Marriage and a Move: Finding Community
After getting married on June 8, 2019, my husband, Kyle, and I moved to Indianapolis. It was a brand new city in a new state for each of us. Kyle had landed a great job here, so we packed up and got ready to start our life together away from all our family and friends.
Everything was new for us: being married, living together, a new state, new jobs, a new city, new friendships, a new church; all of it. Although we both have loving and supportive families and friend groups in Michigan and Ohio, we knew that finding community was going to be important in a year of transition.
Joining a Small Group
After deciding to make College Park our church home in Summer 2019, we immediately began to seek out a Small Group. Through searching on College Park’s website, we found a group nearby. When we emailed the leaders, they told us a bit more about the group and said they would be happy to have us visit.
In all honesty, it was a bit nerve-racking to show up to a house we had never been to and spend time with a group of strangers. But we pressed through the awkwardness of the first few meetings. We decided to join the group and gradually began to feel like we were getting to know the other group members. We found ourselves looking forward to the group gatherings more and more each time.
Our group leaders invited us out to eat several times—which helped us connect and also reinforced our desire to intentionally strengthen our relationship with the others as well. So, we started to invest in those relationships. We invited members of the group to dinner at our house, hosted a Halloween Party, went on walks, and invited people to go to lunch on our work breaks. It was a process, but we began to feel that this group was our family here in Indy.
How Our Small Group Became Our Family
Our Small Group has meant so much to us. At first, we knew only a few people in the whole state. Before long, we had twelve additional friends who we could go to when we needed help or wanted to talk.
We saw just how faithful these friends were when, one day in the cold of winter, our car wouldn’t start. Unsure what to do, we texted our group to see if anyone could come give our car a jump and within fifteen minutes, our Small Group leaders had arrived to help us.
That kind of care has characterized our Small Group family ever since that first visit. Looking back on the past year, most of the best times have involved our Small Group. We have not only spent time getting into the Word, but also genuinely enjoy doing life together. Holidays are marked by large Small Group gatherings with food and games. Weekends involve walks at a park. Quarantine was spent laughing and playing games over Zoom with each other.
All the while, our Small Group members have had personal highs and lows. During this year, they’ve endured family trials, navigated career moves, and several of them have welcomed new babies.
Small Group Support
We couldn’t imagine our life without this new Indy family, and we know God has placed us in the perfect spot. Yet, we didn’t quite understand the depth of our Small Group’s love until we shared that our sister, Chelsea, was battling cancer.
Chelsea, who has been battling Stage 4 cancer, lives back in Ohio and we remain very close. We shared her cancer battle with our Small Group pretty early on, and the support we’ve received has meant the world—to her and to us.
Our Small Group asks about Chelsea and prays for her through each step of the journey. They have sent us cards and check up on us to see how we’re doing. They’ve even sent Chelsea cards and letters. They have offered prayer and encouragement as her health continues to deteriorate. Our sister has become their sister as we have walked through this difficult time together.
Finding Community & Family in Indianapolis
One day at work, a coworker asked Kyle what he had done over the weekend. When Kyle responded that he had six couples over for brunch on Sunday after church, the coworker was shocked. He mentioned that he had been living in Indy for five years and didn’t have that many friends.
Truly, we know we are blessed. God has gifted us a family of friends through our Small Group. These awesome people have continued to love and support us as we transition to the newness of a new city and as we walk alongside Chelsea in her cancer battle. We have found a depth of community with our Small Group that has buoyed our faith and kept us going, and we are so grateful.