Welcome to Cari Bousefield, my guest blogger today at Heartspoken. She reached out to me about guest posting, and after reading some of her writing and sensing the sincerity of her faith, I am honored to have her share some thoughts about the joys and benefits of fellowship in our Christian journey. You can read more about Cari below the post.
I’ll come right out and say it.
I thoroughly enjoy going to church.
I love being with other believers who are all gathered together for one common purpose – to worship the Lord. Besides worship, church provides a great opportunity to fellowship which I believe is just as important in strengthening our faith.
I understand that for some, finding the right church or going to church can be a challenge. For this reason, I am thankful there are other opportunities to fellowship with other believers. I have had some amazing encounters and have been blessed immensely at conferences, Christian concerts, small group studies, and prayer breakfasts.
When my daughter was six months old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We made the move from our small community to a larger city in order to meet her medical needs. Finding a church where we all felt comfortable was difficult.
Our daughter was very sensitive to loud, sudden noises. This was exacerbated when people spoke into microphones or the worship music was too loud. We went from church to church, trying to find a good fit for the three of us. Denomination played no factor whatsoever, as were determined to find a place our daughter felt comfortable.
During our struggle to find a church home, I was besieged by negative emotions regarding my daughter’s disability. I worked full time, and she didn’t sleep well at night. This made for one exhausted mama. Thank goodness I could listen to Christian radio on my headset at work. My little cubicle became my place to spend time with the Lord. Eventually, I met another Christian at work, and together we ventured to Christian concerts and prayer breakfasts. These venues served as great opportunities to fellowship with other believers.
As I attended Christian events and became involved in women’s Bible studies, I realized I was not the only one going through a tough situation. There were many other women who were facing struggles and hardships. It didn’t matter that their challenges were different than mine. They were still facing similar thoughts and emotions including negative thinking, fears of failure or a shaken faith.
Oftentimes, when we are struggling, we think we are the only ones going through a difficult situation. We look at other believers and church-goers and think they have it all together. I think one of the most important aspects of true fellowship is helping us realize this simply isn’t true.
The more time you spend in fellowship with other believers, you will begin to trust one another and openly share your thoughts and feelings. Prayer requests get exchanged, and as you pray for others, you feel their prayers making a difference in your life.
Too often Christians guard their hearts and don’t want to let others inside their thought world. Maybe they fear rejection or keep people at bay as a way to protect themselves from getting hurt. Despite this, God still calls us as believers to gather together. You will see this in the book of Hebrews:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25 (NKJV)
I am thankful that two years ago, my husband, daughter and I found a wonderful church family with which to be in fellowship. We have thrived as a result of finding a small group of people with whom we can share our burdens while lifting them up in prayer for their needs.
What about you? Do you need a boost of confidence in your faith? Are you or a loved one facing a difficult trial? Take heart and know you are not alone. If you can’t find a church that seems to be a good fit for you and your family, I highly recommend getting involved in a local ministry or Bible study. If nothing else, go for coffee with a fellow believer.
I pray if you are struggling, God will lead you to a safe place to experience fellowship with other believers. If you are one who has been helped in your struggles by fellowshipping with others, I would love to hear about it!
Cari Bousfield is a freelance writer who loves to blog and share through her writing all that God has done in her life. She has been married to her husband Rob for 12 years, and together they are raising their amazing daughter, Faith. They reside in Bismarck, North Dakota. You can read more about their journey at Faith’s Mom’s Blog.