Gathering Five: Abide
Case Study: Lila
(words in quotations are her own words)
Lila, 27 years old, came to faith in Jesus just after college when a friend invited her to an Easter service at church. Lila shares with you and others that she believes “Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for her sin and by trusting in him she has salvation and hope of resurrected life with God forever”.
Lila’s story is one of a rebellious youth filled with sex, drinking, and living a double life of good girl/bad girl depending on the people she was trying to please. Her parents are conservative, visibly involved in the community, and considered very successful. Her two older sisters have had successful school careers, work experience in their fields of choice, and are married with young children. Lila reports feeling like she never measured up to their standard though she also reports they never said or did anything directly to her to make her feel that way. “I just know I’m a disappointment to my family even though they love me.”
Lila struggles in her relationship with the Lord. She attempts to spend time reading God’s Word and praying, but consistency is a struggle and she carries a good dose of guilt because of that. She genuinely wants to please the Lord, but when the weight of “you failed again” overwhelms, she caves to the temptation of sex and drinking. Nearly a month ago she met a man in a bar and that fling left her feeling convicted, scared, and wanting to change. She hates the “dark part of her” and wants to “live in freedom”.
Lila is stuck, discouraged, and needs help. Her friends in her small group are aware of her ongoing struggle and want to support and love her well. She receives their love up to a point and then shuts them off for a time. She does, however, faithfully attend church and small group bible study. “They know a lot, but they don’t know everything. I think it would scare them away if they knew it all.”