The scene at GroupLink, as with all North Point events, is kind of overwhelming. It's in the auditorium - which is ginormous - and it's set up as a sea of round tables. On each table, there's a sign for the type of group that will be convening there, e.g., "30's, Men, Dunwoody." Given the fact that my group - "20's, Women, Buckhead" - was by far the most representative slice of the Buckhead Church community, there were a million tables to choose from. So I just sat down at one.
And that table became my small group.
I have to be perfectly honest. I don't keep up with most girls that were in this group. However, they were exactly who I needed to be with during that year in Atlanta. They walked me through each step of my decision process in deciding to move to New York. They cried with me when it wasn't working. And they rejoiced with me when the pieces started falling into place. It was a sweet season.
In this group - this random, Buckhead Church assigned small group - was a girl named Angie. We were merely acquaintances during that small group year in Atlanta, although looking back, I'm not sure why or how that was possible. But a week after I moved to New York, I got a call from her. She had decided to move to New York, too.
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Things didn't necessarily plan out the way Angie planned, but either way, she did move up in August. We started hanging out more, and, as Angie once put it, "we made it past the peripheral friend phase pretty much immediately." She joined me at Gallery Church. We started another small group, which truly anchored me during that first year in New York and got me through one of the hardest, saddest seasons of my life.
Angie and I, along with Lauren, have had some of the most random, strangest, bizarre, wonderful adventures in this city. We got stranded in Hoboken together. We went to Atlantic City. We went on a free cruise together. One time, we did herkeys at a party just to see if we still had it. (We did.) We also do normal things like go to movies, eat Chilaquiles at El Centro, sing karaoke and watch terrible movies like "The Women" On Demand at Angie's apartment.
Looking back, it's amazing to see God's providence. He knew I would need friends in New York, especially that first year, so he encouraged me to go to GroupLink alone. He directed me right to that random round "20's, Women, Buckhead" table (which I now know was not random at all). And he used Angie and I in each other's lives to get us to the city exactly when he wanted us here.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "I didn't find my friends; the good Lord gave them to me." Thank you, Lord, for giving me my friends.