It isn’t news to me that hospitality has more to do with the state of your heart than the state of your home.
It isn’t news to me that forming friendships and keeping them is hard, intentional work.
But what always surprises me is how when a friend hurts me, I am mighty tempted to just give up, to hang a do not enter sign on my heart right before slamming its door. Yep, I’ll just turn off the lights and pretend nobody’s home because lonely hurts less than the wounds from others.
Great day, do I ever get this.
But I also get that this isn’t true, at least not in the long run.
Today – when the wound is fresh – lonely might feel better than trying community again. It might even be necessary so I have focused time for prayer and direction. But when I entertain the idea of adopting isolation rather than community as a way of life, I remember how well that’s worked in the past. Not very. Because while loneliness begins as a dull ache, if left untreated it grows into an acute pain that hurts much more than any original offense.
On the other hand, we can take that hurt, lay it in the sun, and let the light of God give us the strength and grace to keep trying. We can pray to model Jesus and learn to love those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt us.
Indeed friendship does refresh the soul, but sometimes we have to know the dry, parched taste of its absence to fully appreciate the refreshing gift of its presence.
Of course it’s important to use wise discernment when investing in community. But it’s also important to be women who gently speak up when needed rather than retreat when offended. To be women who extend our hands and offer a wide circle of grace.
Let’s be women who try again.
Because quite frankly, we are worth it.
You are worth it.
In one month, I’m speaking at (in)RL along with some beautiful, smart ‘n savvy women. (in)RL is an amazing, easy opportunity to step into community in your local area. You can find out more and register free here! And if you’re interested in attending my own meetup in Colorado Springs, check out the details here.