In California, I had and still have a great support network of family, friends and colleagues with whom I had and still have deep relationships. They were my community.
It’s hard to be away from all of that here in Victoria. Blessed with being part of a big family and so many communities where I felt I belonged in California, the move has brought to my attention how much I have taken this for granted. Moving to Victoria meant that I was giving up immediate access to the communities where I belonged in California. When I ask God to “search me. . . and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts,” He indeed does and shows me how much I loved and still love the sense of community and belonging I had in California. I know that the sense of belonging I felt was never mine to cling tightly to, but I’ve begun to realize how much I idolized my sense of belonging. It’s gotta go. I loved being part of a wonderful community in California, but I can’t and don’t want to love it more than I love Christ, my savior.
God sent us here six months ago for reasons I have yet to fully understand beyond Peter’s great job. Trusting God here means I have to believe Him when he promises that “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God set us up for needing each other, and in His grace often brings people into our lives so we can enrich each other’s lives. Though this requires some sacrifice on everyone’s behalf, the benefits of friendship and community often outweigh the costs of time and awkwardness. Praise God I learned that earlier in life—a story for another time, perhaps. Just like God doesn’t promise us good health or a high-paying job, we’re not exactly promised community and friendship, but in “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Though I realize God’s plan does not necessarily include my vision of community, I continue to seek community out as much as I can because that is where I have seen and experienced so much transformation in the lives of God’s people, including myself. I also still feel that desire to belong- serve and participate, love and be accepted, give myself fully to the life of following Christ in the place I call home.