Cultivating Community--a Key to Health (and Owning Your Life!)

cultivating communitysally

cultivating communitysally

Recently, I was feeling quite alone and unnoticed in my life. I was carrying several serious burdens of my children and friends, was quite tired of working, and felt so alone.

A very loyal and trustworthy friend texted me, “I am going to be gone for a month. I need some Sally time.”

As we sipped the strong black tea we both loved from England, I poured out my heart’s issues. Out of compassion, tears came to her eyes. “I don’t know if you realize it, but I am praying for you diligently almost every day. All the things that are piling up in your life are indeed heavy to carry, but my life is similarly burdened, and I want to tell you how I have been seeing God’s goodness amidst my own personal circumstances.”

When my friend left, nothing in my circumstances had changed, yet I felt hope in my heart because of her words. Our friendship carried me to peace because she helped to shoulder my burdens and sympathize.

God created us for companionship with real people. We were born for community, love, help, encouragement, and the blessing and intimacy that comes from close friendship with others. Consequently, fellowship with like-minded women and men is essential to our spiritual health, and to our well-being in the Christian life.

A woman alone in her home, giving and being emptied on a regular basis, and dealing with her limitations -- plus those of the sinful people who dwell in her home -- is a target for discouragement, feelings of inadequacy, confusion and a sense of failure.

Having support systems is essential to our spiritual life, growth, health and pleasure. God intended us to live in a greater sense of family—to have aunts, grandmas, sisters, cousins, and friends who would surround us and give help and instruction to us as we learn to live life as moms, wives, ministry leaders, and friends.

In an isolationist society, we have falsely accepted the premise that we can “do it alone.” That belief brings so much pressure on one person to be all and do all!

Cultivating fellowship, friendship, and community may require you to take initiative, since isolation is the norm in this culture at this time.

Keep looking until you find someone more mature than you who can draw you forward in your walk with God. Find someone who is right where you are to share similar issues, ideas, and help, and also find someone younger in the Lord or at a younger stage to whom you can bring encouragement.

ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their

labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one

who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

HEBREWS 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,”

so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

GALATIANS 6:10 (NLT) Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good

to everyone--especially to those in the family of faith.

In light of these verses, what action steps do you need to move on to create a less isolated life for you and for your family?