The hubster and I have wanted few things more since being married than to leave New York City. And this year when it finally seemed like we had a chance, the Lord said very loudly, both in circumstance and in Spirit, “stay.” In the weeks that have followed, a weird kind of peace came over us and we learned something else about ourselves. In our desire for a more financially, physically, and emotionally sustainable lifestyle, we often overlook one of the big things God is doing in our lives in New York City: community.
Once we surrendered to His call to stay, we also saw how He can ease all of the things we’ve allowed ourselves to be so worried about and show us a new way. One that says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33). It’s been kind of crazy and surreal, but it’s real. In His call for us to stay, God is giving us everything we need to do just that. And while we still firmly believe someday God will move us somewhere new, and a piece of us still gets excited about that future place we’ll call home, we’re also excited about the call to love where we are. To be all in and surrender what’s next to Him.
Which has gotten me to thinking a lot about why loving our communities matter. We’ve all probably seen from experience that communities can go two ways. Sometimes it’s beautiful and healthy and uplifting and feels like home. And other times it’s downright toxic and damaging and makes us want to run screaming for the hills. When that last one happens, it’s hard to ever want to engage in community again.
But loving our communities matters, because love matters and love was always meant to be shared in community.
Jesus put it this way.
Like a bunch of lightning bugs lighting up the night sky, community is at its most beautiful when it’s filled with love. What was dark becomes brighter, what was lonely becomes loved, and generally speaking we’re just better together.
Community doesn’t always mean staying. Sometimes it means going somewhere new, and sometimes it means forming relationships across miles and oceans, online, over the phone, or in any number of ways. New York City is just one of the communities that God’s placed the hubster and me in, and now that we’re focusing on loving it more over this next year, we’re certain the experiences we’re having here will shape us in new and unexpected ways for the future. Hopefully one with a backyard and a driveway and a garden full of good stuff (a girl can dream, right?), but if not, we’ll be cool with that, too.
What do you guys think of when you think of community? Tell us in the comments. Follow along with the rest of the 31 Days to More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess posts with the outline at the bottom of this post or click the button below.
The Intro Stuff
What Does More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess Mean?
How to Get Involved
Where Does the Best Come From?
Free 8×10 Scripture Art Printable of 1 John 4:4b
Guest Post: More of God’s Best in My Life (Krystle)
A Dose of Hope and Preview of What’s to Come
God’s Best in Your Life
God’s Best in Our Families
God’s Best in Our Community
coming this week…
Original photo of Headshot Collection Of People by stockimages from freedigitalphotos.net. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.