When I married Joe I had no idea what that meant for my social life..my introverted self had visions of cosy mornings with just us and a cup of coffee, maybe our cat. Every Saturday would be a date day and I would be the object of his undivided attention (believe me; now I know how gross that is). However, I was very quickly woken up to his love of community when he almost took up the offer of a dinner invite…for straight after our wedding reception. I married a man whose love for people, and being around them, dictates a lot of his movements. And I’m so grateful.
Because while it’s still my default state to want to be alone, these past 4 years I’ve gained more deep and meaningful relationships than ever before. My group of loved ones once only included those who were part of my day to day life and now it’s now exploded into friendships all over the globe. Relationships that have got me through hard times and have celebrated with me in great times.
The obvious community in my life is the one I live in. Here on Rapid 14 (Overland Missions’ logistical base) we’re a strange group of people who are so woven into each others lives that sharing coffee, tears, childcare and cooking comes naturally. There is no way I could stand to be without them. Side note: I could talk all day about this wonderful group of people I live with, so I’ll brag on them another time. These past years have instilled in me a love and a need for community.
The community I’ve been thinking about recently has been much wider than those who are right outside my front door. It’s the relationships that have reached across oceans, the messages I’ve sent knowing the reply would be instant and full of loving wisdom. It’s the unwavering support from our extended team around the world. Yet I’ve realized I’m a part of another community I’ve never really recognized, it’s right here on this world wide web. The blogs that I follow and devotions I read. The instagram accounts that inspire me and pretty apps that redirect my mind to truth. They’d all be strangers if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve pulled them into my life, my community.
It’s been a battle for me to finally finish creating this blog, I wanted to make sure it was full of purpose and it fit into my vision. But I’ve been so encouraged by my community here on the internet that I wanted a part of it. Knowing there’s someone out there who understands what it’s like to fight the same battles I’m in the middle of has been a huge comfort for me.
So I figured; if I can be a part of that community and do one small thing that inspires or comforts someone and gives them hope, then you better believe I’m going to do it.
I’ve heard Isaiah 54:2 spoken about a lot in Churches, but this past week God showed me something different in it and he gave me a new challenge:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
I’ve spent a good portion of the past 4 years in a tent, so I feel kinda qualified to say that one of the main reasons you’d need to enlarge your tent and stretch the curtains (doors) open wide, is to fit more people in. Overland has a 500 seater tent that we use for ministry and we stretch that thing as far as it can go; guess what, there’s never enough room. There is always more people than space in our tent.
How much further do you need to stretch your tent? What aspect of community living do you need to widen your tent curtains to? There are always more people for you to do life with, for you to gain wisdom from and for you to inspire. This blog is one way I’m lengthening my cords, I want my community to be big enough to fit you all in, how about you?