Community

I have had a pretty easy life. Even so, I have learned the importance of community.  I am not great with words but I will try to get my thoughts down in a way that makes sense-not that what I am about to write is anything new..just a reminder.

I am a pretty private person, and my pride keeps me from sharing a lot of my struggles with others.  I like thinking that other people think I have it all together.  But the trouble with that is two-fold.  First, I can actually become a bit of a stumbling block for others who are struggling with my same (hidden) struggles.  Maybe they will feel like giving up or that they need to hide their own struggles so they too can seem to have it all figured out.  I’m sure I am not alone in saying the following: when I go into another persons house-especially another woman who seems to do everything perfect- it gives me comfort and actually encourages me, to see that they too might have that one room/closet that everything was shoved into so the rest of the house could look clean, or to see that unweeded area of their yard or that their child too throws a tantrum or that they have to work hard to have the fit body they have achieved.  I realize that my struggles are not unique to me and that we can actually support each other. Providing help, rest, or just sharing ideas.  God tells us in His word that we need friends and mentors.  There aren’t any struggles unique to only us.

So secondly, I become a weaker person by not being real.  I might snap at my family when things aren’t just so for company. And it keeps me from seeking God’s wisdom and help because I am so busy trying to seem perfect…I’m not saying that anyone actually thinks that by the way.  And I think by not being genuine it keeps other relationships more shallow.

I think community happens easier during a crisis-it’s kind of hard not to be real.  For me it is something I have to remind myself of during the easier times.  I am so encouraged by my family (both by blood and through Christ) and friends.  As I try to be more transparent I am able to be held up through prayer and words of encouragement.  And I find that the other people in our lives open up more as well-becomes a nice little circle that I think God intended.  We become stronger and smarter.

So all that to say-be real and intentional today when you interact with others…especially with God-He already knows us intimately and He loves us still.  With that kind of security we really don’t need to fear what others will think. Don’t make excuses or partake in little white lies-fess up and do better.  My sister-in-law used to always say (not necessarily to me), don’t be sorry-be different.  Well, of course we can be sorry for our mistakes but we most definitely should try to be different-God didn’t intend for us to struggle with the same sins our entire life-we just get stuck…mostly because of the excuses we try to make.  Hope this encourages someone today.  You are loved and accepted..you are a child of the one true king-so be courageous and be yourself and allow God to work in and through you 🙂

-Tina

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