My heart is hugged.
I told a friend this recently in response to her words and care. Several others in my community have done the same in the last few weeks. These are important moments to remember and hold on to because there tends to come a time when forgetfulness occurs.
Those pesky doubts creep in uninvited. They’re really lies in the form of sneaky shadows, hiding the good and tempting us to believe only the bad.
This one says, “No one cares.”
When those joy stealing demons come to call, we must choose to defend them by refusing isolation. We must choose community, even when we don’t feel like it.
Especially when it’s hard to do.
Maybe it means getting out of our quiet spaces in order to be around people. It could be exercising in a gym, walking in a mall, going to a local coffee shop, or restaurant. Better yet, how about confiding in our spouse, in a close relative, a neighbor, a church friend, or a co-worker?
How about calling someone over, inviting them to coffee, being the one who goes first? It’s pretty likely you know someone who is feeling the same way.
In isolation, our fears and doubts tend to multiply. It doesn’t take long for them to spiral with increasing force. The enemy would love nothing more than to use this cyclone as a weapon to knock us out.
Safe, real, authentic, and faith growing community is where we find the courage to rise up again. We find those who can speak truth into our lives in ways which both convict and exhort.
Community, as God designed it to be, is the place where our vision of God expands and we grow more into His image.
Sure, there are plenty of challenges along the way. Finding healthy people to navigate life with can be tricky. Investing with them and staying involved is messy and hard because it’s always made up of broken, sinful people.
Just like you.
Just like me.
People hurt our feelings. They rub us the wrong way. They disappoint. And good grief, they might not do what we want them to do.
If we should stop there, we will be stuck and we will stay that way.
When we decide that the very heart of God, which exists in the display of loving one another, is something that simply can’t happen or won’t happen, we limit the power of an all powerful God. We also, *gulp*, act as though we don't believe what he says.
Community doesn't drop into our lap. We can't wait for God to give us the so called “right” mix of people whome we like and share alikeness with. In fact, I hope he doesn’t.
We need people who think and act differently in order to see the things we can’t see on our own.
Sometimes community comes in places we don’t expect. Sometimes they act in ways we don’t like. Even when we think we have it all figured out and create our own holy huddle, our differences eventually come to light and we have to decide if we’ll stay committed.
Should we stay or should we go? Will we be harmed or could these relationships bring about healing?
We can’t see into the hearts of man and we don’t know the future with God. What we do know, God is a relational God. He has a heart for us to know relationship with Him and grow in our relationships with each other.
I know the hurt of being misunderstood, not being cared for when and how you want it, hearing words which sting, and seeing the hypocrisy and failures of others.
Still, the choice to continue engaging with community is one which says,
God, I choose to be your hands and feet in the lives of others and I choose to allow others to be your hands and feet in mine.
May your heart be hugged and may you hug the heart of another.
ox] Are you enjoying this series, 31 Choices We Can All Make When We Feel Stuck? How about sharing your favorite posts with a friend or two and inviting them to join us. For more Write 31 Days series which you may enjoy, click here.[/box]