yesterday was a tough day for me at church. i’m not sure if it was just that time of the month and i happened to be overly sensitive, or maybe i was just realizing, once again, the ways in which i feel unfulfilled in my relationships. i miss high school, not just because times were simpler, but because back then, i never felt lacking in my friendships. but somewhere along the road in college, the way i interacted with people changed. i became a lot more prideful, a lot more wary, a lot more conservative, a lot more protective. and now community is probably the biggest thing i struggle with. so yesterday was one of those days (among many others) when i felt completely displaced from my church. it was one of those days when i thought to myself, i will never find the type of community i crave if i stay here. it reminded me of a conversation i had with another girl about this exact same concern - how we felt like we just didn’t belong. she eventually stopped becoming as involved in this church and started seeking another community, and i wondered if she had chosen the better route.
today, in my cries and questions and pleas, God responded to me. it was one of those days where i just needed my morning devotional to speak to my needs. and God was faithful.
i guess what i got out from this devotional was not an answer to how i could find community. it was even better. it was a challenge of my assumptions. it was a realization that God’s calling for me was more than just finding community. i know that community is essential. and i do have community, that’s not the issue here. i’ve just been too pent up in finding the type of community that i’ve always imagined, that i desire, that i crave. this in itself is not bad, but seems trivial in the large scheme of things. can you imagine if my tombstone wrote “fish: she was able to find a loving community where she felt fully accepted, a community that gave her immense joy.” i mean, that’s GREAT, but really, is that the most significant thing you want to be known for in your life on earth, that you were able to find great community? not to mention the fact that it just sounds very self-serving.
now of course, this isn’t the answer to everyone who might be struggling with a similar situation. but i believe this is God’s answer to me, for now at least. the times when i feel displaced from my community, when i feel dispensable, when i feel like i just don’t belong…these are just small distractions in my life. these are fleeting problems that will pass, problems that pale in comparison to the eternal glory that God offers us when we choose to obey and follow Him and focus on the higher calling that He has for us. there will still be times like yesterday when i feel depressed or disappointed by my disconnect with community, and though it’s important to address that, it’s not the MOST important thing, or at least it shouldn’t be the single thing that i strive for and the one thing that constantly weighs on my mind. like paul, i also want to hear Jesus say to me, “well done, good and faithful servant!” and i don’t think spending a good bulk of my time striving for a certain level of community will warrant that statement.
of course, just as this devotional brought me some peace, it also brought up more questions. what exactly am i supposed to be focusing on? i believe God has a higher calling for me, more specific than just being a good daughter, a good sister, a good employee, or a good friend, but i’m not sure what it is. or maybe i’m getting ahead of myself, and i just want to know the quick and easy answer before i’ve reallie layed down the groundwork to pave that path where i can actually work towards fulfilling God’s will in my life. regardless of what it is that i need to gain more clarity, your prayers would be greatly appreciated!