls on the first Sunday of the year. Cracks formed on my heart, and joy started seeping in. The cracks grew wider and joy brought along gratitude. And finally, a few weeks ago, my  heart burst wide open for these girls.

Who I really only met a couple of months ago.

Who I only see once a week for about an hour.

But who I now care for whole-heartedly. Who I want to see know Jesus. Girls who I want to see turn to Jesus with every problem that comes their way.

And as their faith grows, so does my own.

And my eyes were opened to the power of service in the local church.

Stop.


 

It’s Five Minute Friday time, where hundreds of women gather to write from all corners of the internet, together on a common word. For five minutes only, without edit or planning. Check out all the fun at Kate’s place, our lovely #FMFParty hostess!

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26 thoughts on “Open My Heart {Five Minute Friday}

  1. That’s so cool! Teenagers can do that to you, you know, worm their way in, crack your heart open and make you realize you didn’t know how much you cared! May God continue to guide you and bless you as you spend time with ‘your girls.’

    1. Thanks! It’s just so heartening to walk into the kids’ service each week and see the girls eager to open up and chat. They are 4th-5th grade, just on the cusp of being teenagers, which is difficult enough. I just want them to know Jesus as they head into all the difficulties of middle and high school.

  2. “My eyes were opened to the power of service in the local church.”

    Amen, sister! There’s just something so entirely “other” and cool about getting in there. Doing your part. Being the pinky toe or femur or whatever part of the Body God made you to be.

    1. Yes!! 🙂 And it’s amazing to see the impact that has on my community. When I see these kids in the schools and they say “Hey, weren’t you at the Bridge on Sunday?” Or see their faces smiling in the grocery store.

  3. Love being your neighbor tonight at Five Minute Friday and how are posts are so close and in the same vein. Hearts breaking open. Hearts breaking for the things that break the heart of God. What a beautiful community you’re writing about. What a blessing.

  4. That is awesome Jen! I am so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping into these girls’ lives in this way! I can’t wait to see how this continues to bless you! Hugs friend!

    1. Thanks Karrilee! It’s been as much a learning experience for me as for them, I’m sure. Not to mention faith building! I didn’t expect that when I signed up. Silly me! 🙂

  5. What a wonderful story, Jen. I’m so glad to be visiting you from FMF! I appreciate your commitment to those girls, how you’ve opened your heart to them. Praise God for all He is doing in and through His church!

  6. I loved reading your story. There is just something extra special about knowing that you are where God wants you and pouring into the lives of those areound you, isn’t it.

  7. I love this, Jen. And I love it even more when I read a comment that they were 4th and 5th grade girls. My oldest is a 5th grader and I am grateful for small group leaders who pour into her during that time they commit to helping to influence her young mind. Steering her toward Jesus. I currently work with high school youth and sometimes it’s a little disheartening when you don’t see a difference. Yet. But then when you do – when your heart breaks wide open as they truly discover their own faith it’s indescribable. You’ve truly nailed it here. Loved visiting today!

    1. You completely understand why I love this age group! They are headed into some rough years, but now their hearts are (usually) still open and soft. It just amazes me to see how they have opened up and started to claim their own faith, just in the handful of weeks I’ve worked with them.

  8. Congratulations on your new endeavor! I know exactly what you’re talking about. I started teaching a 7th & 8th grade girls small group a few years ago & I feel the same way. It’s kind of like a rollercoaster but it is so rewarding to watch them grow in their faith. Great post!

    1. Exactly Megan! With slightly younger girls, it’s a little less rollercoaster-like. But still, this age is super fun, but there are days when I’m like, “Oh Lord, help me!” Yesterday being one of them. 🙂 But I love it nonetheless.

  9. Bless you, Jen, for your service to these girls. Just as God is working on your heart, He is working on theirs too.They are so blessed to have you as their group leader. Much love to you!

    1. I’ve been soooo blessed to lead them, and in unexpected ways. Finding community and friendship with the other group leaders. Stretching my own faith as I think about how to discuss the lesson. Knowing when I wake up Sunday morning that there are people waiting there, relying on me. It’s all been a huge blessing.

  10. I could have sworn I commented on this the other day but I think my comment got eaten.

    I totally feel you though it’s SO HARD to open yourself to others and let them in. I have the same problem..although I also struggle with how much to share and oversharing with others. And worry about scaring people away.

    I actually work with 8th graders at my church and somedays I’m like why am I doing this?!!? I’m so clueless and other days they are teaching me things!

  11. Oh Jen I couldn’t agree with you more and LOVE how you expressed this so wonderfully! Saying yes was the hardest part for me as well but once that step was made I have found such joy in being with these kids. I love seeing how Jesus is using you in these girls’ lives. You are such a blessing!

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