Finding Your Community
I’ve been working from home for nearly 20 years, way before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown forced everyone to work remotely. In those early days, it was easy to get sucked into working in front of a computer for hours. Then, I shifted to taking care of kids, cleaning, cooking, and then do the whole thing over again the next day.
The only problem? I missed people. I had zero community. Doing life can be isolating. I quickly realized that I needed to be intentional about seeking community, wherever it was.
God wants us to be in community. The God we worship is one god in three persons. When he made Adam, He knew it wasn’t good for him to be alone. He gave Adam community even though Adam had a sweet set up with God in the garden of Eden.
I had to force myself out of my comfort zones and connect with people. When I was neck deep in raising babies, it was other moms at play dates. Later, I bonded with moms at football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, ballet, and PTO. The challenges of cultivating community in those places is that there isn’t much time for deeper connections. There were many times when the community didn’t quite fit right. Sometimes, it felt like I would never find the right community. But I missed the point. The purpose of seeking community is to be with people, not find the perfect people forever. Sometimes the right community is the community right now. They don’t have to be forever.
Fast forward a few years when I went through a very painful unwanted divorce, it was easy to retreat into a shell. The shame that my marriage had failed made me want to retreat further. I leaned into the Lord and adopted the attitude, it’s “me and God.” All I need is God. And, although it’s absolutely essential to have a strong relationship with the Lord at all times, God still wants us to have community with others. Jesus didn’t walk alone. He intentionally started small in seeking community. He had the disciples, not because they made Him any more than He was. He was God. He was perfect and powerful on His own. But He needed community and relationships on Earth to glorify the Lord. After He was gone, God would use these disciples to build His church all over the world.
So, I intentionally sought community. The only problem? I didn’t know anyone who was divorced. And all my people were thousands of miles away.
I started small. I started talking to anyone I knew about the things God was doing in my life during my divorce. In the middle of a really long hard season, I talked about the ways I saw God working and how I knew He would use this for my good but I didn’t know how. Slowly, the threads of what God was doing began to form. I met more and more women who were divorced. We were different ages, life stages, different races, and had different stories. But we had all been through something so painful that it rocked our faith to its core. The more we talked about what we had been through, the more we said, me too. It was a welcome salve to my soul. I found community. The more we talked, the more we said, we needed this community. We needed to know that we weren’t alone. That our experiences could help one another to press into the Lord during a season of loss. The more we talked, the more I felt God saying that my church needed a group for women who had been through divorce or were separated.
And recently, after much prayer and a lot of support from many people at my church, God opened that door! We have a new ministry at Grace Bible Church started called Restored and Renewed, a community for women to find and follow Jesus during divorce and separation.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” -Psalm 51:12
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”-Isaiah 40:31
I’m so thankful for this opportunity that God is using to help and support others and am very excited and encouraged to see what He has planned!