Something amazing happens when I begin to find community…I’m happier. It’s no real secret that my claim to personality fame is that I am an extroverted introvert (I love people. I have no problem with public speaking, but I fear initiating conversation with people I don’t know and if given the choice will hole up with a book in a cabin alone for a weekend and be incredibly content). But even as an introvert, I need those few people to share my life with (and my poor husband gets worn out when I don’t have them).
Since moving this past January (has it really been almost 9 months already?!), it’s safe to say that I have experienced some periods of loneliness. And when no friends is coupled with being a stay at home mom to two littles, it equals an emotional challenge to say the least.
For those of you who are still in school, it becomes challenging to make friends as you get older. School and sports and other activities provides a pretty natural environment to meet people and get to know them and become friends. I’m discovering that as you get older, people become content with the friends they have and don’t always find the necessity in making new ones (which is kinda…well, annoying to be honest. It’s hard being the newbie.)
I guess that’s why when other believers talk about not seeing the need for attending church on a weekly basis or being a part of a small group of some sort because their faith is personal, I get confused. Yes, I read my Bible on my own. Yes, I pray on my own (and with my family). Yes, I would consider my relationship with God personal, though I have to add an addendum to that as it’s not something that I keep to myself, just that it’s a personal relationship in which it’s depth greatly depends solely on me and God. Yes, I understand and can relate to ALL of those things. But I can honestly say that I am a mess without community and I think that is an intentional feeling that is seeded by God.
You see in Hebrews 10 it says,
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25, NIV, emphasis mine)
Numerous times in scripture, we are encouraged to seek the counsel of others, to spur one another along, to specifically meet with one another. Of course we technically can walk in our faith alone, but that was never the intention. God created us as relational beings, which is why He longs to have a relationship with each and every one of us. He understands and designed us to want community and even if we don’t necessarily want it, we need it.
Whether through a group of women meeting on Tuesday mornings from all walks and stages of life (let’s hear it for my Titus 2 group!) or meeting with a bunch of moms who are in the trenches of toddler mommy-hood (let’s hear it for my MOPS mommas!), I need community. Not just because I want to have a conversation with someone older than 4, but because God has wired me in such a way that it is refreshing water to my soul. They can encourage and love on me. They can pray for me. They can laugh with me. And I can give back to each of them in the same way. We are a community that God has knit beautifully together to bring Him glory. And I am so grateful to be back in the midst of that community again. 🙂
What kinds of groups do you find uplift you the most? Where has God created an opportunity for community in your own life?
As always, I look forward to hearing from you 🙂 Blessings to you this week!