Those two words have become the most important words I can hear from someone or say to someone. Because we all think we’re the only ones, right?
The only ones
- whose marriages struggle.
- who wonder if it’s okay to not love every second of motherhood.
- who wonder if it’s okay to feel called to be a mom.
- who’ve been hurt by the church.
- who love the church.
- who believe (fill in the blank) is the best way to live.
The truth is that we’re never alone in whatever ways we struggle. Others have been there. Others are going through it. Others have overcome it.
The hard part is finding the “others.”
Because I don’t know about you but when I look around at the people in my life, I’m certain everyone else has it all together. I’m sure no one else struggles the same way I do. And I’m terrified, sometimes, to ask if that’s true because I’m afraid that it will be.
So, how do we combat this walking around feeling like we’re alone syndrome?
Well, sometimes we have to go first. We have to be the ones to say: “This is how I struggle.” We have to risk vulnerability (and consequently being hurt) and trust that no one will run away screaming because we are freakishly abnormal.
This is hard. And the times I’ve done it have felt like walking naked into a room full of fully clothed people. But sometimes, not always, when that happens, other people start to take that risk too and we find out we’re not alone.
But what if you just can’t do that? What if you’re too alone or too isolated or too hurt to let real-life people in?
Well, that’s where a group called (in)courage can help. Today, registration opens for the next session of (in)courage community groups–small groups of women meeting, sharing, encouraging and connecting through social media. There are groups for various interests and seasons of life. Interested? Check it out here.
I’ve been part of a group for two sessions now, and I can’t remember how I found it, but I’m so glad I did. I joined at a time when our lives were upside-down and backwards and I needed to know that there were other people out there whose plans for life and ministry were upturned. I’ve been encouraged and prayed for by women I’ve never met in person who live hundreds of miles away, and yet I consider them friends.
That is the strength of these groups.
This session, I’ll be co-leading the group and participating in some blog link-ups on the topics of encouragement and friendship. Would you consider joining one? Read through the information about how the groups work, look at all the options and then give it a try! I don’t believe these groups are meant to replace face-to-face friendships, but sometimes the people who might understand us best aren’t accessible in real life.
The first session begins in a week, and registration closes in two weeks.
You’re not alone. And you don’t have to walk alone. Community can be just a few clicks away.