I met some incredible women at Relevant at few weeks ago. One in particular was amazing woman, passionate and committed to community for women.

We chatted for a while and I realized I longed for community-authentic community.

Do you?

We are wired as women to relate to one another. After being with women in an environment where there was no comparing, criticizing, or long looks, I really desire authentic community. There is such freedom in being who YOU are uniquely created to be. Why is it hard for me to extend the hand of grace and foster a sense of community with others? Imagine the impact that could be made for the Kingdom.

In today’s society, we are not taught how to build community. We are taught how to “manage” on our own and be self sufficient. It does “take a village” to raise our families, but usually we take the “I am good, the village is my last resort” theme to make it through. What a loss of relationships, help, and support for each other.

I grieved at an event the other day. Women looking up and down and at each, long looks of distaste for dress or not dressing up “enough,” and more.

I want to offer grace. I want to offer community.

Community means we recognize the need for each other. We recognize the cavern in our hearts that longs for relationships with other women. To know we are not alone. I am not great at it, but I am praying I can be better at fostering community. With people around me, friends that are virtual, and within my own family.

What does community look like to you? Are you open to community?

 

7 thoughts on “Do you long for community?

  1. Lindsey van Niekerk,

    Oh, I understand what you mean, especially after Relevant. I went to Bible study at a church that we are fairly new to the other night — men & women meet separately at the church. And while the Bible study was fabulous, afterwards the people that talked to me were the ones where I initiated conversation, although I am “new”. I was telling my husband how I think it is a challenge for women to reach out of their box beyond the 1 to 2 that they are comfortable with and it is also hard to break into that. It also made me think about the way/the vibe that I put out there with people, even friends closest to me, when I am hurting and need people but they think I just want “space”. Sometimes I just wanted you to be brave enough to climb my defenses. So I realized that night…you have to be brave enough to climb people’s defenses, even if you get “eaten alive” on the other side….but well, it isn’t so easy, right?

    Great post…really made me think!! {as you can see 😉 }

  2. suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter},

    oh sister, i know this. i long for community. we try so hard to extend hospitality but i find it so hard to really connect with people. we live in a weird place, too. we have younger colleagues from work and super-old people from church but peers are few and far between.

    i feel like i try really hard, but you can’t really force those connections or create that kindred spirit thing. it’s also just so hard to really get to know people–after college firstly and then after kids.

    i don’t know what the answer is. i’m just tired.

  3. Comment author Kristi,

    I love that phrase: climb people’s defenses. So true!! You are right, it does come at an expense, but my experience is that the gain is worth (either in friendship or in personal growth).

    Way to go for trying to glean community where you are! Praying for those you connect with that He will bless your friendships for many years to come!

  4. Comment author Kristi,

    You are totally right-you can’t create kindred spirits, or the connections. We can ask Him to open those doors of conversation. I pray the Lord makes me approachable, that He will help me be discerning in what questions I ask, to create community.

    It is challenging and it is tiring for me. I dont have all the answers and do long for kindred spirits around me. Praying for you, that He would provide kindred spirits around you!!

  5. Brooke McGlothlin,

    I my tendency is to want to be alone. To walk out life just me and God. But God didn’t design us to walk alone…He designed us for community, and to need community. I didn’t realize how much I needed community until I had my boys. They, more than any other thing so far, have taught me the power of needing others to walk along side of me.

    One of my biggest struggles is feeling like I have more online community than off. I’ve been pretty intentional about trying to connect with the people God has put in my inner circle in real life over the last year. It’s been soooooo worth it!

  6. Shelley Noonan,

    I really believe that we can either create our community…or allow others to create community, or lack of it. For myself, I have had to train myself to be a woman of intentional relationships rather than a woman of happen-chance relationships. In my young 20’s and 30’s I allowed women to choose me as their friend. It was safe that way. There was less rejection. But I have found that I now desire to surround myself with women and relationships that are ones of quality rather than convenience.

    And in order to do this I purposefully do two things. 1. I am selective about the women I allow into my life on the deeper level. These are the ones that speak into my life and influence me. 2. I intentionally look for women to pour my life into. When I am at a function, I scan the group for women who need to be included,those who need to be loved on, those I can encourage, those who might feel just like I did…alone and not included.

    Thanks for continuing this discussion and shedding light on our need as women for community!

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