For many years, I have felt on the outside looking in… maybe you too can relate.
There have been seasons where I was missing having close sisters. That feeling where you long for family beyond the blessings you already have, Where my heart felt lonely despite a loving hubby, great kids, friends & family.
And I remember one day praying to Him, and ripping this longing from my heart & offering it to Him.
We were never meant to walk alone.
We are designed for community.
Community for me means walking along side those who share your passion & calling, who will give you a hand up on the hard days, and encourage you to unfurl the dreams yet to fly deep within.
We were meant to live life in community, just as our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit do!
There are three elements of community which God has been revealing to me of late.
If you don’t show up, it isn’t community. Community gathers regardless of feelings, because it knows we are better together than on our own. Where we answer the invitation God offers to us all, to come and be. Be fully present, as you are.
Also known as family. Living real lives together. Accepting us each as works in progress, on a journey towards wholeness:
- Encouraging one another as we need it
- Reminding one another to draw closer to Him and our loved ones
- Giving our best at all times
- Using our gifts for His glory
- Praying over & for each other when needs arise
- Being helping hands when we can meet another’s need
- Crying together, sharing our brokenness
- Offering one another a safe place to rest and be refreshed when we are weary
When we gather with common purpose, somehow our unity makes us stronger, and greater than when we stand alone. I believe this is the secret to how God is which we gloss over in its complexity: God is three, yet one. Each fully their own person, yet united as One.
In community, we become the one He intended us to be.
Will community always be amazing? Nope. There will be hard times when our individuality rears its voice and cries out for attention, when we allow our unhealed places & pain to speak first.
Is community worth it? Always. There will be blessings you cannot yet imagine when we press in and dig deep together.
For me, community involves sisterhood. I have been so blessed with several heart sisters to live daily life with in the community I live in, here in Ontario. I don’t want to imagine life without them. They bless me more than they know.
But there was still an empty space left in my heart, a longing for more which was yet to come…which I believe we all have deep within.
God led our family to a new home church, and once we worked through our grief of missing where we had been, we found ourselves enveloped in the community He planned for us. Our family, as both a unit & individually, is the stronger & healthier because of it. Our church is intentional about loving God and loving people, and becoming family. Family is always welcome, warts and all.
He led me to Remade, and Beth Kinder. Beth & I connected, and before I knew it, I had the close sisters my heart had been longing for through their online community. Crossing country borders, denomination, age, race & status. Ministering, laughing, crying, writing, equipping, challenging, living life together despite the mileage that separates us. And that last longing was put to rest when I was welcomed in, and asked to join this community. Although Remade has morphed into a new season, I am still heart connected with the lovely sisters I met through that time of ministering together.
As I have followed His leading, He has blessed me with new friendships, and reawakened a few dreams through growing deeper in the communities He is planting me in.
Covid led to me putting a few former learned skill back into action, as I began to lead an online women’s Facebook group, helping sisters stay & feel connected despite lockdowns, through worship, bible study, prayer and sharing both the laughter & tears as we get to know each other.
God can unite us beyond our expectations when we follow His lead.
Community is His idea, the expression of how He lives life together as three in one.
Come, commune with Him & become one. This is the core of community, connected & grounded to God first.
Ask Him to draw you closer to the community He has for you here on earth.
Your best ‘you’ comes to life in the community where He waits to make it possible.
If you are intrigued by the concept of an online community, ask God to lead you to the One He has for you. Feel free to visit my connect page for ways to connect with my online community, for there is always room for one more!
If you too live in Canada, and long to meet with other Christians in the larger church community, Gather Women is crossing Canada and meeting provincially.
If you too have been lonely for the deeper authenticity and support of community, don’t allow your lack to drive you. Invite Holy Spirit to open your eyes to where He wants you to gather, connect and live in community.