I didn’t always have friends. When I first moved to this city with my husband, I felt all alone. I was a stranger in this city. Tears would flow as my heart ached for relationships.
With my first baby, I could barely function. I knew something was missing, so I joined a group of moms that met at a local church. I felt loved and accepted by them, but it took time to form friendships. It was hard and there were growing pains. From that group came friendships that were meaningful, and a community of kids for my children to play with and love.
Deep friendships formed from those early beginnings of life with a newborn. I have found friends that I can gather together with every week. Sometimes it’s for a meal. In busy seasons, we talk for a few stolen moments after a meeting, just to catch up with one another. On sunny days, our kids congregate in the backyard. Or on cold wintry days, they destroy our houses creating havoc and laughter all at once. It is hard with busy schedules and so many kids among us. But I know that the mess, chaos, and planning is all worth it.
I don’t know how I did life without them. It feels as though these women share the same blood, like we are sisters. And we are, because we are sisters in Christ. They belong to me and I to them. The Word says: “We all belong to each other.” (Romans 12:5) After years of searching, I have found a place of safety with them.
But I still struggle with feeling lonely at times. Recently, I sent out a message to a few of my friends. With the busyness of life, we hadn’t been able to see each other. “I feel like I will shrivel up and die if I don’t see you all”, I said.
Its hard to admit how much I need to see people and have relationships. Even after spending a lot of time with them, I still wondered when I sent the message, what if they don’t need me too?
I quickly received a message back from a close friend. “I’m feeling desperate too”, she replies. I’m not alone. We really do need each other. But oftentimes, I have realized that when I am feeling lonely, I need to take the time to reach out to someone else.
I’m not quite sure why I’m afraid to admit to others how much I need them. I don’t want to seem needy. But I am. I need community. We all need community. God created us to need each other.
When we live in community, we are reminded of who we are in Christ. Others remind us of how beautiful we are on the inside, when all we can see is our failures. When our marriages or other relationships are struggling, we have those that can offer support and prayers to help us keep going. When we are fearful of a decision that needs to be made, others can encourage us to do the things that God has called us to do.
We find grace and love offered in the body of Christ.
This is community. When we are alone, we need to take the step to reach out to others. When we have community, we need to remember how important it is, and to offer it to those in need. We are called, blessed, and encouraged to live in community daily.
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