Rediscovering Community: Me Too!Blog / Produced by The High Calling
I walked into the conference room full of women by myself. I am used to walking into rooms by myself. As one half of a married couple attending church activities alone, it becomes commonplace.
I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t expecting to be ministered to in this way. I have been involved in encouraging others to the best of my ability for a while. But when life got really difficult a few years ago, I didn't reach out for help. In the midst of serious financial and relationship difficulties, I told very few what was happening. I kept my head down and kept serving the only way I knew how, and buried the pain as far down as I could shove it. I kept going. What else can you do in times like that? I should have been screaming for prayer but I wasn’t screaming, only working harder.
I can do it by myself
A family story from my childhood goes like this. I was on the porch visiting my grandparents in Louisiana. I think I was about 4 or 5, but I can’t remember exactly. I was having trouble untying the knots in my shoelaces. My grandmother offered to help, but I told her I would do it myself. After trying for a while, I threw the shoe across the porch and said, “Grandma! I’m gonna pitch a fit!” And she told me to go into another room and go ahead and pitch my fit. Apparently I did just that. And then calmly walked over to my shoe and worked on the laces until they were untied.
I think as women we learn early that we can do it ourselves. Sometimes I think we feel we HAVE to do it ourselves.
It was only in stepping out of my responsibilities of encouraging others for a while that I saw my need for real community. Lifting one another up when we fall. Walking through this life together as sisters in Christ. Real community is intentional. Real community takes time to cultivate.
The women in the conference room that day did not know how much I needed them. I did not know how much I needed them. And they met me in my need and ministered to me there.
I have discovered that the two most powerful words in the English language are “me too.” May I never forget again.
Dawn Russell is a wife, mom, daughter and sister, bible study leader and fairly new blogger. She is an anrepentant bible marker-upper, loud laugher and loves to encourage women. Dawn and her husband live in Wisconsin and have one adult daughter Erynn. She blogs at Barefoot Dawn, where this article first appeared. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Online community is a real thing. Isn’t it? Maybe it depends on whom you talk to. How important is it to spend time with someone face-to-face? Can you build meaningful and lasting relationships online? Where do you find your most significant interactions, and how do you make time for them? Jesus focused on building his deepest relationships with three of his disciples while he walked the earth. What can we learn about community from Christ’s example, and how do we translate his example to the digital age? In this theme, we are Rediscovering Community in old-fashioned and new-fangled ways. We’ll celebrate the gift of relationship while exploring ways to build community in the modern age. Join us!
Photo by Diane Bailey. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee.