For the last couple of weeks, I've been meeting with a couple of other women where we share our weekly stories, encourage one another, and pray. It's been authentic, real, and messy. And truly, we're each in the thick of it. In the thick of God-Willed edification - that comes in a variety of forms. From marriage
to motherhood to our daily lives of staying at home, to working, to attending school. We have our plates full. And yet, we each have committed to sharing our time and ourselves.
Sometimes when we are muddling through and when we feel overwhelmed by just the everyday responsibilities of life -the easiest and most accepted thing to do is to recluse. So many of us simply survive in our own self-made isolation. We claim busyness over our essential needs. We say that there is simply not enough time to connect or invest in community.
Maybe it isn't busyness that holds you back - it could be that you struggle with insecurity or you think that there isn't a group that could accept you.
Perhaps you feel that others should reach out to you first, instead of you inviting yourself into a relationship with them.
Maybe you have already disqualified yourself by thinking that you aren't good enough to be included.
Perhaps you have high expectations and you find yourself disappointed by your lack of fulfillment when you are with others.
Maybe you simply claim introversion as your personality default- using it as a cloak to hide.
I can tell you honestly that I have thought each and every single one of these lies. And dear friend, that is exactly what they are - LIES straight from the mouth of the Enemy.
And depending on where you are at right now, I can hear those thoughts swarming - justifying and excusing. You're telling yourself that they aren't lies, that their facts and that this indeed is your reality. I get it. You may actually be really busy, and you may struggle to connect, and you may feel left out and unworthy. But the enemy often uses facts and our feelings to dissuade us from Godly possibility. And even more so, to blockade us from something beautiful and holy.
Adam was lonely without Eve.
David was knit together with Jonathan.
Moses could not win the battle without Aaron and Hur.
Nehemiah needed his people to help him rebuild.
Jesus's first priority was gathering His disciples to Him.
Are you lonely?
There are people who want to pour into you and spend time with you.
Do you feel unknown?
There is someone who loves and sees you.
Are you battling the darkness?
There are people who will battle with you and hold your tired hands up when you can't muster the energy for yourself.
Are you rebuilding?
When you are tempted to come down and quit - they will encourage you to persist. They will do the work with you.
Do you have a mission?
Gather those who will walk alongside with you. They will have confidence in you when you have lost all confidence in yourself.
Community is not an add-on, an extra, or a bonus. It is more than just attending Sunday church. When we invest in others and allow them to pour into us, God is able to do an even deeper work within us. We are able to take our eyes off ourselves, our busyness, our insecurities, our own problems and not only see what God is doing around us for others - but eventually see what He is doing within us because of others.
Tabitha Panariso, along with her husband Ethan, are passionate followers of Christ- living through, and finding God in the glorious and mundane moments of life. Tabitha heaps authenticity and a hope-filled Kingdom perspective upon those who visit her blog and also has contributed to (in)courage, The Influence Network, and Thryve Magazine. She is also a regular contributor and the managing editor at Colorado Springs Moms Blog. Tabitha and Ethan currently, and will always, reside in the mountainous state of Colorado where they find any and every excuse to escape outdoors with their son and daughter.
Publication date: May 24, 2016