I have gone through 2 extremes regarding my community involvement in life. I have been both a community junkie and an anti-community junkie. I have to say that as of late I'm somewhat of a lack of community-aholic...a regular junkie of non community and that...is not a great thing.
I spent 5 years of my life during college being completely engulfed in community, being around people, being involved in community, taking on leadership roles, being involved in other people's lives.
Then suddenly I found myself in the fall of 2005 null and void of community. I picked up my life and headed to down to Greenville South Carolina for over 3 months from August to December to do an internship. I then moved back to Michigan for almost 5 months and then onto Colorado Springs, CO during which over the course of a year I worked at a group home. From July 2005 until December of 2007 I spent over 2 years almost null and void of community and those two years had a dramatic affect on my ability to be a part of community.
I am an individual that has always thrived on others, on being involved in the lives of other people, to have them be a part of mine; of taking part in leadership and found my energy in being around others I care about.
However over those 2 years I found it easier and easier to withdraw within myself, to become a recluse, and shut the world out to keep me in. It became very quickly a way of living to depend on myself rather than open myself to others because the few times I had....I got burned. And there is only so many times that you allow your heart to play with fire before you don't want to allow it to become wounded anymore. So closing myself in was my defense mechanism. I became a noncommunity junkie, I began to feel as though I thrived more being on my own than I did being around others.
This type of thought process is unhealthy, unbiblical, and self-destructive. we all need our moments of silence, of being alone...but we as human being, as creations modeled after our Creator, we are not meant to be alone.
Our souls, who we are as human beings is nurtured, thrives, and grows when planted in the earth of community. The community of others in which we are held accountability, where we laugh, we cry, where are vulnerable, challenged, stretched, where we are raw, real, and at times reckless - knowing that we are amongst friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, those we can trust.
It is for that very reason that community and feeling as though you can trust the community you belong to to be safe for your aches, your hurts, your pains, your past, your present, your future is so vital to the life of a community of people.
so I may be a recovering anti-community junkie, but I don't hope to be a community-aholic either.
I hope to be just me, Rachel, a woman of Christ seeking to be genuine with those I love and care about in hopes that they will do the same. Opening myself back up to others is good, it's hard, and at times really hurts...it tugs at the seams of my comfort in solitude and begins to tear and that growing process is uncomfortable and feels so unsafe at times, but in time. But growth almost always hurts, and growth is always worth it.