Vanessa and her husband Kyle are core volunteers at Connexus. In addition to leading a group, Kyle serves on the production team and Vanessa serves on the Next Steps team. Together they host and lead a group of other young families who attend the Orillia Campus.
I’ll never forget walking into GroupLink to meet our new group. I was so nervous about who would be sitting at our table. I started getting anxious and scared about what we would talk about, will we connect, what if we don’t get along? Little did I know, that this shouldn’t have been a concern. We stayed late to finish conversation and couldn’t wait for our first meeting just a week later.
Flash forward a year and we have gone through so much together. We’ve witnessed vulnerability, heart ache, and happiness, so much happiness. Part of this happiness was welcoming two new babies into our group. Before we knew it, those newborns were 5 months old and we were having conversations about baby dedications. We thought how incredible would it be to dedicate our three babies together on the same day. We picked the day and then we waited, and waited and waited until July 15. The night before we dedicated our babies, we got together for dinner. We cried about how big our babies were, we prayed for the big day and all of our nerves. Our homework had been completed and we anxiously awaited Sunday morning.
Our nerves were high with so many friends and family surrounding us. But we were thankful for the opportunity to share this big moment together as a group. I remember sitting in the service and Shawna had said “Once these families leave here today, nothing changes for them.” But little did we know, everything would change. The baby dedication moulded our friendships and we have become even more connected than we were before. We talk daily, and share some of our most vulnerable moments with each other.
I am thankful for that September night at GroupLink, and how God moved and started to build the foundation for these authentic friendships.