Remember that friend I talked about yesterday who always seeks to include others? Well, her name is Kim and she’s become a dear friend of mine over the years. She knows the importance of including others because she first went through a season of isolation and loneliness. I’m excited for her to share her story with you today!
As a kid I never thought of the importance of community because I was always part of one. Whether it was at school, church, or in my neighborhood, I was constantly interacting with the people around me. There was never any “me” time as a kid and I was totally okay with that.
Everything changed when I was 16 years old and my family moved to Texas from California. I didn’t know anyone in Texas and it was hard to make friends at my new school. I often felt lonely, remembering my life in California and everyone I missed. When I compared my old life to my new normal, I felt completely isolated.
One day I heard someone say, “Before Jesus began his ministry work he was tempted and isolated for 40 days in the wilderness. But once he overcame that, with the help of God, he bolted into his calling.”
I felt like it was directed to me for that exact season in my life – it was so encouraging to me! I knew that even in the loneliness and the isolation, God was with me and he still had a plan for my life.
For years during my isolation, I prayed “God give me one true friend. I don’t need a whole bunch, just ONE.” In that season I learned to fully depend on God and, in time, God did more than what I could’ve expected!
Now I have a community made up of family, friends, and mentors who are all positive and encouraging voices in my life. But community didn’t come immediately – it took time and it took work. This required me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people; I’ve had to search for the people I want in my circle.
I can pray, laugh, and even cry with my community – they truly are a safe space! We encourage one another and speak into each other’s lives through the best and the worst of circumstances. They often serve as confirmations of what God says to me and they push me to be the best version of myself even when I don’t want to be. And I hope I do the same for them. I’m incredibly thankful for the people God has surrounded me with who freely share his love with me.
Though getting outside your comfort zone isn’t easy, it’s absolutely worth it. I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and seek out true community today!
Download Community: You’re Welcome at the Table, a free PDF, at sarahjcallen.com/community