Today begins our month fighting the lie that we will always be lonely.
Although I think a lot of us don’t believe that this is necessarily the “truth“ or even something that we would say that we believe, I think we subtly act on this lie in a lot of ways.
So many wounds can feed into this: feeling like we don’t fit in, feeling like our input or voice is not valued, specific people that have hurt us in community, and even just our own desire to self protect from future wounds we see being an inherent part of the community experience.
It’s totally different for every person, but if truly enjoying or entering into community is a point of struggle it’s not typically because of just one thing - so often we store up “evidence“ from all different eras of our life that we use to show why we can’t be in community, or shouldn’t be in community, or don’t ever fit in, or don’t even want to mess with the headache of it all.
So as I was beginning to write this reflection I spent a little bit of time in prayer, like I normally do, and I asked the Lord if he had a word that he really wanted to impress upon my heart and the hearts of those reading this about this topic. A lot of times He’ll give me a phrase or a sentence but this time it was just a word: fight.
When I pressed into that it was clear that the Lord’s heart is for us to fight for our communities.
And why is that? Because they’re worth it.
God created us to be in relationship with each other, not just in our discreet family units, but also in communities at large. If you look at what Jesus did during his time on earth a very important aspect of it was creating a community - a group of disciples that carried the mission of the church into the future long after Jesus physically left the earth.
And as that church has grown, community has always been an essential aspect.
But I think this is where the struggle can come in: there’s a lot of time and energy spent extolling the virtues of community and why we should be in them, and just generally how important they are. But at the same time there’s much, much less available about breaking through the lies and strongholds that make it so challenging for us to execute on that beautiful idea.
That’s my prayer for this month. I hope that this month of reflections will help you examine your own wounds and struggles with community, not in a way that nurtures victimhood, but in a way that allows you to invite Jesus into those dark places so that He can begin to heal.
This work is worth it because community itself is worth it. Community offers so much of what God created us for as human beings and settling for a life without it is just straight up less than God intended.
And that's not who we are - we are not people that settle for less. We are people that press into God and say "What else you got, Dad?" He always smiles when we ask that, because there's always so much more.