So I sat down at my computer to blog about the reading/studying I have been doing in Exodus (thank you Susan for the insight and I’m sorry for thinking you were weird for being so fond of this book). But as it turns out, as I started gathering my thoughts, my blog is going to take another direction. Not even 6 months ago, Brian and I began praying for about Christian fellowship, community, relationships and living life with a group of believers. I’m not sure why I am surprised when God answers prayers. I mean isn’t that why we pray? Don’t we expect God to answer in some way or another…otherwise, why even pray? Maybe its not that I’m really surprised that he answered…I know he listens and allows his will to be done in our lives. I think that I am maybe just surprised that he answered with such abundance! Brian and I love people, but to be honest, over the last few years we have been kind of guarded and have not formed close friendships or relationships with anyone! We knew we needed a network of people, we prayed for those people to be brought into our lives (or for our lives to crash into theirs), and God listened and granted us more than we could even have imagined. We were led to a new church home where we have been welcomed with open arms and open hearts. And for the first time in a very long time (and by a very long time I mean EVER) we are forming true, honest, valuable, meaningful relationships with people who share our walk in faith. We have that network of people who “get us” – or at least put up with us – and share our struggles. We have people we can cry with, laugh with, pray with, and be real with…without fear of judgment or condemnation. God is so good! Jesus says in the Bible the came to give us life – abundantly – life to the fullest. He has most certainly given to Brian and me in an abundant way. In just a few months we have formed bonds that I know will last long through this life – and into eternity. I don’t think I ever grasped what pastors meant when they repeatedly said that we need to live life with others. I mean I knew what they were saying – but I don’t think I had any idea why it was considered to be so important…until now. Now that I have been blessed with people who love me for who I am and who love me in spite of my mess, I understand and appreciate how critical and beautiful those relationships are. I feel so blessed that God loves me so much to answer my prayers in such a way. My prayers have now changed. I now pray that I will be sure to cherish and honor and nurture the relationships that God has entrusted to me. I pray that I will come to mean as much to them as they already mean to me. And I pray that I will always be thankful for the love that I have found in my new church family.