Dear sister in Christ. I see you and here’s what I know. You’re not alone in feeling alone. You’re not alone in the tension of longing for community yet far more at ease watching from the sidelines. I’ve been there. And yet in the loneliest seasons of my life, when I’ve shied away from community, the Lord began to speak to me. Here’s my encouragement to you as we begin 2024.
I’ve been loved and rescued by God who has always been in communion in Himself: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If this triune God created me in His image, then He made me for community, too. I miss out if I try to do this alone. The Church misses out if I try to do this alone. Lost souls miss out if I try to do this alone. And so I don’t try to do it alone. Instead, I choose vulnerability, and friendship, and God’s people in community.
When you’re tempted to withdraw and isolate, intentionally connect. When you catch yourself listening to the lie that you’re better off on your own, or too introverted to connect with others, or that community is for a season down the road when the kids are grown, speak truth over it.
I’m firmly committed to the local Church. I love women’s conferences. I read books. I’ve been watching ministries on the internet since before social media came to existence. But sister, hear me when I say, there is no substitute for the Body of Christ in the flesh. This is where my soul finds rest in the safekeeping of other people. I love worshipping corporately alongside new moms on Wednesday mornings. I feel alive when I’m preparing for Bible studies with young adult girls. I grow spiritually when I lean into the wisdom our senior ladies bring. I look forward each Wednesday to our authentic times in meaningful conversations as we spur each other on in the love of Jesus.
I can testify that this life is better together. I’ve tasted and seen that God’s vision for His family is truly better. I’ve learned that being social is not the same as being known. I’ve never felt so deeply loved, joyfully served, and unconditionally accepted as I do when I live in honest community with other women who are cheering one another on. My relationship with Jesus is stronger because my relationships with the women around me are more real.
So, sister in Christ, as the New Year begins, I encourage you…step out of the sidelines. Beginning January 17th, join us every Wednesday morning at 9:15am in the Conference Hall at CLA, or Monday evenings at 6:30 in the Café, where there is a room full of authentic women, each with our pain and messes, joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses, who deeply love and care for one another…and we can’t wait to welcome you.