Community: But Honestly

I've been meaning to write a blog post all month long, but every idea I considered did not seem good enough. And then this thought seemingly came out of nowhere, "But honestly, who even wants to read about my life?"
Now that is a whole other issue. Is my blog merely trying to cater to the appetite of my readers... whoever they may be? I have to admit, I tried that before, with disappointing results. Rather, I've found that the blogs that have received the most positive feedback were the times when I wrote passionately about matters for which I was genuinely concerned.

So let me be honest: there have been plenty of rough times this past semester, and year even. Of course, I experienced the typical college struggles of love interests and time consuming academic work, but by far the biggest hurdle I faced this past semester was my disillusionment with community.

As much as I love each one of my housemates and members of my Elijah Project cohort, this community has been hard work. Don't get me wrong, I was being honest when I wrote about the Dexter house back in September. The house offers a great opportunity for relationships to grow and develop into deep friendships, and I certainly have experienced many joyful, fun moments and good conversations in this community. But with growth comes growing pains. As this past semester started to pick up speed, my expectations of spontaneous dance parties and weekend outings were quickly replaced by the difficult realities of conflict, misunderstandings, and compromise. We have all experienced hurt and discomfort in this house. It's pretty easy to spot the reason: we are all broken and sinful people living under the same roof.

Yes, there are times when I wish it was easier. But the reality of a house of thirteen people with differing expectations, personalities and backgrounds is that creating a good community will take hard work. Personally, I find it rather humbling. Even the brightest, most attractive (well I'm a little biased) and most intentional group of people such as are in our house cannot attain perfect harmony through sheer might. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. No matter how hard I may try to be good, loving, considerate, and so many other virtues, I know how easy it is to say or do something hurtful. Often it is the ones we care about the most that we hurt the most. And to be perfect merely through my own efforts is a futile thing (not to mention emotionally draining) because it is impossible!

Yet Jesus calls us to do the impossible. Love and pray for your enemies? Love God over money? Wash and put away your dishes without complaining? Yes, yes, and [implied] yes. The struggles of creating a community that serves God and each other may seem impossible to overcome, but God promises that it is not impossible through Him.

I am hopeful. As we collectively humble ourselves and seek God and pray, I hope that we will see healing, restoration, and peace in our community.

"A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12


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