Whether we recognize it as such or not, we all have communities we are a part of. Family, various groups of friends, colleagues at work, sports teams or volunteer groups, neighborhoods…the list goes on and on. One thing I have really been convicted of lately is the value of our spiritual community. This isn’t the church we go to, or denomination we belong to, but rather a smaller, intimate community, a small group if you will, of people with whom you can be totally open and vulnerable. Too often in life, with the other communities we know, we have to worry about appearances, or perceptions, or what others will think. If you don’t have a small group, imagine this: a group of friends that is there for you no matter what, at the drop of a hat. People who will allow you to cry on their should or will celebrate with you. People you can share everything with, and I mean everything. All the insecurities, the fears, the struggles. Things that you may worry people will judge you about, or think less of you if they knew. This isn’t a ‘book club’ that studies a topic together; this is a group that really ‘does life together.’
I am blessed to be part of such a group. If one of us is having a personal issue they can call anyone else to talk about it and get prayer and support. If a large concern comes up everyone will drop their plans for the evening to get together and help. If someone needs help painting a bedroom or moving to a new house, someone is on board to help out. If someone is struggling with a ‘biggie:’ considering a job change, a serious illness in the family, a move, a major temptation to sin, marital problems, financial problems, lack of faith, intimacy issues….you get the point…it is all fair game. There is no judgment, no secrets, just love and acceptance and grace and help. It’s not the easiest thing to find, and like any relationship it has to be nurtured and grown, but it is such a beautiful thing. You will be amazed at how God will use these people in your community to grow you! How one of them will speak something that perfectly confirms what you have been thinking or feeling. How someone will have been through exactly what you are going through and has advice on how to help. How someone will commit to pray for you and follow up with you as you work through something. How God uses you to build each other, develop each other, and speak His words to each other. I am so blessed by these people in my life, my community. I am so excited for the growth we will experience together, and for the community they will provide for our child as he/she grows!