Lately I’ve been living in this place of tension, the desire to want to keep to my introverted self but also wanting to find that community that I know God intended us to live in. To me, being introverted is so much easier, I can do life the want, only share the failures that I want and get caught up in the messiness that can come along with community.
In faith I stepped out and started a mom’s bible/book study a couple weeks ago. It felt super awkward, I was anxious and I felt like I had no clue what I was doing. Some meetings would go by and I felt like no one was getting anything from the study, no one was sharing – it was all so surface level. To be honest I wanted to quit and go back to my introverted life. But then I remembered that I told myself, it’s only 6 weeks long and that in faith I had stepped out so in faith I would finish the study. The actual study itself is great, even when there are six babies clamouring for our attention, but as we’ve persevered through the weeks something even greater has happened, the awkwardness has started to fall away and authentic community has started.
This past week I was so encouraged by everyone sharing and being willing to speak what is on their heart, share not only the good but the bad and hard stuff of life. And after, I felt refreshed – more than I usually do after meeting with people and I think that’s because truly we are made for community. A place where we can share how we’re doing life and listen to others, able to draw on each other and ask questions, knowing that we’re to help each other out. It doesn’t mean we’re doing everything the same way, each of our stories are different, how we decide to parent is different and that gives us different perspective and appreciation for the fact that there isn’t just one way to do this [loving Jesus, being a wife, friend, mother etc]
Authenticity doesn’t come overnight; it takes time to build trust but if you’re not willing to share more than surface level then your community won’t likely be much deeper than that. I encourage you to fight, fight to find that community where your soul feels refreshed even if it takes a while.