This morning I am challenged with thoughts of my community, or lack there of. We’ve attended our church for nearly two years, but we’ve never really found our “friends to do life with”. Now our church is facing some challenging changes of their own and we feel like we are on the outside with no one to really talk with or connect with on our feelings, that’s sad. We talk to each other about it pretty often, but we never got our group in place to go outside of us and no one is talking to us. So now, as these changes are occurring, I find myself in a lonely place and the only place I know to take it is to the feet of Jesus and into the arms of Daddy.
As I was praying this morning and asking God a lot of questions about this predicament we find ourselves in, I heard Him ask me to curl up in His arms and rest. (He asks me to do that more often than I take the time to unfortunately. It’s always a gift for me to spend time with Him, not sure why I put it off. I’m home this morning because I had ablations on my neck last Thursday and I’m still struggling with the recovery a bit. Last time I was home for two weeks and this time I will go in to the office this afternoon, God is so good!) So today, I took the time to curl up into His arms like a little girl and I tell Him that I am lonely. I have friends, it’s hard to be my personality in this world and not have friends; I have some really wise, beautiful, wonderful girlfriends, but right now we don’t have a community that is surrounding “Hubby and I” while we go through some really difficult things and we need it.
As I laid there, He gave me a picture of a room of women sitting on the floor in small circles of four. In the middle of them was a clear bowl, like a fish bowl, with 3×5 cards folded in half inside. I could hear the woman in charge explaining what we were about to do but I couldn’t see her and I didn’t recognize the women around me. She explained that the cards had scenarios on them, life scenarios, that were fictitious and so nothing we said would be toward another human. Our assignment was to each pull a card, one at a time, and read it aloud with the other three having their eyes closed. The one who read the card would start so each woman would have an opportunity to go first and then the other three would follow. Each would tell the others what immediately popped into their head when the scenario was read and how they reacted to it. The woman explaining the rules reassured us that there was no place for judgment and that each thought was valuable in some way.
The first thing I felt was excitement, and then I read the card…
“A 15 year old girl found out that she was pregnant. She knew that the dad wasn’t going to be around because he had raped her when she was passed out on his couch. She decided it was her fault because she put herself in the position when she snuck out of the house, went to his house with no parents in town, and drank to point of black out. She had been told as a young teen that if she ever got pregnant her parents would disown her and she believed that was true. She decided to get an abortion because she had no place to go, no job, and no money.”
My first thought, “I’m so grateful that this never happened to me”, I believe I heard those words as a young teen. That was my first thought, however from there I think it might have gotten a little too personal for me to share, what if some of these women were estranged from their daughters for exactly the same reason and I said something that hurt them?? Was I really willing to expose the deepest parts of me with this circle of women just because the woman in charge said I was SAFE? I couldn’t be safe with other people sharing my brokenness in words that could run amok. There couldn’t be safety in any of that God, why would we do that?
“Go deeper”, He said in a faint whisper, “look deeper.” I looked deeper and I asked a question, “Father, what does this have to do with community?”. He gave me one word,
God has me, He has us. We know that we are a part of His family and He won’t leave us alone. But, we might have to trust that he has our community picked out, planned, and purposed for us. He was right there reminding me to trust Him and know that I am safe within His arms even when the world seems scary and lonely. He is always here keeping me safe. It is always so interesting how God shows me things and tells me things, it isn’t always direct like, “Chandra, do this and this will happen.”, it’s always a little cryptic, just between Him and me and I love it!
I trust that God has everything planned out and we will walk right into our “Home” when He has it fully prepared. Becoming a part of the lives of other wounded, broken humans is hard. We’ve all been through different things in life and opening up can be really hard. I tend to keep most friendships more surface these days and God is asking me to go deeper and to have true community it will require that I do just that. As we wait on God to answer some really important questions for us this week of fasting and seeking Him, I am certain of one thing…
He will not leave me nor forsake me and He has a purpose and plan for my life and I will seek Him for what that looks like for me!
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
“For I know the plans for I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13