My Growth Group leader’s apartment was so welcoming to step into. The smell of freshly baked muffins saturated the air with the rich, appetizing aroma of chocolate. Delicate and ornate stacks of teacups lined a shelf above a basket full of teas, and soft fuzzy blankets were draped over the couches. Tabs, our leader, always greeted us with a hug and a warm, “How are you?”
My Growth Group, a student-led on-campus Bible Study, has (somehow) met every year and every semester since my first month at John Brown University. Tabs is single-handedly responsible for the Bible study’s success, continuing it and consistently reaching out to all of the girls in it despite our complicated schedules and busy lives.
Tabs is someone I secretly wish I could be and, every time I discover something we have in common, I consider it a success in my master plan to “Become Tabs.”
One of my fondest memories of Growth Group is getting together for muffins and tea. My friends and I sat on little chairs in the kitchen and, like the early Christians, we broke bread (muffins?) together, drank tea with milk, and played card games.
Another time, a friend and I had just come back from the pool at the Walton Lifetime Health Complex and we stopped by the apartments to visit Tabs. She wasn’t home, but we figured she’d be back soon so we plopped down in the hallway to her apartment and started doing ab exercises right by a huge window facing a well-traveled road.
Eventually, we gave up waiting on Tabs and left, but not before pretty much everyone else in the apartment building walked by and saw us doing crunches and double-leg lifts. I still think about that night every time I go past the Northslope Apartments and see the hallways all lit up.
We talked about life, God, hopes, dreams, and fears in that kitchen. We sat on that futon for a couple of hours every week and got to know one another more intimately. I made some of my best friends there, girls I rely on to this day.
It would have been really easy for me to have made excuses and not gone to Growth Group. As much as I enjoy it, there have definitely been a lot of times when I’ve just wanted to curl up under a blanket and watch TV instead. Yet, I never regret going.
I want my life to be so much more than just good grades and time spent on a couch. Instead of only having seen tons of different shows and movies, I want to have rich, deep, meaningful relationships—with God and with other people.
Growth Group is a way for me to be surrounded by young women who push me to be a better follower of Jesus, who inspire me to do more with my life than just the bare minimum. It’s worth every single second.