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Laura Nelson was nervous. She and her husband, Craig, had agreed to lead a Life Group, but Laura was concerned about people feeling comfortable, having a good time and that the group would gel and bond. She equated it to throwing a party and hoping that your guests had a good time.
Laura had heard about the Life Group launch almost a year previous and was interested, but she and her husband decided to wait until the next launch to take the plunge. Craig was hesitant, and even admits looking back that it was not something he felt he wanted to do. But Craig and Laura, both teachers in the Lewisville Independent School District, had recently joined Trietsch and wanted to get more connected and find something that would give them a closer community feel.
With their teaching schedules during the week and Craig's schedule coaching girls basketball as well, they struggled to find a Life Group that worked with times and days they needed. Laura was approached about leading a group and this seemed to solve the challenge - they were able to set a time that was perfect for the two of them!
At the first meeting of their Life Group, all of Laura's fears and Craig's hesitations were erased. The conversation flowed easily and the group had things in common and were able to bond very quickly. Laura could see there was something special right away.
The Nelson's feelings for their new group of friends has grown over the course of their Life Group's span. Craig has gone from "wondering why he was there" at the beginning to feeling more connected to the church and seeing his group as a place he can truly talk about anything. Laura talks about how much she loves Sunday evenings, getting into yoga pants, a tee shirt and sitting to talk with a group of friends about where she sees God day to day and life in general.
Laura says of her group, "Life Group has encouraged me to pause more during the week and take those moments to notice God's work in the ordinary events. When something good or bad happens I immediately think about sharing it with the group. The meetings have definitely become part of our weekend routine and it's actually a great way to end a weekend and then head off to work on Monday morning."
The couple's 7-year-old daughter, Natalie, has also been blessed by her parents' Life Group. She has made new friendships with the other kids from her parents' group as they are all in the childcare together and gets excited on Sunday mornings when she sees her friends at church.
When asked about the way the Life Group has affected her life, Laura says, "For me it's been transformational in watching my husband participate and begin to open up to new friendships and involvement in church. It's the first faith-based group that we've ever been a part of together and it has opened us up to different topics of conversation as well as been a model to our daughter of how her parents connect with faith and community as a cohesive unit. I feel like we are building the same kind of 'village' for our family that I loved having when I was growing up."
And Craig's response to their life within the group? "It means a group of people you can talk to about many different items and that is important because sometimes you just need someone to listen to you."