Life in Community.



This past Sunday at church, during our study of Ephesians, our pastor spoke on the importance of community. I feel like this sermon touched on something that has been stirring in me for awhile, so well, it's time to talk about our small group. And to post two blurry pictures that describe them. :)

The past few years have been a crazy, winding road of unknowns. Yet, they have also been the most fulfilling and joyful days of my life. I am confident that those that God has placed on my path have been major players in this.

I remember being newly married and SO insanely happy to be Andrew's wife. A few weeks had passed of us living together, and over dinner I asked A what he seemed to be thinking about so deeply. He sweetly replied, "honestly, I am just a little lonely." While this may have caused a little bit of a stir to his new wife ("Do I, with my homemade dinners and tidy home and unending affection for you, not fill you up?!" laugh ;)) I completely agreed with him and quickly admitted, "me too."

You see, during our dating days, and way before that even, we fortunately had a group of amazing friends from home and college that were always there for us- in both a physical and spiritual sense. Both Andrew and I tend to be private on the front (can you believe that about me? here blogging? ha!), so when we find those "good" relationships, we tend to hold on to them and cherish them...and admittedly, take them for granted. And then, after the whirlwind of wedding and moving and floating in marital bliss, we both realized, over our plates of chicken tacos, that all of our people were all at least eight hours away and well, we were lonely. 

Don't get me wrong, though. Despite missing my friends, I think moving away after getting married (or any time, really) does so much good for you as a person. It's so freeing to explore a new place and all it has to offer. A move is also good for your marriage, as you learn to truly rely on each other and be each other's companion through transition. And, in my experience, a move is also oh-so good for growing your trust in Jesus because it's made clear that he has been, and is continuing to be, the provider of your every need. Breaking away from the comforts of the secure and well-known is a great catalyst for personal growth. 

And also don't get me wrong on the thinking Andrew isn't enough. He is more than enough when it comes to being a husband, I mean my goodness, I could go on and ON! Yet, Andrew wasn't made to be my everything, nor was I made to be his. Those are just roles too big for any one person to fill. I think that doing life with my best friend is one of the happiest places in my heart, and I know that he feels the same about me...but we were made for community. We all need that group of people around us, besides our spouses, that provide happiness in the other spaces that need filling.

I also believe that there is a difference between a group of friends with common interests and hobbies, and real community where real conversations happen about real life and all that comes with it: the good, the great, the not-so-great...and the oh myyyy. ;) I think it's easy to find that first group of right-away friends, that are great for grabbing a game or some beer, but the deep community, like any good thing, takes awhile to cultivate. Sure, it can start over dinner or a football game, but it grows in to late nights talking about a hard situation, or working together towards something you both believe in, or just sharing something that you might not with another group...and that's where our small group steps in and saves the day.

We meet on Sunday nights at someone's home and share a meal around the table together. Hellooooo, Bread & Wine to my soul! ;) We talk about work, life, what book or tv show we are currently obsessing over, our fun weekend plans, our families, and friends far away. After dinner, we "retire" to the comfy couches and chairs,and discuss our current study, Fresh Air. Over time, those couches and those people have become such a safe place- a place to share the good and the bad and even yes, the oh my. I learn so much about Jesus through them and I just love being around them. I try not to think about how our group is constantly in rotation, as we just said farewell to an awesome couple (thank ya, air force ;))- but I know that these friendships have already made their mark on me and the goodbyes are really more of a "see ya later".


God heard our prayers and has used our small group to give us much-needed community. My small group loves me and grows me. I am so grateful for them, and I'd love to encourage y'all to find a small group to be in...like now. ;) Ha. Of course, it can be awkward for anyone at first, but once you get past the small talk, you find a group that doesn't just get together for an hour a week, and you get in to a good and sweet spot that helps you find rest and encouragement for the days ahead. Ah, life in community!

3 comments:

  1. So much truth. You make me miss our little neighborhood community immensely <3

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    1. Aw, Rachel! How I still wish we were neighbors! Thanks for being such an incredible forever friend!

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  2. What a wonderful way to create commmunity. Being married can be lonely at times even when you do have that built in best friend. So happy for you for finding a way to deal with it all.

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