Today, my friend Stacy is going to be sharing a little bit about her current season and current community. I knew I liked Stacy before I even met her – her character spoke for her. I met her through work but before we were introduced I learned, based on what others had said about her, that she was kind, generous, faithful, courteous, and a great woman of God. Since then, we’ve grown to be good friends and I am honored to be in community with her!
I know I have beautiful places in my life where community exists: ladies Bible study, lunch or coffee companions, my group of “forever friends”, and my family.
But in this unfamiliar place of just existing without a place to call home, I am struggling to make any connection with community. I never realized how much a community actually mattered in community.
I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, so let me try to explain.
We recently sold our home in a nice sub-division, with neighbors we were comfortable with. Courteous “hellos”, head nods as you entered your home, and the occasional conversations as people walked past.
It was a place where we watched the neighborhood kids play football or soccer across the street on nice summer days. Shared in the laughter of families gathered outside as we celebrated New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July with bursts of fireworks. And enjoyed the short days of winter in the Christmas month because the twinkle of lights cast a beautiful glow down our street.
Our intent was to buy another home in a small rural community where we would be able to experience a more laid back existence: Friday night football, spring baseball, and bake sales to help a local cause. Lazy walks down tree-lined streets that led to a quaint downtown square where we would enjoy coffee with new friends.
However, our best laid plans were not in the cards of purpose being held by our Father. It didn’t matter how many hoops we tried to jump through for that dream of community – every attempt failed.
So we currently find ourselves renting a small one bedroom apartment in a multifamily community.
To soften the blow of losing our recent community and the dream of rural community, I determined I would bloom where I was planted. I have met all my dwelling sharers and we wave and speak as we get in our cars.
I live surrounded by individuals who, like me, are trying to find a way to fit in. I would say we are all mourning our loss of our past communities and learning to push through our current phase.
It is with the mindset of temporary we can at best tolerate the slab of concrete that is our yard. It is holding on to the phrase “just passing through” that we don’t really dare to invest real communication or knowing. And the notion of “this too shall pass” gives us the strength to oblige the occasional noise coming from our shared walls.
It is community, but I would define it as “community at a distance”.
Although this may not be my cup of tea, I have met a few who really are blooming where they are planted. They are the ones who bring the rest of us a little assurance there is life outside our apartment walls.
This unexpected detour has shown me I am someone who thrives in a community of connection. Not just a community with people, but with nature, celebration, and familiarity. A community where temporary isn’t a constant reminder of upcoming change. A community where my heart can settle on a place to call home.
I took a deep breath as I typed this last sentence; it’s like a sigh of relief washed over me. I have now found a place of hope where community can be found, within myself.
Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)
I think we can all agree that community looks different for each of us, but learning where we thrive, I believe, will help us to better build community where we are planted now.
Where do you thrive? And how are you determined to thrive where you are currently planted?
You can connect with Stacy at stayingstacy.com
Download Community: You’re Welcome at the Table, a free PDF, at sarahjcallen.com/community