Creating a Community

Today I want to encourage and challenge you to not be so independent…  I know… just typing those words was a challenge to me, because I am the queen of independence! I love not having to rely on anyone for anything, and asking for help is a huge argument within myself. But it’s prideful and it’s not the way we were designed! We were not meant to live on our own self-efforts, and we were not meant to live without help from others. I know in this day and age sometimes we don’t always feel we have a choice… people we have depended on to be there leave, circumstances change, and people change, but if you feel as though you are alone, and you have no help, that you are independent and you don’t need anyone, I’m here to tell you all those things are not true…. If you are alone, you don’t have to be… If you truly believe you don’t need anyone, you are simply misinformed.

To reach your full potential of joy, you have to have relationships with others…. You will never truly see how joyful life can be until you have others who will call you up and check in on you, and you are doing the same for others… You need people to challenge you in life, to hold you accountable, to encourage you and maybe even discourage you a little bit, if what you are wanting to do could be destructive…

Independence, when abused, can be another word for division. It can keep you from relationships, it can keep you from friendships, and it can keep you from God…  

So what is your first step? How do you begin friendships as grownups? This can be a bit more challenging and you will have to be brave.If there are people in your life you want to grow friendships with, coworkers, old school friends, or people in your classes, just simply reach out to them… make a bold move! If you feel as though you need a new community, fresh beginnings and fresh starts, go to a church, (I’m partial to mine, The Light at Joplin) join a class of some sort, an art class, a workout class, look up facebook groups! This may seem silly but there are kayaking groups, hiking groups, all sorts of local communities that use facebook to plan meetings and group activities.

And friends, if you get burned… If someone hurts you or is not a good friend, keep trying… Don’t give up on friendships and relationships, because one or two or even ten were bad… And give it time! Friendships don’t happen overnight, so give yourself time to grow in friendship with others.

That being said, do not settle for friendships and relationships that are feeding negativity into your life. People always say quality over quantity, but I say, why not have both?? There are so many amazing, kind, hopeful, loving, joyful, prayerful, people out there, I just don’t believe you have to keep your circles small…. Limit WHO you are allowing to speak into your life, limit time with people who are not willing to grow with you, and find people who want to see you succeed and who want to grow as you grow.

When fighting depression, being able to talk to someone about it can change your life…. Having someone that will pray for you, encourage you, grab a cup of coffee with you, it can be the first step in breaking through your depression. So this week I challenge you to reach out to someone. And if you don’t know where to start feel free to reach out to me! I would love to be there for you! Or if you have any questions or comments I’m always eager to hear them!

theartofencouragement@outlook.com

Verses in Friendship:

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

“Oil and perfume makes the heart glad and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9

“Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” Psalm 133:1

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10

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