A friend this week asked me how often I spend time with others. What kind of community I have in my life. To be honest I don’t have much of one. I’ve experience hurt in the church in the last year that has kept me from fully embracing community. I go to church sit by myself and leave as soon as I can, so I don’t have to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
As we spoke she said something that cut to my heart. She told me I’ve allowed the devil to entrap me and hold me down with his lies. I’ve heard words in my heart like ‘you will ruin this. You break everything you touch. You were meant to live alone. Every time you try you fail. You are fine alone. Others have done it so can you. You are nothing special. Why should you have a community? ‘
It hit hard though because I realized how lukewarm I’ve become to allow the devil to win. To allow isolation become my norm. In truth the isolation hurts, but its safe too. If I am alone I can not be hurt again. I don’t have to be vulnerable. But I am no where near as effective.
As my friend said in truth we are not called to live alone. We are called to uplift and sharpen each other. We are meant to speak truth in love. She encouraged me that it wasn’t wrong to want a community. To grow with others and do life with others. And that I shouldn’t use singleness as an excuse either. Often when you are one of the few single you feel like a burden. Like your trials have no standing compared to others. But the beauty of God is he gives all value. No one is no less or more because of your relationship status and He calls us to love another in the same way.
So this Sunday I skipped church, kind of contradictory I know, but I sat with God and got real with Him. I asked Him to show me what He wants. Where He wants me and to help me to find the strength to go where He is calling me. I was reading through Proverbs 4 and was struck by verse 4 ” Let your heart retain my words.” So the first step to living in community? Reviving my own community with God. If my heart is filled with God’s words what room have I left the enemy? By listening and overflowing with His love He will guide my path.
Then get with others. It makes me laugh sometimes how quickly God does work when we allow him to! A few Saturdays ago I spent the day with some girlfriends that love Jesus. We were taking grad photos and arrived at a spot for train tracks. The lighting wasn’t the best and the area turned out to be pretty dirty, but we were doing our best to make it work. Next thing you know we were invited to go take pictures on an original steam engine train. A group of volunteers work in their spare time refurbishing the old train to its former glory and they wanted us to come and shoot! We ended up climbing trains, taking pictures, and hearing so many stories. Here we are getting some awesome shots and having an adventure that only God could have orchestrated. I left the day so encouraged and uplifted. Spending the day with others who love Jesus.
I know that life isn’t always an adventure, but over time I have seen that God is quick to bless our obedience. I am not sure I will ever get used to God’s grace, but I am so grateful for his patience in dealing with us!
If you are in a season of isolation know that my prayers are with you and that there are others who understand the season you are in!
All my love,