Monday, July 21, 2014

Secretly, It's Your Favorite Thing

She reached for her phone in the dark.  It was because she was looking for a connection. Tired of feeling alone and disconnected in her own house, she sought out like-minds online. She knew she could find someone to relate with, some kindred spirit, if only in a Pinterest meme. 

The power of "community" has been on my mind. I might be late to this party, but I’m learning regardless of which generation or what region of the world is in question - the value of community resonates with all of us. 

My husband is an introvert and I am an extrovert.  My daughter can’t stand the idea of standing up in front of a group of people, all eyes on her, but my son will dance in the spotlight all night long.  Despite the vast differences in the ways we connect or relate to one another, we still seek to be understood and valued by others - even if it’s just a few close friends. 

The older I get, the pickier I am about my community.  Some days I DON’T want to be surrounded by friends or spend all day on the phone.  However, I still want a connection.  I still want to play a role.  I still want to feel like I belong to a larger group. 

It is community that taught me the truth about being a mom.  The truth that I’m not the only one who has really tough days, lonely days, or frustrating days.  The truth that marriage is infinitely harder than we expected.  Or that we all carry far more self-doubt (and other heavy baggage) than we let on.

Community has also taught me good truths like being able to share our fears and dreams with other women who won’t judge.  Good truth like the power of prayer.  Or that we can laugh together about the hard days and then they don’t seem so heavy.

Community taught me these things.  Community holds me together when I’m falling apart.  It’s a secret I discovered and I want to share it with other women in my ministry. 

In fact, I want my ministry to my family to reflect the value of community too!  My #1 ministry is as the mom in a family structure, and almost more than anything I want our little 5 person unit to recognize the value of connection with each other.  Of community with each other.

The icing on the cake for all these relationships is for Jesus to be in the midst of them.  When HE is present with two or more, hearts and lives can be changed.  I get all pumped up just thinking about how I’ve seen Him work thru friendships, marriages, and acquaintances.

And as I ponder all these things, something even bigger hits me like a brick in the head.  God is ALL about community.  His laws, His son, His never-ending promises - they all reflect RELATIONSHIP with Him and with each other. 
Respecting others,
taking time for Him,
sacrifice for your neighbor,
He set up His church around community.  Our daily spiritual barometer is a reflection of us being in community with Him. 

It all makes sense when we see our desire for community is no accident.  We are made to crave it.  With Him.  With others.  It’s part of us.  And recognizing this can help us better understand our sometimes crazy behavior.  Our pain and our disappointment.  Our desires and our yearnings.  

The take-aways are endless, so I won’t say much more.  Do with this information what you will.  For me realizing the importance of “community” to my God, helps me see His desires for me in a new way, in a bigger way, that reflects the Kingdom more than I ever understood before.  I’m excited to go forward with this concept in mind, allowing it to trickle into the cracks of daily life growing forgiveness and focus in the lonely spots which once were bare.

Do you tend to embrace community or resist it?  

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