4 Ways to Find Community That Holds You Up in Hard Times

3. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

Sometimes we find the support we need in unexpected places. But to do this, we have to step outside the walls of what’s safe and comfortable. During one difficult season of my life after a huge cross-country move, this meant going to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting. I was a new mom and didn’t know anyone there. Quite frankly, I was terrified of saying the wrong thing or looking like a fool. But once I got there and spent some time in conversation with other moms, I realized I wasn’t alone. They were going through the same transitions I was, and were there to support each other.

Don’t let your fear of appearing needy or imperfect keep you from connecting with people who may turn into your greatest support system. Relationships take time to foster and grow, but we all have to start somewhere.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10: 24-25 ESV)

4. Pray for God to guide you.

If you don’t know where to start, pray about it. We serve a God who is more than willing to provide wisdom and guidance to those who ask (James 1:5). He desires a relationship with each one of us, and is waiting for us to invite him into our situation. But once you pray about it, don’t stop there. Be expectant and watchful, and look for the answer in places that may go outside what you anticipate. God loves to surprise us, and he is able to move in hearts like no other. If you don’t see the answer right away or sense him guiding you in a specific direction, keep praying until you do.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)

Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. This is where the enemy attacks, and depression and anxiety thrive. This is because we were created for community and connection with others. Even God himself is a triune being, with each person in the trinity playing a unique and specific role.

Often, the person we need to hold us up during hard times is on just the other side of an awkward conversation or hug. When we invite others into our lives and allow them to see the struggles and imperfections, we give them the opportunity to love us where we are. We allow our relationships to go beyond the surface level and grow roots that run deep. But first we have to get past the facade. We have to move past the, “I’m fine,” and the “I’m busy.”

If you’re going through a difficult season right now and are still looking for community to help you get through it, don’t give up. It takes a special kind of person to look outside the blinders of the everyday and see what’s in the peripheral. But those people are still there. And once you find one, you’ll know it.

Photo Credit: © Sparrowstock

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