“Gather” Yourself

So, my church is awesome.  I know, a little unexpected in the opening of this post.  Still, it remains true.  The women at our church have what’s called Gather nights.  We get together once a month.  So, you can offer to host and the gather night will be held at your house.  Okay, I offered to host like 3 months ago.  I was so nervous about doing it, but I had talked to God at the beginning of the year about this.  Let me give you a quick backstory. 

My husband and I had been praying and prepping to purchase our first house in Minnesota. I really wanted to start having people over, but our apartment was so tiny.  I told God, “Lord, if you bless us with a house, I will open my house up to host a Gather night.”  Oh, don’t act like I’m the only one who has tried to make a deal with God (Judge me, judge me now).  Anyway, fast forward and we bought our house.  So when it came time to offer to host, I leapt at the chance without pause or hesitation.  You know I’m kidding right?  I was not that quick to do it.  I honestly remember seeing the notice come up and after I read it, I just put it to the back of my mind.  Then God quickly reminded me, because we have that kind of relationship, “Hey aren’t you supposed to be opening up your home?”  Once, I felt that unction I went ahead and offered to host.  I was excited about it, honestly, I was. 

Well, I had my Gather event this past Friday.  Let me tell you.  It was the most nerve wrecking thing I had done since childbirth.  Not because I didn’t want other women in my home, it’s just that I didn’t want other women in my home.  I know it sounds the same, but it’s really not.  Though I am completely comfortable having people over, I became overwhelmed with thoughts of whether my house was big enough, or nice enough.  Oh my gosh, it was like I couldn’t shut out the noise.  I started to think about who would come, if anyone would come.  I live far out of the way.  I don’t live in the popular areas, what if people don’t like my neighborhood?  All sorts of reasons for me to back out of this event were popping up in my head. I know, it sounds foolish, but this is what I thought.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had these thoughts when hosting a gathering or event of some kind.  Needless to say, the Gather night went well and I really enjoyed myself.  I think the ladies enjoyed themselves also.  I was worried for nothing it seems.  Isn’t that always the case in situations like this?   

Should you ever find yourself in this situation with these thoughts, I want to encourage you. Anyone struggling with having people over to your home because you think they will think the worst of you or your home, I want to tear down that lie.  Relationships are important and a lot of times genuine relationships are built in more intimate settings, such as your home.  I recognized that I was being pulled to build more relationships and this was something I needed to do.  Let me tell you what helped me. 1.) Prayer.  I had to go to God with my anxiety and my doubts.  2.) A good circle of friends.  I had three ladies who made the night go so easy for me.  They showed up early and we were able to joke and talk before everyone came.  3.) Chocolate.  Sorry, I’m sure you were expecting something more profound, but chocolate is what I got.  It really helped. A lot.  All in all, my night was great and I think it was a good way to get to know more ladies from my church.  I would be happy to do it again some time…in the far off future of course.  Seriously, I ate so much chocolate.  I can’t do that again so close to my birthday.  In my next post I will talk about how not to stress eat.  Possibly.  Maybe.