Life Giving Community

 1 Samuel 18:1-5

I sit in a crowded cafe surrounded by community buzz but excluded from the intimacy that a room full of people should bring. That’s not uncommon or unexpected. In fact, it’s comfortable. The hum of friendly chatter and company of strangers has a way of making me feel protected. It feels safe to rub shoulders with those who don’t know my heart and can’t judge my thoughts. There’s a freedom to unfamiliar crowds that is attractive.

As I sit cozily in my corner of the unseen, my heart whispers, ‘This is a beautiful community.’

That’s where the nerve of longing hits. The shelter of being unknown slowly begins to close in and the certainty of loneliness reveals itself. What seems safe and cozy begins to feel tight and threatening. Empty.

Boldly, I beg God for more than this.

I love the picture of friendship that God outlines to us in 1 Samuel 18:18.

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Two souls were knit in commitment to love each other as they love themselves. That is it. That’s the truth of community my heart needed to know. The truth I need to pursue, need to live out.

This insecure introvert often feels convicted by the desire to hide. To build a life around the explanation that I am shy, the excuse that my schedule is full, the truth that I need space. In the end, each and every self-focused reason for separation and withdrawal leads me no closer to the soul knitting connection with God’s people that He placed me on this earth to build a life with.

In this next season, I surrender.

….to the fear of vulnerability.

….the idea that I can do this life alone.

….to the gift of more Jesus through loving His people well.

In this season, let love come teach me to look beyond my needs and learn to love unselfishly and grace-filled. May He lead as I stumble my way through guiding my family outside ourselves and into the new community we are planted in.

How easy is it for us to feel like we need to protect our time, protect our family, and protect our hearts from the neediness of the world? Please know I hold a firm belief in boundaries and loving my family well. I am no stranger to unhealthy giving, robbing family of my best, or slipping into people-pleasing. That is a space in our hearts where wisdom needs to root and guide.

There is a balance of giving outside of our family unit and intentionally investing time and authentic love to others in our life. This outward focus allows us and our family the blessing of connecting with a larger purpose and feeling the responsibility to love others well, to know soul-knitting bond.  

I once read a definition of community as a challenge to commit ourselves to live together as the people of God. What hope this give me.

In this cozy corner of the unknown, I chose now to seek the truth of that statement in my life one eager hello at a time.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I love this post Andi! I really needed to hear it today. It is so true that many times I make excuses for not being as connected with people as I should. I would consider myself an extrovert, but paired with my social anxiety, convincing myself to engage and connect with new people is very difficult. So glad we were connected through our blogs and social media!

  2. Your words are like honey to my soul. I’m an extrovert, so naturally I love friends and community, but since having children a lot of my social friends have now withdrawn into their homes and rarely spend time with me. This is a beautiful post. I’m going to share it on my Facebook account.
    Xoxo, Amaris

    1. That is the sweetest compliment and I can so agree with the relationships changing after kids. It’s such a hard thing to make the space for, but so crucial to daily living. Thank you friend!

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