By: Morgan Stoecklein
I don’t know about you, but I love order. Following the rules is my favorite pastime. Expecting the expected is what its allll about in my eyes.
But with life, comes twists and turns. And with life… plus a global pandemic… the twists and turns become even more difficult to navigate. As I’m sure you know.
My husband Cole and I were invited to 9 weddings this year. So far.
We’ve been to two in person. And two via Facebook live.
Some of our dear friends have had to cancel their weddings, some have postponed, and many have a big “TBD” looming over their special day that they had planned and dreamed about for months.
My younger brother Carson was set to play his senior year of golf, go to prom, and walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma, but he wasn’t able to do any of those things.
Obviously there are worse things than missing a senior prom, or even a wedding day. Actually, looking back, I wish I could un-do the happening of my senior prom. Bad food. Bad music. Way too much grinding and power hungry science teachers with breathalyzers. No THANKS.
The point is: we’ve all faced changes recently. Cancelled trips. Cancelled weddings. New job titles. No job title. Death. Twists. Turns.
So, what does any of this have to do with community?
Well, changes become even more daunting when we face them alone. Community is one essential to experiencing true peace in the midst of the twists and turns of life.
And I’ll confess, when changes come I tend to think of myself and how I am going to navigate everything. I forget about the people around me, or even forget to lean on the people around me. How can I take control of this situation? How can I make everything better? What can I do to solve this? Me. Me. Me. I. I. I.
I forget that other people are experiencing some of these same changes. I lose sight of what I reallywant to do: care for my friends and family, because instead I have my eyes fixed on myself.
And that’s the thing about people. We tend to think about ourselves first. Even if I don’t mean to, I think about myself before the people around me. But the thing about community is: in community we’ve committed to thinking about each other. Putting the other person before ourselves is why community works. I can trust that we have each other’s backs. I don’t have to put myself first or make sure I always have the leg up because I know that there are people who support me and love me, just as they love themselves. And I do the same for them. Community like this is refreshing, its energizing, its life-giving.
This season of life has brought many unexpected changes that have been difficult for me. I would assume it has for you too. I’m willing to bet the people around you are struggling in some way with the changes in their life as well. Big or small.
So, when the wedding is postponed and the trip is cancelled, reach out to those dear friends. Keep reaching out. Keep asking the people around you how theyare handling the changes in their lives. Allow them to think, contemplate, and process. Actively listen to them. Intentionally encourage them.
I pray that you find someone that will allow you to do the same. Think. Contemplate. Process.
I pray that you would experience peace, growth, and faith at a deeper level as you intentionally seek out this type of community.