I have always been an extrovert and wanting to be surrounded by others. I just haven’t always understood my need for deep connections. My need for community has looked different in every season of my life.
When I first became a believer halfway through my time in college, I tried to “manage” my walk with the Lord on my own. I thought I had enough self-control to read God’s Word, pray, share my faith with others, and turn away from my sinful desires all on my own. I quickly found out that not only did I lack the tools to do this myself, I needed others to help me.
The Lord sent the sweetest woman to me, who noticed how much I needed other believers in my life in order to walk with and grow closer to God. She asked me if she could disciple me. I had no idea what that really meant, but I knew I needed help, so I said yes. The following few years were so impactful in my walk with the Lord because I was being loved, poured into, and held accountable on a daily basis. Monica invited me into her life and her home, she was a wife and a mom and I was able to see for the first time what a Godly wife, mom, friend, and woman looked like. Sure, she wasn’t perfect, but that’s what made the Gospel so much more real and true for me, getting to see her live out grace and humility in her day-to-day life.
Since that time over 10 years ago Monica has become one of my best friends, and is still there walking through life with me. I will forever be grateful to the Lord for giving me someone who loved me no matter my past sin and who showed me first hand how to walk with the Lord.
Fast forward to a new season of wanting to become a mom. I, like most girls and women do, have dreamt about becoming a mom for most of my life, not having any idea how challenging, but also how rewarding having children would be. When my husband and I got married we talked about waiting until we were married for a few years before we would start trying to grow our family, what started out as a 3 year plan turned into a 4 year time frame. Our “plan” was not happening and it was a hard season. But during that time the Lord yet again provided me with women who loved me and walked with me through my infertility. I found the most comfort in my sweet friends who had also struggled with conceiving; they knew exactly how to point me to Jesus and they could empathize with everything I was feeling. The Lord was gracious and didn’t keep us in that season for too long. When we were least expecting it He blessed us with our sweet daughter.
We decided to start trying for child #2 when our daughter was around a year old in hopes that they would be around 2 years apart. Well after trying for 10 months (which seemed like forever at the time) we became pregnant again. We were cautiously excited, but that excitement quickly turned into anxiety and fear.
Within a few weeks we learned that my pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy and that we would not be having a baby. What a rollercoaster of emotions I went through the days and weeks following. Most of the time I thought I was “fine” but then I would scroll through a picture on my phone that I took during the few weeks I was pregnant and it would bring me to tears.
Aside from spending time with the Lord, asking Him why and trying to figure out the purpose of such a sad thing, I reached out to a friend of mine who had gone through my exact story. She had a daughter, she tried for a long time for their second, and then she had an ectopic pregnancy. What a special gift she was to me during a season of questioning and sadness. Again the Lord gave me a deep connection with another follower of Jesus who was able to love me and walk with me through a hard season. The Lord has continued to make this friend and my paths similar. He graciously blessed her and her husband with a son not long after they had their ectopic pregnancy and now my husband and I are also expecting a son around our daughter's 3rd birthday.
These are just a few examples of how community has impacted me, but ever since those days of being discipled by Monica and up to now it has been true that I have NEEDED other Christian women around me to walk through the ups and downs of life. I encourage you to find that, even if you have to be the one who reaches out.
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