In life, it is very normal to desire a community with others where we can feel free to be ourselves, share common interests, and express our passions and goals. Being planted in a healthy community has the power to enhance, transform, and bring continual joy to our life. I want you to take a moment and ask yourself two questions; what kind of community do I desire to be apart of? Am I being active in pursuing that kind of community? I can hear some of you now, "Ericka it's not as easy as it seems". Trust me, I completely understand it's not always easy finding a safe and healthy community but as I mentioned in my previous post, if you will step out even in your discomfort you can always trust that God will certainly lead you in the right direction. In Romans 12:4-5 it says, "For just as each one of us has one body with many members and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others." Just like it is impossible for the body to properly function without all the parts: it is the same way with the body of Christ. You are needed in the body of Christ. You add value not only to those around you but also those called to you!
At some point, we must face our fear and step outside of our comfort zone to connect with people. It is common to fear that people might reject you; they might leave you, or speak negatively about you. I understand how it can be extremely difficult opening up to someone when you've been let down or your trust has been misused, but I want you to know that you are more powerful when you are connected to the right people and are completely transparent. Everyone fears something, but we can always overcome fear with faith.
One of the ways we can activate our faith is by taking the initiative and choosing to let people into our world. Our lives become much better when we choose to do life with others. In Hebrews 10:25, Paul talked about "Not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another". When we do life alone, it can be extremely tough not having the support and encouragement from others. Paul understood that there was power in gathering together, speaking life into one another and lifting each other up. Have you ever stopped and thought about how much your life and your words could be the encouragement that someone else is waiting for?
Our words, when we choose to use them, have the power to bring people out of isolation. The sense of belonging and being around the right people can create in us a healthy perspective of being connected to others. In Psalms 68:6, it says, "God sets the lonely in families." How wonderful is that verse! God was always intentional about including us in His family but more than that He wanted to give us an earthly family so we wouldn't be alone. God loves us so much that He desires to place people in our lives that will bring out the best in us.
Isolation is not something that happens all at once, it can sneak in and cause you to drift away and eventually distance yourself from people and places. The more you distance yourself the more problems within you arise, eventually leading to sickness and depression. The absence of people can bring feelings of deep sadness and a loss of interests in the things we once enjoyed. I want you to know that it is okay to have some alone time and accomplish things for yourself, but it is always rewarding when we choose to include others in our plans as well. It is my hope that you will find people to do life with and that you will enjoy doing life with them. Life is truly better together. God created us as one body that needs the support of each other. No matter what we do or where we go, it is always God's intent for us to include people.
I truly believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit and wise counsel you can and will overcome isolation. The most important key is simply believing that you will come out of isolation and leaning into the resources to help you do so. Today I want to encourage you to initiate a conversation with someone you desire to get to know or be friends with. Take the time to research a local organization or an event that interests you and attend one of their gatherings. Whenever you feel loneliness creeping in, reach out and call someone. Make the choice to not go through it alone. As you step out and make changes little by little you will begin to conquer loneliness in your life and meet the people God has for you. Today's victory is yesterday's choices. You are closer to overcoming isolation and loneliness. Press forward!
With all love and joy,