Sunday, August 24, 2008

Community


May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. ~Genesis 28:3

I am so completely overwhelmed and blessed to be able to share with you today about Community. You see, it was a year ago tomorrow that the very ties to the “community” that my husband and I belonged to, was severed. No, it wasn’t anything scandelous or disasterous, but it was painful and hurtful nonetheless. There was a season that we weren’t even sure that we would be able to “enjoy” the beauty of real community again…but God is good!

This last year has been a glorious wilderness adventure for both of us. My husband and I both have journeyed down this road, but along the way each of us have stopped to “meditate” on different things. Of course we would, we are different, even though we are the same. God has called us together as husband and wife to be unified in all we do, but even in unity there can be differences in the route that we take, right?

You see, I am a BIG time people person. I live, love, thrive, and enjoy being around people; and the more the better. There is something purely energetic about being around a group of people. I love community. I love the depths that groups of believers can go to. I love the encouragement, the praise, the love, the compassion, the “sharpening of iron” that happens when we are together. Always have, probably always will. So when I was in full time ministry at a large church in my area it seemed to meet that need in me in a BIG time way!

My husband, on the other hand, is not a people person. He likes people, for sure, but he is a whole lot more “selective” about who he spends time with, energy on, and focus on. He’s a less is more kind of guy, and I totally appreciate that about him. He is also a Pastor. Yep, you can be a pastor and not necessarily be a “people person”. He knows that when someone comes into his life it is for a reason, a God reason, so he goes to work on whatever task God has called him to in that relationship. It works beautifully for both of us, as completely different as we are; we both know that we are called to be in community with other believers.

It’s the things in common that make relationships enjoyable, but it’s the little differences that make them interesting. -Todd Ruthman

You see, God in his infinite wisdom knew that
Romans 3:12b, there is no one who does good, not even one and that we would need a time to rest, reflect, and refresh ourselves for a new community of believers. A new body. A new church family. Not because there was anything “wrong” with the old, but that sometimes we have to Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. So, that is what we have done.

There was a time when I wasn’t even sure that either one of us would be willing to “put ourselves out there” again to make new friends, to be open to new relationships, a new church, a new body of believers, but God had other plans for us and over the course of this past year He has made it so completely obvious to us that He does have a new home for us. New friends, new brothers and sisters in Christ who will love us, encourage us, challenge us, and lead us to new depths and understanding of Christ and His righteousness.

You see, it would be easy to hide in our turtle shell, closed off from all the rest of the world and sit there “licking our wounds” and saying comforting words to ourselves over and over, but God has not called us to sit in a dark corner. He has called us to this, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” -
Matthew 5:14 So we decided to follow His word and step out in obedience and be a part of the community that He has called us to. Is it easy to put yourself out there again? Absolutely NOT, is it the right thing to do, YES! Will we get hurt again, probably, but that’s what happens. We aren’t perfect by any means, but as long as we keep on trying to be more like Him and we surround ourselves with others who have a desire and passion to be more like Him too then amazing things can happen.

Besides…we are called to stay in community with other believers…check out
Acts 2:42-47 -42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there? Open yourself up? You will never know what God has waiting for you in that new community of friends…it’s right there waiting for you…come on, give it a try. If I can do it, then so can you!

Enjoy the Journey,
Melissa

8 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Mari 4:11 PM  

Those times are so hard but we do learn through them. We went through a time like that about 8 years ago and it was bad, but God really worked through it. Glad you are back in "community" again!

The Olson's: 7:26 PM  

Mel,
How did you know what was in my head? My husband & I have left our church of 12 years, leaving behind our "family" - almost our entire social circle.

We left because we disagreed with the direction the leadership was going. After MUCH prayer, we knew God was calling out of that church. As much as we KNOW that God is leading us, it still hurts & is awkward seeing these friends.

We are looking for a new home church. We've been attending one over the summer but aren't sure if this is where God is calling us. It's so hard to put yourself out there again, like you said - you know you'll probably get hurt again. As much as I'm optimistic & brave, I'm still hurt and sad that we have found ourselves in this spot. It's tiring being brave!

I try not to share too much about this on my blog because some of them read it too.

Thank you for sharing! Somehow there is comfort knowing that others are going through the same journey.
~ Leanne

Karen 9:02 PM  

I love your vibrancy Mel. You truly bring things to life and shine in dark places. Full Beam Mel. Well I don't know where I am at right now to be honest...turtle pulling it's head in, feeling I'm not 'fitting' in...hmmm... I think there is change in the air and part of me is looking forward to it, the other part is not quite ready...

Monkey Giggles 9:28 PM  

I am loving the journey. I praise God for the good and rough patches.

justabeachkat 11:28 PM  

Isn't our God awesome?! And isn't it wonderful how if we trust Him, we can always find a way?

The journey continues.

Hugs!
Kat

Bek 12:54 AM  

Wow, reading this post and your last is really like God saying to me "Move back to Florida, Rebekah!!!" Only trouble is, for us to make ends meet, I need to finish with my studies and get a job (working at home, major plus!)for us to afford to live on our own, which is our own fault for being in debt.

I feel like I was meant to read that. There was a sliver of doubt in my mind about moving back to Florida, and I have been apprehensive. Now I say, "Bring it on! I can't wait!"

MamaGeek 3:38 PM  

Yeah, I need to get out more. Beautiful words!

Jillian, Inc. 5:26 PM  

I was just thinking about this very thing last night. I tend to be more like your husband. I am known for saying "I'm not a joiner." As I finished a book last night - a really good one - I started thinking about all of the things I do but don't really share. I read, but I don't really talk about the books I read. I've been a collegiate athlete but never talk about training and running and staying in shape with anyone. I sell art and design homes and don't really talk about that unless someone asks. So, here's to a little bit more "out there" in my own life. Thanks for the message.

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