the struggle with community
This last month I have been grasping for something of meaning or of worth to give myself assurance and peace. In marriage I have seen my husband and I become one in more than one way. Our testimonies have started to merge, our struggles are tied to the other, our tears shared, and our joys are also merged. I have learned to share my burdens and insecurities. I have learned a very new depth in community through marriage.
I have learned to answer truthfully when he asks he how I am doing or if I need anything. I have learned that community starts where ever you live. I have lived with sister, had countless roommates, and now my husband. And with every season I pick up a new piece of how to live with others and how to grow my perspective of community and love. From the differences in people and appreciating those differences, to not asking to take what you are not willing to give, and more recently to be authentic and honest in speech. When someone asks me what's hard about marriage, I tell them the truth. When my husband asks how my day was, I actually tell him.
It's hard to share the truth at times for fear that the care or empathy won't be reciprocated. What if you tell them and they change the subject, or what if you say it wrong, or say too much... I guess the real worry is sharing too much of yourself, being too invested, or someone having something "on" you.
What if they know I'm not perfect (which should be obvious)? What if they know I struggle deeply? What if my walls fall?
A big fear of mine is sharing too much of myself and having nothing in return. A fleeting conversation, a random person that now knows more than a I want them too, or at times the fear of not being liked for who I really am. I think this is a fear a lot of us share in community.
The beauty of authentic community is being fully known and fully loved. I have learned this in the most raw form in marriage. He seems me in my imperfection, fears, sins; he hears me sing in the shower, and eats my burnt meals, he listens to my rants on social issues and still loves me. That kind of love frees you to be yourself not around just that person but others. It give you confidence that bring peace and beauty that is unexplainable. The truth is that the love my husband has for me is but a shadow of the love God has for me (us). Not only does he know the things I mentioned before he knows beyond. He created me. He knows my thoughts. He sees me when no one is around. He sees my future mistakes. Steadfastly, he loves me.
Steadfastly he loves you. May a love that is as consistent as that propel you to live authentically with people and vulnerably with those you love. Create this kind of community with your life; be real, live graciously with one another, answer honestly, and seek to be authentic as you were created to be.