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Reflection | COMMUNITY

One of the deepest human desires is for community: a sense of belonging, a place where loneliness lifts and we feel seen and understood. We can be surrounded by people and yet feel disconnected, even in places where, on paper, we should fit right in. We long for a place where we can get our needs met, a place that feels like home. People aren’t meant to be alone.

If community is such a good thing and we all want it so badly, why is it so hard to find?

First, we need to shift our PERSPECTIVE…

We go out looking for the perfect community, the place where we will fit right in, where people will instantly see us for who we really are and value our contribution. The reality of community is that is it is messy; people will make mistakes and we might get hurt, we might not be immediately known. There is no one place that is going to be perfect. Once we understand this, we will stop getting disappointed and wanting to jump ship when everything isn’t as we thought it should be.

Then, we need to make a CHOICE…

Choose the people, whatever group works for you: a church, a work community, a group of friends, a sports team - then choose to be a part of it. This doesn’t mean just try it out, or skirt around the edges. Commit. Be there on the good days and the bad days; be your full self. This isn’t easy, but community doesn’t happen if we don’t show up, both physically and emotionally.

Finally, we need to LOVE…

Whoever comes across your path within the group, love them. Love them in whatever way serves them and shows that you see them and you recognize their value. When we focus on the others in the group rather than what we can get from it, we will see relationships grow and deepen, we will be seen and we will feel a sense of home.

Real, authentic community is possible but it doesn’t just happen to us - we have to create it. We were made for community, our souls cry out for it, and it needn’t be something out of reach. Change your perspective; make the choice to love.

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