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  • clrbrjones

"Two or more..."





Community is defined on Google as "a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common," or "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."


The Bible notes so many times that we are called to be in a community with others. Matthew 18:20 tells us that Jesus is where two or more are gathered in His name. The Bible calls us to serve, have fellowship, and love others. Let's look at the Greatest Command, "Love one another, for love is of God, he who loves knows God." We are supposed to live amongst others! How cool? A life of loneliness is not what we are here for. So how do we find community? What do we do when we move? What happens when I feel alone?




It took me years to really understand what community is and the desperate need for it. Truly, I am still searching for the root of the desire for community. What I have found is this: we need company. We need accountability. We need cheerleaders.


After getting married, I moved 7 hours away from my hometown to pursue a life with my husband. When I got down to my new little paradise, I found that I immediately felt the pull to join as much as I possibly could, say "yes" to everything, and intentionally seek relationships with those around me. It's a natural instinct to search for community! But it's not so natural trying to find one.


Let me back up some here. Let's relook at those three reasons we need community.

  1. We need company. When I started CrossFit at age 10, I loved getting to hang out with my dad and brother and their cool guy friends. I loved the community that surrounded working out. I asked my dad once why everyone at the gym was so happy and enjoyed being together. His response- "misery loves company." Misery loves company. So does joy. So does every other emotion you could ever possibly feel. We when are #InOurFeels, we want someone to walk through it with us. We want company. No one actually likes to feel lonely. We crave company. Even introverts like company (I think...). And where can you find company? Inside of community.

  2. We need accountability. Listen, Linda. If it were up to us to hold ourselves accountable, we'd fall through the cracks every. single. time.!! We are TERRIBLE accountability partners for ourselves! Accountability is valuable for SO many reason. Being held accountable challenges you to be the best version of yourself always. Accountability lets us achieve and pursue goals. Being accountable means being vulnerable with others. One thing about me- I'll be vulnerable until my grave. I once heard "if you never get over your image you will never be intimate with others." If we want to bond and share life with others, we must be vulnerable. We must be held accountable. Finding an accountability partner to hold you to your goals and standards creates a unique sense of community. It's a deepened community! It's so special and desperately needed.

  3. We need cheerleaders. Going further into both of the previous reasons, we need others to support us! To cheer us on when we reach our goals, or when we face hurdles in the road. Having others in your corner to cheer you on is SO vital to life. When we invest in community, they invest back in us. They show up, cheer you on, help you when you're down, and always do it without a second thought. When we find community, we find a support system that can help us with our ups and our downs.




So, what happens when I move and don't have company? Where do I find it? How do I make sure it is genuine?


If I'm honest, I'm still figuring this out! Being a coach's wife has challenged me in this area. When we recently moved to the coast, I was scared and did not know where to find community. Luckily, being a coach's wife means marrying into a sisterhood of other coach's wives. I was able to bond with these women and create a sense of community amongst a few of them. However, if I did not have this group, where would I have found it?


A great place to start looking is work. Creating community at work can lead to a happier work life! It could also lead to friends outside of the workplace. The next place I strongly advise you to look is church! Get involved in a small group and stay a little later after the message to meet members of the congregation. Having a community that is rooted in Christ can change the trajectory of your life!


The next piece is hard. How do I make sure it is genuine? Hmm. Time will tell! But it is important that you feel authentically yourself in your community. That you are able to express without fear of judgement. If you feel like you have to put on a front, it's not your community. Keep searching! Don't be discouraged if it takes you a while to find authentic friends. Just make sure you are being an authentic friend!


Never underestimate the power of long-distance friends, either. My college community became my steadfast friends. I talk to them daily, and just got back from visiting them in our college town! Love knows no bounds, and miles in between won't break up true community. It is important to invest where your feet are, but always know true friendships will last the distance.



"Where two or more are gathered, He is there." Loneliness is real. It's heavy. If you go through a season of feeling lonely, reach into your back pocket of community. If you create a space for genuine, vulnerable community, you will have people who pick up the phone when you are ready to admit your isolation (make sure that you reciprocate this, and you would pick up the phone as well... that's another soap box).


This life is not meant to be lived alone. Find your people and love them hard. I challenge you all to get out there and find your community! No matter the season of life you are in, community is vital. When you find your people, love them hard.


Keep on keeping on,

Claire

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