Hi, my name is Amanda and I am addicted to people. It started a long time ago when I was just a kid. My parents moved me from town to town, school to school and I made friends wherever I went. I could get along with anyone. In college I was the girl that everyone knew. I was involved, worked on campus, and embraced anyone who needed me. In addition I don't let go of relationships easily. I am a big believer that God created relationships and so I know He can heal them too.
I just love people. I love to hear stories and share stories with others. I have a desire for connecting with people and have 'REAL' conversations - you know, the ones that you feel deep down, the ones that make your heart pound, make you laugh, or your eyes water. The ones where afterwards, you are filled to the brim and just kinda feel - wow.
So... that being said - I like to build relationships. I treasure my friendships & my family - my community, or more like - My Tribe. This is what I want to talk about today. The importance of building a strong community of friends and family.
Why? Well, I am learning in a very hard way how much I need people. I have always worked out of the home until recently. Other than a 2 week stint I have been a work at home momboss since my youngest was born 8 months ago. There has been A LOT of JOY during this time & I wouldn't trade it for the world. But... I have become isolated in many ways. I don't get out like I thought I would. This 'type A' girl doesn't like to screw up naps. I like to be home when the girls get off the bus. AND when I do go out - I hate how everything, absolutely EVERYTHING takes longer to do and my day just disappears! In addition - I personally suck at asking for help or inviting people over. Due to my pure stubbornness, pride, and unwillingness to admit that I am struggling, I have found myself in a place that keeps me from being my best for God, those I love, my clients, and myself.
And recently, I had a meltdown. I cried, I swore, I had a dramatic pity party with my husband, and I focused on all the junk that I didn't like - I just plain old lost it. Oh and not just once but a few times. I even recognized the break down, tried to address it and work my way out, but I didn't see it until it was too late. The worst part - My kids even yelled, no SCREAMED back at me! OH.MY.GOODNESS! When all was calm again I was told that yes I can be a mean mom but I am also the best mom - sigh... I have my crazy just like the rest of ya'll.
There was a lot of learning that happened through this though. God uses everything - I mean everything to teach us, shape us and make us MORE of who He wants us to be. And what I learned through my major hot mess mama meltdown?
I learned what being lonely felt like. To all my friends out there who have experienced this - I am sorry if I was not there for you, if I didn't reach out to you, if I didn't love you in the way you needed to be loved. This is exactly why I want to talk about the importance of community.
I think we need to have a hang of loneliness first. I honestly feel it is a bit of a taboo topic but in reality it happens to many people.
So what is it?
1. a. Being without company
b. Being cut off from others
The definition of lonely is one thing BUT the feeling of lonely is more. I did a bit of a survey via Facebook and Instagram and these are the words people gave me:
Oh.My.Goodness you guys!
I learned a lot through this - it was a hard, hard week. I was dealing with SO MANY EMOTIONS! Figuring out WHAT I was feeling was not the easiest task. But once I did, it allowed me to take care of those feelings.
AND - When I got over the hump I realized I had lost my sense of community.
Community - WHAT IS IT?
1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
I also did a Facebook and Instagram Survey here too. This is how others described their first thoughts:
Helping one another
Group with Common/Shared Interests
Friends & Family
Wow you guys! It isn't just about a definition is it?
This is what it says in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
WE NEED EACH OTHER!
God didn't create us to get so busy in our lives that we forget about others. We are supposed to encourage each other, meet together, motivate each other to love and do good.
Like I said before - this girl was stubborn and needed to get out of my own way and even more so, out of God's way.
Want to know what I loved about this entire experience?
I can look back and actually evaluate my experience a bit. AND anytime you can do this, you can grow. In James 1:2-4 we are instructed to find joy in all our trials for they are opportunities to grow. Now, believe me, I am not always successful at this... I FAIL daily people!
Here's some of the good I saw when I thought back at my messy week:
My husband kicked me in the butt with a Holy Spirit Boot (his words not mine)
Anyone who knows him knows this is a WIN! He is a big sarcastic potty mouth. But he loves me well. He challenges me daily to be my best!
Unlike other struggles in my past where I would just grin and bear it, I did not deny that I was struggling.
I began to fill myself with His Word. This is the best place for me to go and find encouragement and direction.
I wrote in my prayer journal. Bearing my heart to the Lord is so freeing.
I got to SMELL AWESOME using some of my favorite Young Living Oils.
I realized that although I have had 2 other babies - Taking care of me is different this time around, and no matter what I will always be learning as a mama.
I acknowledged that I was taking more time to escape vs fill my tank. Escaping has it's place, but it was taking over.
Mostly - that God is so incredibly good and He loved me through every failure I had.
Finally - I learned God gave me a gift for building relationships and that when I need them, it's ok for me to reach out and ask to be loved on. Even typing that turns my tummy - which tells me I will have to continue to speak this affirmation. You see HE created relationships and hungers for us to spend time with Him too. It's ok to need each other.
So - if you are lonely, reach out to Jesus AND reach out to others who love you. Invite a friend to lunch, for a walk or for coffee.
If you aren't - think about those in your life that may be a bit isolated and go love on them. Invite them out for dinner, see if they need anything, or just call them up to chat.
Be the Community.
Now if I read through this again to edit it, I'll NEVER get it posted - so I am sorry for any grammar edits that were needed. I will always choose for you to get my heart before perfection.
Be Blessed and go Love on someone.