For the past few months, I have been meeting with two of my friends from our HomeGroup, Josh and Mike, at Mill Mountain, a local coffee shop, at 7:15 on Monday mornings. April and I usually have meetings with our BCM Bible study leaders on Sunday nights, which wears us out. But even though 7:15 feels early after tiring Sundays (it's funny how things have changed since I used to be at work before 7 every day), I look forward to that time every week. There are a few other people I happen to see in there almost every week now (another guy from church Tim and a pastor from another local church Jeff), which makes me feel like a regular. Maybe soon the Mill Mountain employees will know my order before I tell them (Mill Mountain Blend for here: $1.50).
The purpose of us getting together is to talk about life - what we've struggled with, what good things have been going on, where we need advice, and what our relationship with God has looked like lately. There's a lot of catching up, joking, and talking about subjects we know very little about, like health care reform, theology, helicopters, and marriage, thrown in there as well. I guess you could call this my accountability group. I also get together with another friend from church, Robbie, every Friday for lunch to do the same kind of thing. Robbie and I have been meeting for probably over a year now, and have come close to eating at every restaurant in Blacksburg, although we have some standbys that we frequent like The Cellar, Taco Bell, and Rivermill.
Accountability is something that has never come easy to me. I hate talking about the stuff that I know God hates to see in my life, and I hate admitting that I don't know what to do in a certain situation. I started to learn to open up about this kind of stuff at the end of my time in college, and I've been up and down since then. I feel like right now I'm in one of the best places I've ever been, with lots of guys who know me and I can be honest with, not to mention the accountability that April inherently brings to my life. I thank God that I'm in this place, because he has truly had to bring some radical change to my life to get me here. I tell students all of the time that the more people you have around you that really know you and you can be honest with about the crap in your life, the better off you'll be. I'm thankful that I'm growing and feeling strong in that area of life right now - I know I need all the encouragement and help I can get.