Has God put a hunger in your heart to find your "tribe?"
It can be challenging in a technology-based society to make new friendships and engage with others.
Where can we find these kindred spirits and special connections we long for?
For our family, we found community after great heartbreak.
Some of you may be familiar with our story - the marriage that stood at a crossroads. Surrounded by chaos, the future looked very uncertain for our family. Trust had been broken and tension was high within our household.
We made the decision to start choosing each other like we never had before. But, there was still pain that lingered within our hearts. That's when God intervened in a big way!
I woke up one morning feeling completely defeated by our circumstances. I was exhausted from weeks of the enemy's torment. My self-worth had evaporated, and I was in a very low place. Depression from our marital problems caused me to be distracted. I wasn't the wife and mother my family needed. I'd become a shell of a former person. Heartache had deafened me to the voice of God, and in that moment, I truly felt alone.
I forced myself out of bed, got dressed, and went out to check the mail.
A bright, blue flyer from a local church awaited on top of a stack of bills and junk mail. “This flyer could change your life,” it read.
For a moment, I stared at the blue paper in disbelief. I felt like I'd been shocked back to life! Hope returned to me like a long awaited friend.
I raced into the house and showed it to my husband. He agreed that attending church was a great idea. God knew that we needed something more. It became clear that community was the missing element in our lives! We felt excited about the possibility of finding people like us; a group of people that loved God and were trying to live according to his Word.
We’ve tried to get involved as much as possible. As Christians, volunteering is a great way to put our faith into action. Sometimes, we’ve got to get out of our comfort zone to see the results we want!
A year later, God is restoring and improving our marriage in unbelievable ways! We’re blessed with the friendships we’ve made on this journey. Our Pastor, his wife, and our church family are incredible assets to our lives.
When we chose to embrace community, in the right time, community embraced us back. Your tribe becomes your resource and support, cheering on your victories and comforting through defeats.
Our Pastor's vision for our church is simple, yet powerful: connecting our faith to where we live.
What does that mean for all of us? A great example of connecting to God and each other is written by the Apostle Paul:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Like Jesus, our kindness and generosity displayed within our society can be an active example of our faith! Extending hospitality to others can break down barriers. Grace can restore and revive relationships. An uplifting community can be like a hospital for broken hearts.
Jesus instructs us to love one another. As Christians, we need to be the Living Word of God, blessing others whenever we're able.
Friends, we’re not meant to do life alone. Life can be bumpy, and we’re all trying to find our way through the chaos and beauty of it all. If you haven’t found your tribe yet - don’t worry. Be patient with yourself and remember we’ve all got to start somewhere.
We've found success at small groups in our church, local events, and community play date groups. Local community centers have very affordable camps and classes for kids. This is a great opportunity to meet other parents!
It can be intimidating to put yourself out there and meet new people (I’m an introvert, so this was very challenging for me!) It's easy to get discouraged and give up. Instead, pray for guidance and direction as you seek new friendships for your life. Ask God to guide you to supportive relationships that are compassionate and enriching.
Parents, it is also important to know that a sense of community within the home is vital too. What happens to one member of the family, affects everyone. Family is one of the most important ministries. The work we do within our four walls has the power to impact future generations. Raising children that grow up to be respectful, kind, and compassionate adults is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our community.
Whether you're cultivating a network of kindred spirits or building a ministry within your household, know that you're doing important work.
We believe in you and we’re praying for you!
Chasing Heatherwood is an exclusive member of Becky Thompson’s Writer Network. For more information on how to join, go to www.BeckyThompsonCourse.com