There’s a constant struggle within my being to be a solitary creature.
It’s not that I don’t like people, or love doing things with those who are close to me; I absolutely do, and sometimes being with those people brings me great blessing and joy.
Sometimes, though, I start to hyperventilate, my vision narrows, and I just need to get away.
I don’t want to talk about things, be open or vulnerable. I sweat at the thought of having to share community, to look at someone and say “me too!” in response to her heart-hurts or happy days. I don’t want to be the first to speak about an issue, to release into the safe haven of my colony of friends the things that haunt me, chase me, pressure me and make me doubt, turn my resolve into a pillar of fear.
Blame my introverted nature, the part of me that revels in quiet solitude. It’s not bad to want alone time; some of us need it to function. It is bad to not want community, to buck and pull against the threading together of hearts and minds in unity, to try and break off and be alone.
We need community.
Funny how when this is my hardest struggle of the season, the message my pastor delivers, the message our house church discusses, and the movement of people of the faith is to gather and hold fast together. It’s like Someone knew I’d be feeling cornered, that I’d be breathless, terrified, and resistant.
In this season, I believe something great is happening. My spirit knows the blessing of community. My colony of faithful friends has fed me, put gas in my car, paid my bills, supported me, strengthened me, and made me strong.
Perhaps I am rebelling against being a part of this, even in my gratefulness, because I know I can never pay it back. I am inadequate, just one person.
But if I live like I’m one person, instead of a part of a whole, who am I really hurting? If we all lived in solitude, instead of individual working parts of a body, who would we be hurting?
Not ourselves, friends. We would be hurting each other. Pulling away when we are meant to be in union will hurt others more than us.
So I’m working hard to remember this today. I’m leaning on the fact that I can be quiet in community, I can have no words, I can have no strength to stand up straight, because I am in a community that cares and sees and helps. When the day comes that I find I can be strong on my own, be bold in my words, then I can be the community that holds up the weak and quiet.
Community is where we are bold, and where we are gentle. It is life, and it is good. This is my hope, today. Perhaps it can be yours, too.
. . . . . . . . . .
Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)