Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Power of Community

In an impromptu conversation with a new friend she shared about a time in her life when she truly felt she was in a place where everyone wrapped their arms around her with a loving embrace. We both expressed how we were finding that same kind of love at our church.

The warmth of this new friend gave me comfort in sharing with her at a deeper level. I shared how I previously avoided friendships. Her sincerity in wanting to understand why gave me the courage to continue to share my heart. I found peace in saying out loud the thoughts that haunted me for so long. "I never felt good enough or worthy of friendships and believed I had nothing to bring to a friendship."

Her response was one I will never forget. Without hesitation she said the words, "Today is the day to let go of that lie!"

Oh how I loved this new friend of mine. It was more about how she said the words than the words itself. I felt her loving embrace of truly caring enough to want to take that lie away from me. We hugged and went on our way, but I smiled over the new friendship God had placed in my life.

When Kristen of Chasing Blue Skies shared that this week's prompt was to write about a surprise friendship, I thought about my new friend. I then discovered the surprise friendship God gave me was not just this new friend, but the friendships of Living Hope Church (LHC). Through LHC, He taught me the power of belonging to a community and to no longer fear new friendships but embrace them.

From the very first day I dared to step out of my comfort zone and walk through the doors of LHC, God has been giving me new friendships. I'm blessed by these friendships, but I've also accepted that I too have a special gift to bring to these friendships. Friends, we all have a special gift according to the grace given to us in Christ (Romans 12:6). Your gift is needed in this world!

God created us to need Him, but He also created us to need each other. Without each other life becomes very lonely. I've lived in that loneliness so I know how true that is.

My eyes were opened to the power of community this past week as God awakened new friendships.

--A Friday evening with my small group. A group of individuals who I now do life with and can no longer imagine a time without them.

--An early morning over coffee with a woman from church who loves to make cards for our troops so I donated old crafting supplies to her. Our morning together was so much more than passing along old supplies.

--Dinner with another couple from LHC who welcomed us into their home and we simply had a wonderful evening of getting to know each other better.

--And again, this new friend who truly cared why I was so previously afraid of friendships.

As written in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

I could feel the presence of Jesus as I embraced these friendships.

While I've experienced hurt and rejection from friendships and choose escaping as a way to cope, I have discovered that when we open our heart to God He will heal us. And we can't be afraid to share how we've been hurt. Lelia Chealey writes in a recent post, There she sat"Awareness brings opportunity to share the greatness of God. Be willing to be real with others and share your story and watch what God does with it."

Lelia goes on to share verse 6 from Philemon where Paul wrote, "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith."

My prayer is that you don't hesitate to share your faith. Be real and share how God has transformed you. God may be waiting to use your story to bring a new friendship into your life.

Many blessings to you my dear friends!


Linking with Kristen


  1. Beth, I love how you show the benefits of being real in your church setting and with another safe individual. And when you feel safe to open up, others feel safe to do the same. And then you have - as you beautifully describe - real power of community.

    You write wise words, Beth. And we are all the better for reading them!

  2. I love the words that you shared that reference "God created us to need Him, but He also created us to need each other." It is so true. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing your writing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jenny! I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Beautiful post. It's so true, that we need to believe we have something to give to a friendship. Your post made me ponder the connections God's provided ...

  4. Continuing to ponder - and - Returning after reading Seth Godin's post about "Will you choose to do it live" - his premise is that we either prefer to do things live (think of musicians performing in front of an audience) - or - prefer to polish and edit before releasing. (think of musicians in a studio setting)

    I think that's why I have a barrier with friendship... you have to do it "live". There's no time to be a perfectionist - and I might make mistakes...


    Maybe that's why your new friend's statement "Today is the day to let go of that lie!" is still echoing in my mind...

    Still pondering.

    1. Lori, thank you for sharing. I love how you describe Seth Godin's post. I can relate to wanting to "polish and edit" first.


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