I believe I was born for community. I believe God created me with a desire to hang out with people and to naturally connect them to each other. To connect them to resources. To connect them to hope. It’s so innate in me it’s hard to describe how I “do community”- I just do it! Though it comes naturally to me doesn’t mean that it is always easy, or perfect, or without challenges.
Earlier this year I was asked to share my thoughts on Community, with a group of military spouses who meet weekly to study God’s Word, so I had to put pen to paper and share what I thought community was and how to be intentional about creating it.
We have already covered what community is and how to be intentional about creating it in this series. So today we’ll talk about one of the things that hinders community, versus builds it up.
Hurt people hinder community.
I learned while preparing to share my thoughts on community building that so many women have been hurt by their communities. Because of these hurt feelings they give up on the idea of being a part of a healthy community. We have allowed our past, negative experiences to keep us from enjoying what God created community for.
It’s supposed to be a safe place to share your thoughts and hurts.
It’s supposed to be a fun place. A place to laugh.
It’s supposed to be a place to grow. And learn.
It’s supposed to be a place filled with grace!!
Bottom line: community isn’t perfect and so hurt happens. Whether you have been hurt by your neighborhood community; the PTA Board; your Women’s Bible study; another parent at your kid’s school; your own family or friends – hurt is hurt.
My friends’ answers both surprised me and made me sad. Don’t get me wrong – I know communities aren’t perfect. They can’t be perfect because people aren’t perfect – we are not perfect. I know I have been hurt by people within some of my favorite communities as well. Many of us are in the same boat.
Knowing how difficult “doing community well” is for so many women, God showed me that He wanted to use me to help women overcome their hurts and get back in the community ring and fight for it! This is how I have become so fired up about doing community well and how this series was born.
We have to remember that community isn’t just about us. Our ability, or refusal, to do community well affects others. It affects our spouses, our children, our siblings, our neighbors, co-workers, and the list goes on. We need to be brave and find ways to forgive others, heal, and move forward. There are communities out there just waiting to be built. Or there is a community already forming out there right now that needs you. And you need that community.
Hurt is going to happen. Please reach out to someone to help you move past the hurt. Let God walk you through the healing process so you can get back into a community.
You are needed!
You are wanted!
And you were made for community!