A typical day for Kristin Hruska consists of diapers, homeschooling, lots of coffee, making meals and snacks, doing piles and piles of laundry, driving kids to practice, and then hitting repeat to do it all over again the next day. It is in this busyness that she and her husband, Chris, see their life as evidence that God answers prayers. After a season of infertility, miscarriage and a difficult first year of marriage, they both know they are blessed.

“I wouldn’t change our story” said Kristin. She knows God’s at work in the messy and the mundane of her life. However, sometimes she finds herself asking ‘is this it?’

Last year, in the middle of the mundane, God gave Kristin an answer to that question. Kristin had a vision of a space in her home where people would gather together confessing, encouraging, and loving one another with Jesus in the middle. But how and who?

As she processed and prayed on what this could look like, the vision evolved into a mission. She and Chris would lead a City Group for newly marrieds at their house once a week infused with the mess and chaos of life and a lot of the Gospel.

“When Chris and I got married it was so hard,” shared Kristin. “I didn’t understand marriage and I didn’t have someone to seek guidance or wisdom from.”

Kristin knew that if newly married couples had space to process their stories and struggles and grow in a deeper understanding of the Gospel, lives and marriages could change.

“I didn’t understand the Gospel in my marriage early on,” Kristin confessed. “I understood that the Gospel got me out of Hell and into Heaven, but I didn’t understand how it shaped the way I lived right now. So when marriage was hard, I felt guilt and shame, anger and frustration and that it was kind of on me to figure out how to make this relationship better. I would swing between disappointment in myself and bitterness towards Chris. But God. God was gracious to help me see that what I needed as a woman, struggling in her marriage, was not a new husband, but a new perspective on the depth and power of the Gospel. As God did that, I was able to be honest with God and confess my need of fresh grace from Jesus. Being a woman who was receiving forgiveness from Jesus, freed me to then forgive Chris. Understanding that the Gospel rooted me in an unshakable love, freed me to stop demanding Chris to be my everything. Instead, I began to realize that God had done a great work to serve and empower me to start serving Chris, with no expectations of a thank you or a high five.”

“The Gospel began to change everything in my heart and then in our marriage! Now, because of what God’s done in my heart and through a new perspective, I feel a desire to help equip other couples to see God through these same Gospel glasses.”

Last fall, the City Group began with ten young newlywed couples meeting every Monday night. Preparation for the group was simple. Kristin made sure she had some snacks and drinks out and Chris would prepare a short study. What launched from there was providential.

“In that group a family was created and people saw each other as friends, confessing sin together and to their spouse,” Kristin described. “We saw a lot of change early on with everyone. These couples wanted a different marriage, an understanding of the Gospel and its role in their marriage. We played and laughed. We saw huddles start to form outside the group. It was a beautiful picture of a City Group.”

A few weeks into it, a real community was born. Each week the group would study the Word, pray, and confess sin to one another. Afterward, they would break into smaller groups of just women and men where honest convictions and struggles were shared.

“One sweet gift out of this City Group that was unexpected,” Kristin said, “is these couples loved my kids so well. The guys would throw the football with my son and ask him about his life and the girls would hold my little one or play with my other kids. These newlyweds took interest in my kids! It was such a gift.”

This past summer, at Citylight’s outdoor baptism, this new family had members get baptized. The entire City Group showed up to celebrate these new lives in Jesus including Kristin and Chris’s kids.

“My kids saw someone from the group and they turned to me and said ‘hey we know him!’” exclaimed Kristin. “The relationships that these people have created in our small group and now with my kids...truly it has felt like family. It also helps make the church feel small. I didn’t know any of these couples before City Group and now I have 20 new faces I intimately know. I get hugs and do real-talk on Sundays.”

What God did in a short time He can and will continue doing in and through His Church. Kristin encourages others to step into leading a City Group and discipling, especially if they feel inadequate or unprepared. It was through leading a small group that helped her rely on God and practice what was being preached.

“Leading was definitely convicting,” admitted Kristin. “Every week, I was teaching these ladies how the Gospel affected and applied to their marriage, so it kept me accountable to be living out and modeling what I was teaching. Living in God’s Truth became so practical for me.”

Kristin wrestled with thoughts of if this was the right season to lead a City Group, if she had anything else to offer outside of her own story, but what gave her confidence was her confidence in God's Word! Kristin saw the fruit from studying, reading and feeding on God’s Word. She knew that God’s Word would not return void in the lives of these new married couples. Kristin’s understanding of how God uses His Word to do the work of ministry in the lives of others gave her confidence to step into leading a new group.

God was faithful to use His word in the lives of others and also to create a new kind of Gospel community in the group.

“You know, Chris and I were vulnerable. We led with vulnerability every single week,” Kristin declared. “This was a safe place where we never let anyone sit in their sin and we pointed everyone to the Gospel. The group would respond graciously and they each loved and prayed for one another.”

Before launching this group, Kristin and Chris knew it would be a short-term ministry they would lead. God gave them a desire to make a deposit in the lives and marriages of others, but to ultimately raise up new leaders and empower them to take over leadership of the group. This fall, the group continues to meet with these new leaders! Since last year, some of these couples have now become parents which has created a fun and new dynamic for the group to walk and pray through and to support one another in. Part of Kristin’s joy is seeing God continue to use this group to mature disciples.

Citylight, God is at work and He's using people who feel weak, tired and are in messy and mundane seasons. Kristin offers these encouraging words...

“I wonder, are you in that place? Do you believe God will use you in a different season that's just a little bit easier? What if God was inviting you to take a step into His mission now? What if God wanted you to invite others into community so they could observe how you humbly rely on Jesus in weakness, exhaustion, or in your mundaneness? God's gracious to use you for His Glory in often the most unexpected seasons.”

To join or lead a City Group, please visit citylightomaha.org/citygroups.


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