I read this post on community this morning.
I’ve loved all of the posts from this series, but this one was so perfectly timed.
There’s no way around it, this was God-timing.
I needed to read this today.
I haven’t wanted to admit it, but I have felt so terribly alone and isolated within a community I thought was mine. I have been angry and bitter towards people, and haven’t spoken a word. I’ve let it build up, for fear of stepping out of line and regretting the next words out of my mouth. So instead of dealing with it, I let it simmer and then I fled. I ran away from it all. I distanced myself, and convinced myself I was better off.
Only to feel even more alone. Here’s a newsflash that has taken me nearly 22 years to figure out (I’ll share for those of you who are slow learners like me): if you’re first inclination is to push people away for fear of being hurt, you really won’t solve anything. People will let you down and disappoint you, but living in emotional isolation isn’t any better.
And this past summer I learned how freeing vulnerability can be too. We had a small group of get together for a Bible study, and while it was terrifying it ended up being amazing. For me, at least. I guess I can’t really speak for anyone else who came.
Just this week I decided to take a chance on this again, and rejoin a group I used to go to that was starting up again. I talked it over with my gramma, and she expressed her enthusiasm and agreed I should go (much to my surprise- it was one of those moments where you’re like, hello, why haven’t you said anything about this earlier to me?)
So I went. I came back. She asked how it was.
It wasn’t perfect. I still felt some of the same things I had felt before.
But. (Yes, there’s a “but” coming.)
But I’m not perfect either. But maybe the problem has been just as much in my heart as it has been external. But I need this.
Some times community can hurt, and it can hurt deeply. But maybe I view community and relationships in all the wrong ways.
Maybe it’s time to step back and realize that it’s not about me or what I get out of it. Maybe it’s time to consider what it is that I can do for others. Ask myself what I have to give, what I have to offer, and recognize that it is about Jesus and it is about fellowship with a group of people who have come together for His glory.
Not my satisfaction. Not my pleasure.
But for His glory and the needs of those around me.