Day 31: Community

Happy Sunday and Day 31 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
First things first: WE GOT SNOW!
Admittedly, I feel a bit like a little kid being so excited about the snow that we got over night, but, as this is my first more significant snow accumulation since living in the south* I’m very excited to (maybe) be able to go sledding this afternoon!
And by sledding, I mean, be pulled around on a sled behind the ranger at about 30 mph because (Northwest) Ohio doesn’t have hills.
*Okay, so, technically, we got a decent accumulation of snow last year in 2019 when I was up visiting some friends – enough that I ended up waiting to fly out until the next morning – but I didn’t get to play in it, so that doesn’t really count.  Which means, the last time I was able to play in snow was December (6th?) 2018 when I lived in North Carolina and we got 3-5 inches of slush that my (second) cousins and I played in for most of a Sunday.  Yes, we did go sledding down the road.  No, that wasn’t a problem.  It’s not like southerners actually drive in the snow.
Okay, long tangent aside, let’s get to some blogging.
Recently, you know, for like the last two years, community has been on my mind.
For those of you who read my link to Day 30 of 100 Days of Hannah that I posted yesterday, you’ll know that community is never something that has really come natural to me.
Well, for that matter, I guess I don’t really know if community comes naturally for anyone. Input, good people of the internet?
When I wrote that post, we were in the middle of lockdown, and I was thoroughly enjoying being somewhat disconnected from the hustle and bustle of life.  And I wasn’t really bothered by being out of community.  Rather, it felt like a breath of fresh air. 
Probably because community, or what I imagined community to be, always felt – forced.  It was something I was supposed to do, but I didn’t really want to.  And so, I would begrudgingly attempt to become involved in something, only to get tired of it after a couple of weeks.
As the months have passed, I’ve had quite a bit more time to think about this idea of community, and, while I still don’t know how to achieve it, I think I’m beginning to understand the role of community a little bit more.  So, here we go, for community, round 2.
If I’m honest, most of my dislike for community has probably been rooted in my longstanding fear of vulnerability and conflict.  I mean, why would anyone voluntarily subject themselves to being in the uncomfortable position of having to both be vulnerable and work with the inherent conflict that comes from working with other flawed people.
But yet, we are called to it.
And, I’d suspect, that most people desire it.
But that doesn’t mean that it has to look the same for everyone.
As an introvert, social situations and large groups can be hard for me.
But, I love connecting with people.
I love sharing my heart with others and hearing theirs.
I love being able to encourage others in their times of trouble, and be encouraged in mind.
I love having others with whom to seek the things of God, and discuss the scriptures with.
I love seeing growth, both in my life and the lives of others, as we do this life some semblance of together.
Asking the hard questions.
Sharing the difficult emotions.
Embracing the chaos of life.
But, for me anyway, this isn’t likely to occur in large groups, where I’m afraid to speak up and share my thoughts.
This probably won’t look like a book club, with assigned readings that we have to complete each week, and that we’re forced to answer predetermined questions on.
No, it’s more likely to be afternoons sitting on the couch, talking one on one with a close friend.
It’s more likely to be an afternoon hike with a loved one, asking questions and being open.
It’s more likely to be a phone call, or a letter, or a series of texts.
It’s more likely to be over coffee, while making food, or at a game night.
And the beauty of it?
That’s okay.
Because community?
It isn’t something that can be forced.
It isn’t something that happens overnight.
It’s a daily choice to be intentional in relationships.
To stay the course.
Even when it’s hard.
‘Til tomorrow,
Want to read more?  Here’s a link to my Day 31 post from 100 Days of Hannah.  Click the link to check it out!
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