I received bad news that day.
The minute I got it, my thoughts started swirling.
Everything seemed like it was in question: my future, my identity, my security. I knew I needed to talk to someone, so I made a phone call, sent a couple of texts, met up with those closest to me. Within hours, the encouragement was coming in and what had seemed like an insurmountable obstacle began to shrink.
I needed community — friends to shed light on my situation, people who could pray for me, people who would love me no matter what.
Most of us have been there. We’ve received unwanted test results, answered a devastating phone call, had a bad review at work, walked out of an impossible situation at home. And in those moments, we know we don’t want to do life alone. No, we know we cannot walk this road alone.
In fact, we weren’t made to do it alone. From the very beginning, God made human beings to be with one another. We don’t have to look past Genesis 2 to see this.
In Genesis 2:18 we read: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
After a creation narrative that repeats “it was good, it was good, it was good” — God said, “It is not good.” When God made Adam and Eve, he made them for community.
But even knowing this, something in me feels embarrassed to admit my need — maybe I have done something wrong to find myself so vulnerable, so in need of others. I think a lot of us feel this way, ready to support and embrace others when they are in need but hesitant to admit our own need.
When we hesitate or downplay our need for community we are downplaying the image of God in us.
God himself is a community — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — and lives constantly in community.
Our need for community is not something shameful but something beautiful. Our need for community is one of the ways that we reflect the image of God. And when we function in healthy communities we collectively create a living, breathing example of the Trinity.
So I keep leaning in. Keep making phone calls. Keep opening up and taking the risk. I keep going to small group, keep sharing my needs with those closest to me and keep doing my best to love others doing the same. And though I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m beginning to embrace and celebrate the truth that none of us are made to do life alone.
Justine Tegen serves discipleship pastor at ALIVE Wesleyan Church in Central, South Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Matthew, and daughter, Kathleen. View the original post.