This is me being transparent. You’ll read and discover what community is to me. Enjoy this short post!
I was going to write this extremely long post about what community looks like in my life (your average college student). I was going to write about the situations, events, and relationships that I partake in that show how the love of Christ is working and how this thing called “community” is important. Maybe I’ll write that post someday. Community is always evolving; same principle but a different form. Hopefully in a year from now I will reflect on the community I experienced while in college. For now this is a summary of that post:
I see community in my wholesome close friendships that’ll last 20 years or more ( those also showing signs of discipleship). Those are were I am most vulnerable and available. However, some of that carries over into my life group and a cloud of friends. Then I experience it in the larger body of active agents of redemption that is The Well UA and the college ministry at Calvary Tuscaloosa. The chain ends with Calvary Tuscaloosa. Though “end” might not be the right word; for this community is always reaching out and serving. (I really want to expand on this… and I will… I hope)
However, I couldn’t grasp what I really wanted to write about until a few weeks ago. I found myself wanting to share what I was getting out of community not just the sources of it in my life. I have discovered that I am currently finding healing through Christ’s love in the context of community. Community gives me a way to relate to others. In this community, we aren’t calling our brokenness failure, we’re celebrating God’s grace and His power being made perfect in our weaknesses.
(Note: this is coming from an introvert!)
I now actively seek out community. I want to be with my brothers and sisters. Though in large gatherings I’ll still be silent and that’s something I’m trying to understand and work with. However, I’ve learned when and where is the proper place to unleash my feelings, thoughts, and sources of weakness and I find that when I do this: I’m not alone. I wasn’t ever alone. I don’t exactly know why I thought that. I thank God for that. Being able to relate to the brokenness in others makes this introvert able to develop awesome friendships and make the process of healing easier. Brokenness comes in many ways – but I’ve decided to lean into it with community. With that, I’ve found healing.
Instead of breaking down the sources of community in my life and what I gain from each and every part; I want you to know that right now Christ’s love for me is being made evident in the context of community and that it is where I am currently finding healing. I wish I could elaborate on how it’s actually happening but I can’t. I don’t understand it. That’s OK, right? Just know that God has provided this way for me to find healing and because of that I’m finding out that I really love community and spending time with my brothers and sisters. For an introvert, I think I’m making progress.
I realized I may have worded a part of this a little funny. I don’t seek out community for the healing of my personal wounds but I find this healing amongst others. Community doesn’t allow me to focus primarily on me. I’m no longer an individual in community so I longer view myself as one.As the writers of Compassion put it, “…we’re no longer a mass of helpless individuals but transformed into one people of God”. Therefore, my focus is on the entire Body and witnessing God’s love through it.