Thursday, May 22, 2014

Community - A Shelter from Life's Storms

What does community mean to me? The first thing that comes to mind is the town that I grew up in and where I am raising my family, DeWitt, IA.  Love this place. It is bigger than when I was growing up, but it is still a small farm town with a nice shopping area downtown, plenty of places to eat (but a diner or small cafe would be nice!), great schools, a hospital and only 20 minutes in three directions to the nearest Wal-Mart and shopping. One definition of community is "a group of people who live in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common."

But the community that I have at OBS fits the following definition "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals." I can be quiet and shy when in a new situation, but getting involved with a Facebook small group really helped me feel comfortable quickly. I have an awesome leader, Marlene, and the rest of my sisters in Group 51 are so accepting and loving that I no longer feel like the only child that I am! Where else can I find fellow sisters who love the Lord - actually OOZE their love for the Lord? I can share my thoughts and feelings without feeling judged or rejected. We may not live in the same town, state, or even country but when we are gathered in one place for the building of our faith through Scripture, study and prayer we are truly blessed!

What I need from a community is probably different from what you need and that is OK! I need a place where I am loved for who I am and what I am. I have a need to feel accepted by others and loved. Maybe you do too. I love that I learn from the leaders of the OBS studies and the other ladies who are participating. I need to know that what I am going through, experiencing or doubting is OK and may even be normal. I just need a safe place to be me!

My hope and prayer is that I can encourage and support my fellow OBS sisters. I want you to know that I pray for all of you. I will love you for who you are. I am only a Facebook message away if you need someone to pray for/with you. I will be your number one cheerleader when you get discouraged!

 "This will happen when we set aside our self-interests and work together to create true community instead of a culture consumed by provocation, pride, and envy." ~ Galatians 5:26 (The Voice)

"Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others." ~ James 3:13 (The Voice)