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Creative Ways to Grow Community

Back in January I was meeting with a counselor to sort through some heart stuff. Being a stay at home mom was wearing on me, and at the time I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

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I tried talking to my husband but he just wanted to fix everything (which I really do appreciate, but wasn’t helping at the time). Some of those closest to me were going through their own hard stuff and I didn’t want to burden them (although I know they wouldn’t have seen it as a burden). And a lot of my other mom friends are in the thick of it with me, and though they offer comraderie, what I really needed was a neutral third party. Someone to listen to me, and offer perspective.

I went for three sessions. In the first one we talked a lot about how I feel alone in my role as a mother. I realized that part of why I feel so alone is because I’m terrible at asking for help and recieving help.

In the second session we talked primarily about community. This was a tough session for me becuase although I’m surrounded by SO many amazing people, in my family, my circle of friends, my church, online – I still often feel resistant to building community. I hold back. I put up walls. I sit in church on Sunday morning and don’t talk to a single person, and leave feeling discouraged.

But something broke for me in that session. God seemed to see a crack in the walls I’ve built to keep myself from community, squeezed in and began massaging my heart in this area. Softening me, healing old hurts, preparing my heart to be open again – to reach out.

I’m seeing community through new eyes. I’m beginning to understand why I became a community-resister and how I can start to change that. God’s doing a work in my heart and through it I’m seeing the tender beginnings of community start to form. I’m finding “my people” both online, and in my everyday life.

And out of this place of transformation I’m excited to be teaching a class on Community through The Influence Network.  On May 22nd at 8pm CST I’ll be teaching an online class called “Creative Ways to Grow Community”. This class is open to ANYONE and if you can’t be there “live” you will be sent a recording following the class. I’d love for you to join me.

What is one way you’ve grown your community, either online, at church or in another area of your life?

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2 thoughts on “Creative Ways to Grow Community

  1. I’m a community-resister too. When I was growing up, I knew a lot of really catty girls and was burned fairly bad by them, and those scars make it hard to REALLY open up to women and build community. It’s a fine line for me now…building friendships/community and protecting myself, ya know? (Already signed up for your class!)

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