Growing up, one of my favourite cartoons was Pocahontas because it fascinated me. For a lot of people, the romance was the intrigue but for me it was one thing that many would not even have noticed but my young mind was captured. Pocahontas was a woman of her ‘people’. Every time her father would speak of ‘her people’ and I would wonder who these people were. At that age I thought Pocahontas was the luckiest girl on earth to have a people who hard her back and looked up to her. As I got older I understood that they were simply referring to people that came from the same place she did. I have my people, you have your people. But I would never forget how much that idea of having that community behind and beside you filled me with glee.
As much as I have ‘my people’ who are related to me by blood I believe now more than ever we should be intentional about who ‘our people’ are. Today we say, ‘my tribe’, ‘my clique’, ‘my girls’, ‘my guys’ and so on. It still comes down to one thing; a community of people you know have your back every day and any day.
I’ve always been an introvert and so as much as I loved the idea of having a community, I was naturally inclined to a life of solitude which I also love. That was where I felt most comfortable. Even when people looked at me like I was strange, or my mum would draw me in for little heart to hearts about how she’s worried I may be depressed, I still loved my me time. Being around people made me anxious, scared and more alone than being alone. I had underdeveloped social skills, if I even had any at all. I would cling dearly to little pockets of isolation throughout the day and when I was alone, truly alone, I felt at my best.
Then 2017 happened, arguably the worst year of my 22 years on earth and the thing I loved most, my solitude, became the thing that haunted me the most. I was drowning in shame, guilt and darkness and I had no one to turn to. I felt I couldn’t turn to God because he probably didn’t want anything to do with me and I felt I couldn’t talk to my family because they might judge me and so as I sat in silence so many times and felt like I was dying each day.
If you ask me today how I came out, I probably would only have one word to tell you and that’s Grace. It was the Grace of God that brought me out but if you ask me how I have a semblance of a normal life now, how I can smile genuinely and not as a mask, how I am able to even encourage others or flourish in my walk with God I would say community. That’s the last thing an introvert should say right? But it’s the truth. I didn’t think I needed one, but I did. You need a community too, not just any community but a Godly Community. People who aren’t necessarily perfect but who are willing to walk each day and progress towards perfection. You need people you can grow with, share your struggles with and who can encourage you. These are people who you can do the same for. It doesn’t have to be a big one, my community is made up of 3 strong women who I admire, and I’m privileged to walk this life with. I have a larger community of people that I seek their counsel in other areas and call friends but when it comes to the real me, my struggles, pains and victories, I have just a few I can truly count on.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t have gone through half of what I went through or stayed in that darkness too long if I had the community I have now but no matter what I am grateful for them. I have people that have seen and know my deepest, darkest hurts, people I can turn to when I feel I am slipping up and that is so important in this our walk with God.
Let’s look at our perfect example; Jesus! He had His community. Doubt it? Let’s look at Mark 3:13 – 15 (TPT) “Afterward, Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to himself the men he wanted to be his close companions, so they went up the mountainside to join him. He appointed the Twelve, whom he named apostles. He wanted them to be continually at his side as his friends, and so that he could send them out to preach and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons.” Jesus had the 12 who walked closely with Him, they did life together. When there was a food shortage and He needed to feed the 5000, He didn’t call the entire crowd and ask them to form a think tank to figure a way out. He called His tribe! His people! Those who He chose to walk with. Even in that twelve he had an inner circle; Peter, James and John. If there is anyone who was or ever will be that didn’t need anyone, it would be Jesus. If Jesus needed a community, so do you. It’s vital to fulfilling purpose.
At this point I would like to recommend a series by Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church which helped me better understand this need for community and build mine. The series is “Inner Circle”. Its available on YouTube or on their Podcast. I would also like to recommend a message by Pastor Holly Furtick of Elevation Church called “Support System”. It is also available on YouTube.
In the next part of this post I would show you 3 practical steps to building your Godly Community. You know why you need one, now you need to know how to build one.
Remain Blessed and I would see you in the next post! Till then I love you, but God most certainly loves you more!