By Amy Hafner
Walking in to my first Freedom Group in the spring of 2014 was slightly intimidating. I was a very new Christian, not yet baptized, who didn’t know much about the Bible, fellowship, or this word “freedom.”
I remember sitting down in a very large “small” group, listening to the hearts and personalities of so many different women. Some were ready to bare their souls, be vulnerable and transparent and I simply wasn’t one of them. Instead I sat there judging, “Her problem is so minor. Well that’s an easy fix. Isn’t she a Christian?”
I didn’t say one word that first group, which is shocking for me. I left thinking, “what did I just sign myself up for?” I thought I had nothing in common with these ladies and I would never let my guard down with them. I’m embarrassed to admit this, and I really had to repent of my attitude because it was so wrong.
Over the next nine weeks, this group transformed my life. They became the friends and community I was in desperate need of. They cheered me on through my struggles and my triumphs. God revealed to me how similar our paths intermingled and we were able to build each other up. I was baptized that March and will be a co-leader for a Freedom Group this fall!
As we begin our semester I’m reminded of Mother Teresa’s wise words:
“If you judge people you have no time to love them.”
Now let’s be honest, are you going to be new best friends with everyone in your group? Probably not. But we can always err on the side of love and acceptance.
God, thank you for loving me right where I am. Help me to love others where they are. Bless our efforts to love and not judge and as we seek you, let us find you!
Thank you for your honesty! I have to admit, im a little nervous too! But I’m looking forward to experiencing my first Freedom Class with you!
Kari! I’m so excited for this semester. Can’t wait to get to know you better!
Blessed are you right now! The kingdom of God is always with an open door for you and for anyone else.
Amy, it blesses me to see how much you have grown since that first day in our freedom group! I am so thankful to have you as a friend and get to watch you mature in the ways of the Lord. You are a precious sister in Christ and I can’t wait to see what He will do through your ministry! ????
Heidi! I will seriously miss being a party of your group, but since this will be my 4th time through freedom hahah (obviously I needed it). Felt so blessed to have you and Natalie as my leaders. May God continue to bless your families and ministry. I love you gals! Xoxox
Great honesty! You and Travis are such a great example of what God can do if we will just open our hearts and take one step at a time! Miracles!
Wow Amy, so amazing and Brave of you to share this. Thank you.
Thanks Kris! Love your picture. Hope all is well!
I love you Amy. I am so proud and happy for you!