As my trip to Allume quickly approaches, it is the perfect time to hit on the topic of community.
I sit, poised to type, willing myself to impart inspiring words to you.
I am nearly jumping out of my skin with excitement at the thought of meeting, in real life, the women whose hearts I have grown to love over the last year. Perhaps, I will even meet some women whom I hold in high regard for writing words of life that changed me forever.
And yet, community and me, we’ve had a rocky relationship.
I was that awkward, shy, wallflower schoolgirl.
The one all the teachers expected to perform.
The one seemingly all adults expected to perform.
I was the young bride striving to conform to the legalistic prayer groups that invited me in.
The one who wondered why the faith friendships went nowhere.
The one lonely in a crowd.
I was the woman desperately rationalizing the OK-ness of not knowing my neighbors.
The one afraid to be herself.
The one one craving friendship.
For seasons in between, the Lord provided the buds of relationships. He blessed me with a faith family.
I gave my heart freely to them in trust and relationship.
In His providence, the Lord grew a few deep and beautiful friendships.
In His grace, the Lord carried me through the disintegration of one of those friendships.
It hurt. Deeply. To lay bare my heart and soul, to take a person at face value, to invest, and have it trampled…
Sometimes, community hurts, and that’s where I write from today.
Some call it a scar. It’s a wound the Lord tended, healed. But, the scar remains. Though it changes, lightens over time, it is there.
A grief over the loss. Over the betrayal. Over the control not being mine to fix it.
So, you have my confession: sometimes community hurts, and today I feel it.
Yet, I know:
We are meant for community.
Our Lord Himself is a communion of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–a wild love affair. We are made in His image, so we, too, are relational. He longs for communion with us, and He intends unity in us as His body.
And so, I cherish those “in real life” embodiments of love He has given me, resting there instead of too long on the ones gone bad.
I also cherish those hearts online, some soon to cross over to “in real life”.
And I urge: give grace. Give kindness. Love like He does. Even when it hurts.
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Community is a heart tool. I’m veering from the format of the Hearts Undaunted Series to bring you a short series of posts related to community. On Saturday, you can expect a guest post I wrote for a special site, a story of transformation and redemption. I anticipate oodles of goodness from my Allume experience. Community galore. Will you come along on this journey of community?
Speaking of…I’d love to know your heart, too. Have you been hurt by community? Blessed by it? Tell me you story. Let’s chat!
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