As I shared with you a few days ago...real community, stepping out there in faith, can be hard. Especially for women I think....men maybe I am wrong here, and please share if I am!! But really what was so interesting to me was that a couple of amazing, strong women left me comments/e-mails expressing that they have struggled with the very same things I do. This shocked me really because I tend to believe that my "situation" is unique.
That awful desire to compare and feel less than, and then to isolate so we won't get hurt by other people. The idea that people might be judging me and my family or their behavior etc is enough to keep me tucked away in the safety of what is comfortable here at home.
But these women also reminded me that we have this need for, a draw to, community - real community...and sometimes we just have to get out and go, even if everything isn't perfect. Even if we have just a bag of chips to bring to a potluck, even if our child throws a tantrum in the middle of the room. This is where we are right now in life and we need to be ok with it.
And what has really been playing around in my mind is that when I am so focused on me and how I am feeling or perceiving things I start to believe that lie that I can't trust anyone but myself....and I stop giving others the chance to be real with me.
God created us for community with one another. Each one of us has special talents and gifts, unique abilities. Some of us can balance many small children with patience and grace (let's be clear....this isn't my strong suit), some of us can cook or have the gift of hospitality, some of us organize well and have creative talents.
Each one of us is different and has something special to share in community. When we lived in SD we attended a great church with some amazing members. People that met us initially at really a low point in our marriage...people that encouraged us and supported us and showed us that we don't have to be wrapped in a pretty little package to be accepted and loved. They wanted us to be members, wanted us to be involved - defects and all.
Since moving here I have been a little reluctant to open up and trust that we will find that same acceptance here. But we love it here....feel like God led us to Marshall and to the church in Cottonwood and I am beginning to see that if I want that community that we had in SD - I have to be willing to step out and take a chance on people here as well.
And so that is what I am trying to do and while I am not quite ready to go jumping full into the waters of community just yet....I am dipping my toes in at the edge...and looking forward to what may come. It has to start somewhere right?!