C O M M U N I T Y

c o m m u n i t y; a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I don’t know if there has ever been a blog where I have sat on the this side of the screen and wrote about. As in – there are plenty of times I have read about community. I have read about what it should like, how it should be, and why it is – but never have I written about it — until now.

You see, my whole life I have been surrounded by people. And good, honest, and loving people at that. They were there in hard times and I still have a few friends that I started kindergarten with that are my girls. But our relationships didn’t get deeper until college. Until I started really understanding what it meant to be a friend, to be a confidant, to be the one to be someone who truly desired the welfare of others above my own.

Which leads me to this “golden girl community” that I will so metaphorically relate this blog to. But first, most importantly, have you see the Golden Girls? If not – freedom ministry is available – or lucky for you, you can still find it on your TV almost every evening on Lifetime or some channel of that sort. Blanche, Rose, Sophia, and Dorothy are elderly roommates living in Miami, Florida in the 90’s. It’s hilarious and Betty White is Rose – which should give you reason enough to jump up and watch it – am I right? But I digress – in this show they walk through so many fights, loves, sorrows, scares, pains, and hilarious memories. My mom and I used to watch it – and my family would make fun of me because I had most episodes memorized. Not as much as Walker Texas Ranger (p.s. Chuck Norris still has the keys to my heart – when my bae comes along, he’ll have to hand them over), but it still was a top show of mine. And my love for it was their loyalty to each other.

And that loyalty, that notion of true friendship (though there were a handful of these friendships growing up), didn’t really find  its way to me for the first time until I moved to New York City. Where I didn’t know a soul and my only human interaction (outside of my coworkers and German dorm-mates) was my community group. And I was the youngest of them. Most of them were at least 3-4 years older – all had moved to NYC as a dream and promise from the Lord as I, and they taught me so much about living in the now. About focusing on what God was doing in this season – and not trying to run ahead so much. I will forever treasure that group in NYC – for they gave me the foundation of community that I now so boldly try to live out.

Which leads me to the community I now have surrounding me. I said it – I now have.

Last night, I ended a bible study I started August of 2013. I began this bible study after an almost 2 year “resting season” from ministry. I began it realizing that nobody could show up and it could just be me sitting week after week in this Starbucks. But then – three girls showed up. And over the course of a year and half there were at lest 40-50 girls who came in and out of that Starbucks, and then eventually – through the doors of my own home.

These girls are what remind me of the “golden girl community” that I mentioned above. They were the answered prayer to the silent cries of my heart that would come time after time of watching that show. The desire to have community that saw past the facade and loved you not for what you looked like, succeeded at, failed at, or even your three-time bout of unemployment. They were the answer to the prayers to find people – women – who chose Christ, the pursuit of righteousness, and the hope and faith that God is good and for our good to walk each day alongside.

I stop right here to acknowledge those of you who read this and your eyes fill with tears as you repeat the same prayer you’ve been praying, “Where’s my community?” And I want you to know – He hears you. You are seen, loved, adored, and our God is putting a timely plan together so that just at the right time – the right people will become known in your life. Stay steadfast, cling to Him in the lonely times, and choose to see past the darkness into the promise of the light to come. Because it will. 

My girls in this group are all so different. They each have their own gifts, talents, careers, ambitions, promises, and callings that I have no doubt God will carry out. And for a season, we had the privilege of spurring each other on towards those things. And for that – I will forever be grateful.

In the past year I have been given sisters, brothers, and mentors in my community that truly point me to Christ, believe in me, trust that God is good and is for my good, and in the end hold me accountable to the righteousness that I deeply desire to live out. And my friends – the gift of community is by far the greatest gift I’ve been given since Jesus.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” – C.S. Lewis

I write this blog as a declaration, a testimony, and a time capsule post if you will. A post to remember the joy of God answering a cry of a teenage girls heart and at 26 she gets to sit in a coffee shop and type out words that can only come from a place of victory, humility, and true gratefulness.

What is something you’ve been praying for and you need breakthrough in? Choose in this moment to believe that He will make a way where there seems to be no way. Hold on – don’t give up. Cling to Him.

 

xoxo

jess

 

To my Grapevine Girls:

May your heart always remember the goodness of this season. May your love for the Lord lead you to see things in a new light and truly believe in all God has for you will come to pass. A piece of my heart and my journey is held inside each of you and your stories’. Now, go change the world.

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