Figuring things out on your own. Keeping your problems, victories, fears, hopes and dreams to yourself. Keeping it all together and powering through with all you have. Proving to yourself you are strong enough on your own.
Leaning on others for support, wisdom, and encouragement. Letting people see who you are, your deepest fears, insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Being exposed in and honest about faults, failures and frailties. Looking to be accepted and supported and not judged and abandoned.
Which of these scares you the most?
In my life I have always leaned towards being an “open book.” I desire to be able to truly connect with the people I am surrounded by. Authenticity is a huge value I hold for myself and others. I have not always had wisdom and discernment in when just laying it all out there was a good or bad decision. God has taught me the hard way quite a few times.
This trait has indeed led me into hurt and brokenness. Have those hurts shaken my trust in others and the idea of genuine community? I believe at times, yes. But it could never make me so blind that I could look past all that relationship and community offered to us in life. We need relationship so desperately as people.
We need each other and are so slow to admit our need. Instead of flocking together, we have a tendency to drift toward isolation and independence, and the results are tragic. When we go at it alone, we are easy prey–to ourselves and the enemy. At a time in my life when I was battling crippling anxiety, I was never more alone and vulnerable to anything that came my way. I had no community. I was battling it all on my own. And failing miserably.
God says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” -Genesis 2:18
Years later I stepped out in desperation, brokenness, and weakness. This is when God stepped in and showed me what being a part of His family really meant. When God adopted each of us we became more than “believers.” We became “belongers”! We are all connected in His body and are best when working together.
"Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others." -Romans 12:5
God gives us special groups of people and communities that help us thrive into who He has really created us to be.
Is this risky business? Absolutely! But I have seen nothing more beautiful and powerful than when God displays Himself through His people, His body, our relationships, and our communities. I could never deny that fullness cannot be reached on our own.
Together we can have and do so much more:
- Collective Wisdom: Everyone brings different knowledge and life experience to the table.
- Push Our Limits: When working alongside like-minded people with similar goals, we find ourselves more motivated, encouraged, and less likely to give up.
- Support Our Beliefs: You know those days when you just don’t think you have it in you and want to give up? Your community believes in you probably more than you believe in yourself.
- Borrowed Inspiration: When you are just all out of will power and your mind is blank on how to move forward, there are surely many people who you can take exactly what you need from for that very moment.
- Accountability: You can have people who truly love you and want the best for you speaking truth when it is needed, and help you achieve what God has for you along your journey.
Let’s take a chance together in community and relationships and decide to be all in. Let God work through you for others, and work through others for you! It’s His design and how He has made us. We just have to be brave enough to step into who we really are.