The devastating pain didn’t come from a distant place. Someone made a decision that was out of your control and you suffered more than you ever thought possible. Maybe your husband had an affair and left your marriage. Maybe you lost a friendship over hurtful words and confused feelings.
It’s difficult, right? To face tragedy that you did not cause. It resonates deep within all of us and sometimes the pain comes back when we least expect it.
Everyone deals with these types of situations but some may be more severe than others. I watched my ex-husband suffer from a drug addiction and eventually leave our family. I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depression as I tried to navigate my life as a single mother while my children had no father.
Those labels flow easily from my fingertips now but many years ago I was ashamed. I turned inwardly to deal with my mess instead of sharing with others. As God has changed my life I’ve learned some deep truths about his plan.
God did not create us to be alone. He wants our hearts and desires first but created community for us to have relationships with others so we can thrive. God himself is in community with the Son and Holy Spirit, He IS the community. And we are created in his image so community is natural for us. Below are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
5 Things I’ve Learned About Community
1. It will let you down. Now I know that’s not what you want to hear but it’s true. We are all sinful and sometimes our human desire is for others to serve us first instead of serving others. People will let us down but that is no reason to turn away from God. Allow Him to heal your heart and bring new friendships into your life.
2. You can connect with others through the unlikeliest of places. I never imagined the relationships I would form when I began blogging five months ago. God has gone above and beyond any of my expectations. I prayerfully went to Him and asked for friends. And He did not disappoint.
3. Most people just want to know they matter. So many of us are out in the world believing no one cares. Even as a Christian I was deceived sometimes by the thought that I was alone in my mess. But we are not alone. Just reach out and you will find someone who needs to hear your story.
4. Love others even when you don’t feel like it. This is hard for any of us to do. Nerves get frayed and feelings become on edge. Allow God’s Word to resonate in your heart before dealing with the conflict.
5. Be willing to listen with an open mind. We all live our lives differently and what works in your home may not work for someone else. Pray before you give advice and remember why your friend came to you…because she trusts you.
How has community helped you heal? Are you afraid to share your pain with others?