I crave community, and yet I run from it too.
A lifetime of moving around, of goodbyes, of starting over, makes you hesitate in forming new deep relationships. Closes you off to people, encourages you to filter what you show and what you say.
I have been around these people for 18 months now, and they have loved me, and they have accepted me. They have sat with me in silence when my soul was void of words, they have put their arms around me and encouraged me to keep going, just for one more hour. They have prayed countless prayers without being asked, without being thanked. They have opened their homes, given me their time, used their energy, simply to love me. I have been grateful, I have been overwhelmed.
Yet still there is a resistance to trust, a resistance to bond deeply, a resistance to let them see it all. I love what I have with them, and I crave more, yet whenever the opportunity to deepen that community arises I run. I sit there sometimes during conversations and look at them, I dare myself to tell them a truth, to let them see, and yet each time I back away. I sit there tears close to my eyes because what they speak of is so close to my heart and I want them to understand, but I run before the tears have a chance to roll. I resist at every pull.
Recently though, something has changed. These people who have loved me and stood by me have worn me down, broken up my barriers. I find myself sharing things I would never have dared to. Letting them see my heart. Showing them the good and the ugly. Allowing them to experience not just my laughter but my tears too.
I am richer for it, I more blessed for it, and I am changed by it.
I am overwhelmingly grateful for these few who have loved me into being vulnerable, and I wonder how I will leave them behind, but I know that they will be carried in my heart, and I in theirs. For now, I belong. This, this is community.
What aspects of community do you find hard?
It’s time for Five Minute Fridays, where we write for 5 mins flat out. No over-thinking, no editing, no backtracking. Just simple writing from our hearts, with freedom. Then we link up at Gypsy Mamas blog, read each others posts and encourage each other with comments. Why don’t you join us?
This weeks topic is: Community
Community is hard work. It takes conscious effort to create, it takes energy, vulnerability, risk, heartache, socializing, laughter, it demands much to form, and much to keep it going. It takes self-denial, sacrifice, and willingness to continue to keep community alive.
Maybe that’s why it is so hard to find these days. People only want what they can get easily, with minimum risk. People want instant results, they want to protect themselves and they want to know what benefit they are guaranteed at the end of any expenditure of self.
But the best things in life require risk. The best things in life require periods of uncertainty to be passed through. And community is one of those things. Yes it is a big risk, yes it is hard, yes it can be awfully painful. But it is what we were created for, to live in community, to live with one another. The risk is worth it, for it is only in community that we can really feel whole and be fully ourselves, whilst fully knowing others.
I long for community. I have had seasons in life where I have known and be part of true community, and seasons where I wonder if community can ever exist again. I know in my longing to re-find community I must nurture it too. The responsibility is as much on me (if not more so) as it is on others.
Community, a risk worth taking.
I found it hard to write about community. It’s a topic which makes my insides churn, because is long for it so deeply, and it grieves me to not have it. Yet it scares me so too, to be vulnerable, to be reliant on others, to give up my stoic independence. So although I have much to say, I don’t know where to start or how to express myself. I hope I managed to put a little bit of my thoughts and feelings across.