Have you been following along on our series about tending to your own Mom Heart? Not only do we need to learn to tend to our group members’ hearts, but we need to first tend and fill our own heart so that we have something to give. Find the earlier posts here.
Community and Fellowship Provide Us with Affirmation, Affection, Stability and Belonging
Recently, I was feeling quite alone and unnoticed in my life. I was carrying several serious burdens of my children and friends, was quite tired of working, and felt so alone.
A very loyal and trustworthy friend texted me, “I am going to be gone for a month. I need some Sally time.”
As we sipped the strong black tea we both loved from England, I poured out my heart’s issues. Out of compassion, tears came to her eyes. “I don’t know if you realize it, but I am praying for you diligently almost every day. All the things that are piling up in your life are indeed heavy to carry, but my life is similarly burdened, and I want to tell you how I have been seeing God’s goodness amidst my own personal circumstances.”
When my friend left, nothing in my circumstances had changed, yet I felt hope in my heart because of her words. Our friendship carried me to peace because she helped to shoulder my burdens and sympathize.
God created us for companionship with real people. We were born for community, love, help, encouragement, and the blessing and intimacy that comes from close friendship with others.
Consequently, fellowship with like-minded women and men is essential to our spiritual health, and to our well-being in the Christian life.
A woman alone in her home, giving and being emptied on a regular basis, and dealing with her limitations — plus those of the sinful people who dwell in her home — is a target for discouragement, feelings of inadequacy, confusion and a sense of failure.
Having support systems is essential to our spiritual life, growth, health and pleasure. God intended us to live in a greater sense of family—to have aunts, grandmas, sisters, cousins, and friends who would surround us and give help and instruction to us as we learn to live life as moms, wives, ministry leaders, and friends.
In an isolationist society, we have falsely accepted the premise that we can “do it alone.” That belief brings so much pressure on one person to be all and do all!
Cultivating fellowship, friendship, and community may require you to take initiative, since isolation is the norm in this culture at this time.
Keep looking until you find someone more mature than you who can draw you forward in your walk with God. Find someone who is right where you are to share similar issues, ideas, and help, and also find someone younger in the Lord or at a younger stage to whom you can bring encouragement.
Read and ponder the following verses in reference to yourself and your current community. How can you apply them to your life?
What action steps do you need to move on to create a less isolated life for you and for your family?
How can you spend time intentionally connecting with the women in your Mom Heart group?
ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
HEBREWS 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
GALATIANS 6:10 (NLT) Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.
COLOSSIANS 2:2 (NLT) I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.
HEBREWS 10:25 (NLT) And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
ACTS 2:46-47 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
GALATIANS 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
MATTHEW 18:20 (NLT) “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
TITUS 2:3-5 (NLT) Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
How will you reach out to create community for yourself this week?