I’ll be honest. At first I agreed to be a hostess more for me than for them. I so crave community. I notice when it’s been too many days without it. And often, the best way to have community, is to open YOUR door and invite them in.
The last 3 years have been full of amazing, deep community for me. These women, these local, beautiful faces that cause me to light up when I see their names on my phone’s screen. However, just before we moved here, I knew exactly NONE of them. In fact, when we first arrived, the only people I knew shared my last name and a Penske Moving truck. But that has long since changed.
And though a few of the faces have moved away and new ones have come, they all feel like family. The kind you pray with, cry with, let yourself laugh loud like a psychotic donkey with.
Still, there is always room for one more.
And so I signed up to have these women in my house, praying they could come and leave filled with the energy of encouragement.
At some point during the night, we were discussing one of the segments of video and there began an impromptu sharing of “what I felt like when I was new here…”
And it was as expected. Each one, felt the same. Lost. Alone. Wanting to run and hide. Coming once or twice and then wanting nothing more than to run scared.
Each one, had to PUSH themselves to come again.
As one sweet friend began to share, everybody listened– for most of us came after she did.
And as I looked into her eyes and listened, she said it. The phrase my heart has cried out so many times but never voiced.
“I just felt so forgettable. I just knew if I left, no one would remember me…”
And I wanted to weep. Right then and there. First, because on the night I first came, she was one of the first mamas I met. I shared a teensy bit of my story and she was sitting across from me, listening with her whole heart which certainly didn’t make me feel forgettable. Instead, I felt…. wanted. Second, the tears threatened to fall because sometimes I still feel that way. Way too ordinary for anyone to remember.
Forgettable. Even when I KNOW BETTER. One little bit of rejection and the vision and desire to take my gifts and use them for Him is clouded by a thousand untrue thoughts.
We worship a God who does not forget us. He is El Roi. The God Who Sees. He SEES you. Today, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing– He sees. He does not forget who we are or where we are. He knows my name. He knows yours. And He gives us the breathtaking gift of community. When we open our hearts and our homes and let them come in, something amazing happens.
In deep community with one another, we have the opportunity to share, to love and to give the grace that has been given to us.
We are not meant to be alone. We are not meant to allow ourselves to become invisible. We were created to know and to be known. It is in community that we can truly love one another and glorify God as a body of believers. We cannot be the body if we are separate, disjointed parts scattered throughout the church. We have to SHARE life together. To do life together goes beyond an occasional potluck or playdate. It brings us together under the commonality of “Me too!” and allows us to look deeper into the hearts of one another. It’s dangerous. It risky. It requires vulnerability. But if we count the cost, we find it’s worth it.