How to Find Community and Balance It
I don’t know about you, but I’m a do-er. Environments I can thrive in the most can be those that consist of an incredibly busy schedule. The constant, “on the go” has a unique way of keeping me motivated to jump onto the next. There would be moments of excitement due to the accomplishment of fitting multiple tasks or multiple visits with people all in one day. That is - until the day I was convicted that my immediate “yes’s” to plans and people, and pressure to keep “doing more”, robbed my intentionality in pursuing community.
First thing’s first - why community?
Community plays an imperative role in our journeys walking with Christ. It’s the backbone that keeps us firm against wavering in adversity.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
It’s the opportunity to extend unconditional love, exude grace, and sacrificially serve.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
It’s also the greatest accountability to live life with the drive to seek first His Kingdom.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
While we know that community is a vital piece of our life, it can also be incredibly intimidating if you haven’t found your community or don’t even know where to start. Sometimes one of the roadblocks that inhibits us from seeking out community is the fear of vulnerability. Being in community is the gateway to living life with people in such a manner of being fully known. While that may sound really scary, I want to encourage you that with being fully known also meets you with the opportunity of being fully loved in return.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
Where do we find it?
The best way I can encourage you is to first begin to pray through where God wants you. A good place to start is start exploring your church to see if there are opportunities to join community groups. If your church you currently go to doesn’t offer community groups or gatherings, ask The Lord for the courage to step out of your comfort zone to a place that can. If there are circumstances that prevent you from physically going to another place for community, another wonderful way to connect with other women is through online communities! You’ve already made a beautiful start by joining in on #wheatfulwednesday and the Wheatful Woman Community online.
Another really great avenue for opportunities to find community, aside from just your outlined community groups, is to seek out ministries that speak life of hope and healing in your current situation. There are so many incredible ministries that also break down into smaller community groups that have the ability to have you not only walk away with healing from your pain, but also gain newfound friendships. As long as you keep your heart open to opportunities, have a willingness to be transparent, and lay your palms before The Lord in surrender to His Will in community for you, The Lord will place you exactly where you need to be with the intention to grow you and shape you.
What about the balance?
Like I’ve shared, life can be quite constant, and it can be difficult to feel like you can maintain the balance of life and community. One thing I’ve learned over time is that community and life actually go together. Community IS doing life together. Sometimes we can feel like we’re not doing or being “enough” within our community. How I want to speak life into this if you’re wrestling with these thoughts is: it’s not about how much, but how deep.
Sometimes it’s a text update about that big thing you were praying for. Sometimes it’s a phone call reminding someone “hey, I love you and I’m grateful to know you”. Sometimes it even looks like dropping everything you’re doing to go help that friend in need. This is where we come to know and grow our intentionality.
Intentionality in community is not always restricted or confined to time. Intentionality is purposeful. Intentionality takes heart. Let intentionality in pursuit of community start with YOU!
Pray for a heart that seeks great intentionality in community. What might appear to be a small gesture, with great intent, may become one of the most beautiful blessings yet.
“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13
Meet the Author:
Rhianna Marie Mitchell is the author of “Faithfully Fervent: Standing Firm as a Woman of God in a World Ready to Run”. Rhianna is a pediatric registered nurse, and is passionately following her calling into ministry by radically pursuing her mission to mirror God’s vision. Her mission is to help bring hope and healing through her testimony. She will fiercely fight to empower people to know Christ, and believe in His incomparable power to transform and save. Find more about Rhianna at faithfullyfervent.com.
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Photo credit: @ashiamosleyphotography