Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Importance of Community

Two are Better Than One

The importance of community

Can I let you in on a secret?  I really hate putting myself out there.  I've spent most of my life trying to blend in and go unnoticed.  Yet now I spend large parts of my day writing and sharing my life and posting personal details for anyone to read.


It's very simple.  God told me to.  I clearly hear Him telling me to share, even when I fight it.  Even when all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide, I hear Him whispering to me to write.  When I wrote about my struggle with depression I stared at the "publish" button for a few solid minutes before actually hitting it.  This voice, this gentle whisper from the One who created me and who determines my steps, it encouraged me to put it all out there.

An amazing thing happened after I shared.  I've received countless texts, phone calls, messages, even hand written letters, hugs from friends who I see out and about, and an abundance of encouragement. Had I never listened to that voice and shared my struggles I would have missed out on all those people praying for me and encouraging me.  I would have missed out on encouraging them.  I had no idea I had so many friends who also fight depression and anxiety.  Now we can be there for each other.  We can pray for one another.  We can send a simple text to check in.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Do you follow Jon Acuff?  If you don't, you should.  This guy bluntly tells it how it is while simultaneously being encouraging and making me laugh.  One thing he constantly talks about is the need for community.  When I hit a low over the past few weeks, I needed my community.  I didn't even realize I needed it until suddenly my friends were surrounding me and lifting me up in prayer.  I tend to prefer to handle things quietly on my own, but I think Jon is onto something with this community thing.

I've had a wonderful week.  I woke up Monday morning and felt back to normal, whatever my normal is.  I haven't cried for no reason or taken a nap all week.  After a month of living under a dark cloud it's pretty amazing to be able to step outside and enjoy the sunshine.  

The sunshine after the storm

Psalm 40:1-3 - I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Thank you for being my community.

If you are one of the friends who encouraged me during this storm, thank you.  If you offered up a prayer on my behalf, I felt it.  God has given me an amazing community, and I am grateful.  If you are struggling, I'd love to be a part of your community.  

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