Apologize for the crickets over here in blogland! Truth be told, soooo many great things are happening and coming together (kind of outta nowhere) and I'm trying to get my footing and figure out how to manage all these fronts at once and figure out some systems for staying on top of everything--like blogging! Which is why I am so so excited about today's post...
I'm joining a group of lovely ladies/bloggers in a new linkup designed to encourage vulnerability, transparency and honesty. I came across Rachel from Oh Simple Thoughts on Instagram and really loved her posts and her heart. When she floated the idea of a monthly linkup, designed around a prompt and bible verse, I was sold. So what IS a linkup? It's basically a bunch of bloggers who post about the same topic on the same day, then share those posts in one central location--go to Rachel's post to see the list of everyone contributed.
Today's prompt focuses on community. A super timely topic in my life especially, as I've really been dwelling on this idea and what it means. Really, since reading Shauna Niequist's book Bread & Wine: a Love Letter to Life Around the Table, I've been craving community. Dinners. Conversations on the back porch. A rich life filled with a tribe of people to share everything with--victories, failures, successes, struggles and most importantly, our walk with the Lord. It's a process finding your people!
The verse Rachel gave was this:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Reflecting on this, I realized how much we were truly designed to live in community. And "community" to me means so much more than "friendship." Community means to truly immerse yourselves in the lives of another--to walk with them through the fire, to help shoulder their burdens. In high school, many of my best friends had grown up in an ecumenical christian community known as The People of Praise. There are branches all over the U.S. and I saw firsthand how rich a life living in community could be. These people chose to live close to one another--not in a commune, but a few minutes down the road in different neighborhoods and houses, but close enough to drop in whenever. They gathered for "community dinners" once a week, where 3-5 families rotated hosting one another for a meal. These weren't productions where the house had to be clean and everything perfectly so, but real life. Messy houses. Whiny kids. But gathering all the same. Every Sunday, usually after everyone went to their respective churches, the whole branch would gather for a meeting. Share verses that spoke out to them from Scripture, share their struggles and successes, pray for one another. The kicker? These people committed to this community. You go through a time of discernment about whether the life is right for you and your family, and then you commit. Commit to walking alongside one another. Commit to doing life with each other, always. I discerned this life for awhile myself but ultimately the Lord pulled me in other directions and I have peace that it wasn't meant for me. But it was so cool to witness what true Christian community can look like in today's world. Would all of those people have been friends outside of their commitment to the community? I can almost guarantee they would not have. But they found common ground there, and in the Lord, and a beautiful life was built around that.
I crave that so much for myself and my little family. I want to find our tribe. Our community. It's been a fervent prayer for awhile now. Not just a friend group. Not just a church group. Tribe is the best way I can describe it...they're your people. The Lord is definitely beginning to show me bits and pieces of what that might look like and I have so much faith that he's weaving an incredible story for us.
I want to do life with people. Messy, wonderful, beautiful, hard, incredible life. I think it's how we were made to be.