On Sunday evening I was sitting in a friend’s living room surrounded by 11 of the finest women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. It was a time of hard laughter..like so hard, my “smoker’s laugh” took over my body. It was a time of openness; real, authentic, and vulnerable openness. It was a time of AMAZING food…AMAZING variety and AMAZING tasting.
I drove away that night with a FULL belly (I may or may not of had to undo my top button of my jeans) and an even fuller heart. The overwhelming sense of gratitude for my community has stuck with me over the last few days.
Last night we had our last meeting for this current women’s Bible study session at my church. As we went around the table there was a common theme of appreciation for the the women sitting around the table. For a lot of us, Tuesday night was a hi-light for our week and we were sad that it was our last meeting until May.
This morning I sat with 2 friends as we are going through our church’s small group curriculum based on the book, Jesus Called – He wants His church Back. This week the topic was on the role of the church and its importance in our lives as Christians. There was a question that asked about our favorite part of the church and all 3 of us simultaneously said, “the people.”
It does not matter if you are introverted or if you are extroverted, you are wired by God to need people. For some of us, it may just be one person, for others, 10 people. Even Jesus had His people. No matter our predisposition, we need people around us. Not just any people; healthy, caring, wise, and safe people. Life is a journey with a lot of crazy turns and dips and we cannot go it alone. We can try, BUT we will not make it very far.
For me, personally, my community has carried me in times that I could not walk on my own. The prayers, coffees, cards, text messages, phone calls, and the shoulders to cry on have gotten me through my journey of infertility, failed adoptions, marriage troubles, financial droughts, parenting difficulties, and the ongoing daily battles.
My community hasn’t just been there for the hard stuff, they have been here for all of the good stuff too. Whether it was standing by our side in the court room as we adopted our boys, helping us pack up our old house and then unpacking it all in our new house, celebrating holidays, birthdays, and all the ongoing daily victories.
If you are lonely today, I am sorry. It is a lame and a sad feeling. There are some days with even the community that I have, I still feel lonely. In those times, I find that Jesus is calling me to Himself. There is definitely a void in all of us that only Jesus can fill and when we try to fill it with stuff or people, we will feel very lonely.
The lonely feeling I am addressing here is the loneliness that comes from the lacking of a community.
Life is busy. Especially with really young ones that are stealing our sleep. What I hear is that the busyness doesn’t stop, it just gets worse. It goes from sleepless night fatigue to running around like the family taxi to school, games, and activities fatigue. Community doesn’t usually drop in our laps. It is something that we have to pursue and be intentional about. It is extending invites for dinner or playdates. It is signing up for your local Bible study or mom’s groups. It is making attending church on the weekends a priority.
It can be so scary to step out. Especially into a room of women when you don’t know anyone there. If we can always just keep in the back of our minds that we are ALL just tender daughters of the King that are the subtotal of all of the relationships we have ever had in our lives. We all have hurts and insecurities that we are operating out of, but if we could treat each individual we come in contact with the way we want to be treated, God-honoring community would easily flow. We all need…Grace for each other. Love for each other. Gentleness for each other. Acceptance for each other. Understanding for each other. Forgiveness for each other. Authenticity and vulnerability with each other.
Find your people. Whether it is one or 10. Step out and do what it takes to find them. We were not made to do life alone. We NEED each other. Get past the awkward first interaction and build the relationship. You won’t be sorry and like I always say, it will be worth it!