I had been looking forward to this day since I registered. Especially since I already new a few of the ladies who were going to be there. I felt safe, and knew they already loved me for who I was.
The night before I settled in on the couch to watch the very last showing of the (in)RL webcast. And as I watched and listend to women sharing their thoughts on community, I could relate. They talked of staying when it’s hard, of forgiveness, of how Christ is community and how we, the Body of Christ, need each other. I shed a tear, yelled an AMEN and wanted to jump through the screen to hug these women — these women who I invite into my home on almost a daily basis, their words on a screen resonating in my spirit.
And so I went, and from the time I stepped out of the car, I could feel His arms of love beckoning me in. I was greeted at the door by this one who I’ve grown to know and love. As she extended her arms to me, I instantly felt gathered up in His arms.
She smiled big and was quick to give me that hug that I had felt before, like liquid love in the arms of the Father. She wrapped me up tightly and I knew I was safe.
And this one, who I had not yet met in person, but who has made me feel welcomed and loved through our online spaces; always encouraging. I extended a hug and she reciprocated. A new (in)RL friend! I was so thankful.
A couple of others came, her, whose loving spirit I remember from once before. And her, whose love for Jesus and for His girls was overwhelming. One an acquaintance, one a stranger, but the three of us with a common bond, His love within.
We gathered around a table set simply, yet elegantly. Fine china, for His Beloved daughters. Sprinkles of His love abounding all around.
We ate and were filled, and our hearts outpoured His love and grace. We shared our struggles, our dreams, our thoughts on community. We talked of our desire to be known, to be pursued, to stay when it’s hard.
And we all decided we should have a bench, to welcome others in, to share His love, to build community.
I didn’t want to leave these women who made me feel perfectly loved in community. But the beauty is that I can come back. These women who live just moments from my home. It’s a choice to be in community, and I want to make that choice to gather with these women, with all of the women whom God has placed in my life.
My life is richer, my heart full, because of community.
What are your thoughts on community? What do you love? What do you fear? What keeps you coming back? I would love for you to share in the comments below.
For more stories from (in)RL, go here.