All of a sudden our grass has turned green again! For weeks it looked sickly, like maybe there were pests or the watering wasn’t quite right, or was it was just the hot hot southern Utah summer? I couldn’t quite make anything work. Then I fertilized, and that seemed to take care of it. I just mowed four days ago, and as you can see, it’s already out of control!
But, as I walked to school with Aubrey this morning, I noticed that EVERYONE’S grass was going crazy! So, it wasn’t that I finally fertilized. It wasn’t about me. It was just NORMAL that the grass was languishing in the summer heat. My expectations should be different next summer.
And that is part of what’s so valuable about community! When we are isolated, too self-focused, or disconnected from community we lose perspective. God created us to live in community, to help us gain perspective, a sense of reality and norms, and to receive and give love.
Then, when we’re struggling, we can understand when our experience is normal and receive the support or encouragement we need. When something in our life isn’t normal, we can receive help and gain perspective we need to move forward with growth and change.
When we’re isolated, many problematic things can happen. We can become overly anxious and depressed over normal struggles that many people deal with, missing the perspective and help we need. We can become overly fixated on our own desires, such as appearances or knowledge or success, that remove us from engaging in loving relationship with people. Or we could have areas of sin or weakness that grow and become unhealthy in our lives, because of the lack of awareness and accountability. We are all imperfect people who need help, relationship, accountability, and love from each other.
The type of community we need may change with seasons of our lives, sometimes receiving more, sometimes giving more. One example of this in my life was being part of a Mom’s Morning Out group at our church in Iowa. I found encouragement, support, good ideas, and a sense of the normalcy for parenting and developmental changes in my girls. Leaning into community had a huge positive impact in this season of my life. And now that I’m in another season of life, I can connect in community as I encourage younger moms as a MOPS Mentor Mom.
We need to be intentional to keep reaching out and stay connected in community! It gives us healthy perspective, allows us to receive love, and helps us to keep growing and loving others well.
How will you intentionally engage in community this fall?
Is there a group or person who could help meet your need in this season of life? How can you reach out to others or invite them into the community they need?